Wrigley is launching a new chewing gum called Alert Energy Caffeine Gum which offers a boost of caffeine.

The new product is aimed at consumers between the ages of 25 and 49 who may have quit their habit of chewing gum when they were younger, while tapping into the market of energy products – a rapid-growth market.

The caffeinated gum is intended for adults who “want a portable product that lets them control their caffeine intake”, the company said.

“Alert” contains 40 milligrams of caffeine – the same amount of caffeine as about a half a cup of coffee or a 16-ounce soda.

Wrigley is the largest producer of gum worldwide, and also makes brands such as:

  • Big Red
  • Juicy Fruit
  • Doublemint

Energy drinks and other related products have been more popular on the market in recent years, despite the fact that some experts claim they are bad for people’s health.

A small US study demonstrated an association between energy drinks and high blood pressure or heart disease risk, and one report indicated that the drinks can cause irreversible damage to teeth.

However, the products are still increasingly popular, and because of this, increasing gum sales has been a primary goal for the company in recent years.

Wrigley plans to launch Alert in some stores in April with a full roll-out targeted for summer.

Alert’s suggested retail cost is $2.99 for an eight-pack. The product will be sold in both fruit and mint flavors.

Casey Keller, president of the North America division of Wrigley, said:

“The taste expectations are different for someone who wants to chew gum for energy than for someone who chews gum for flavor. If you come at this as a piece of gum that you chew for enjoyment it’s not going to deliver on that. What we found from energy [drink] consumers is that they’re used to this taste. It’s symbolic of efficacy.”

Alert packs will, of course, list the ingredients and include warning labels about caffeine intake. It will not be intended for minors, according to Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co.

Wrigley spokeswoman Jennifer Luth added:

“There’s nothing we can do to prevent people from selling it to children. But we’ve done everything we can so it’s not a product for children or teens. It is absolutely designed for adults who are already using caffeine for energy.”

Written by Sarah Glynn