Sugar-free gum has gotten a lot of press recently, with claims that it's good for teeth and gum health. Chewers are also looking to freshen breath and improve oral hygiene. While countless brands exist on the market, the most popular, top-selling brands in 2009 were all made by only two different manufacturers: Wrigley and Kraft Foods.
Orbit chewing gum is manufactured by Wrigley, which is owned by Mars, Inc. The Orbit gum brand is sold around the world, and 2009 global sales totalled $348.4 million. Orbit gum dates back to 1944, when it was created by Wrigley to replace its other brands, which had all been sent overseas to World War II soldiers. It was reintroduced in Europe in 1976, and then in the U.S. in 2001. Within the Orbit brand, many different flavors and varieties exist, including a teeth-whitening gum called Orbit White. The American Dental Association has backed Wrigley's Orbit gum with findings that chewing it does reduce plaque and strengthens teeth.
Trident, produced by Kraft Foods, is said to be the first brand that introduced sugar-free gum. With 2009 sales reaching $303.3 million, Trident sugar-free gum is one of the most popular gums in the world. In 2011, Kraft launched Trident Vitality, a sugar-free gum line that also contains fortifications like Vitamin C or ginseng. The company Cadbury introduced Trident in 1964 and it has also earned the American Dental Association's Seal of Acceptance.
5 gum was introduced by Wrigley in 2007 as an innovative sugar-free gum highly marketed and targeted toward the younger, tech savvy generation. The advertising campaign included ads in movie theatres and online that promote 5's creative flavors and names. Unlike Wrigley's other gum brands, 5 doesn't have any teeth whitening or dental health benefits, only flavored gum. Wrigley sold $302.3 million worth of 5 gum in 2009, making it one of the most popular brands of sugar-free gum.
Stride, which markets itself as a long lasting gum, is a sugar-free product made by Cadbury, which is owned by Kraft Foods. This gum, also primarily a flavored gum, has a line called Stride Spark, which contains Vitamins B6 and B12. Stride's advertising campaigns have also been aggressive and targeted toward younger generations, and have even won advertising awards. This gum is said to be longer-lasting than other sugar-free gums, due to a different sweetening agent. In 2009, Stride sales totaled $206.1 million.
Based in Paris, France, Marianne Descott has been writing since 2002. Covering subjects such as parenting and travel, she has been published in "Lonely Planet" and "Get Born" magazine. She also regularly blogs on living abroad and international issues. Descott has a Bachelor of Arts in social sciences.