UK frozen food retailer Iceland is launching a new, plastic-free chewing gum.
The product launch Iceland's latest move towards being plastic-free across its private label range by 2023.
Research conducted for the brand showed that out of 2,000 UK adults, 85% are unaware that chewing-gum usually contains traces of plastic. The same number of respondents agreed that brands have a responsibility to make it clearer what ingredients their products contain.
Of 60% of respondents that purchase chewing gum, around two thirds said they would prefer a gum which isn’t made from synthetic ingredients.
The research also showed that with more than 100,000 tons of chewing gum being consumed every year, an estimated that 95% of Britain’s streets are now stained with the substance and local councils spend around £60 million each year cleaning it up.
Iceland's new SKU is called Simply Gum, and is made from all-natural ingredients. It is completely biodegradable, making it better for the environment. The gum is made from a tree sap called chicle, which is extracted from the sapodilla tree, native to Central America.
Commenting on the launch, Iceland founder and executive chairman, Sir Malcolm Walker said, “Simply Gum uses the original, natural gum base of chicle and is fully biodegradable. We are delighted to make it available to UK consumers in our stores so that they can have a real choice about what they are consuming and the impact they make on the environment.”
Walker added that the new product was also a big move for transparency in products, as gum makers hide behind the term 'gum base'.
"I absolutely detest the mess that discarded plastic chewing gum creates on our streets, and the fortune that is wasted by councils trying to clear it up," he said. "For decades, regular gum makers have hidden their synthetic ingredients behind the catch-all term of ‘gum base’, which is consistently used as an ingredient on-pack."
© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Matthieu Chassain. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.