Gum giant Wrigley has released a new addition to its Extra Professional sugar-free chewing gum range in Australia. 

Wrigley's Extra Professional Calcium, a calcium-fortified gum, is designed to deliver 10% of the recommended daily intake of calcium. 

Chewing two pellets of the new gum for 20 minutes will deliver 10% of the RDI for calcium - around 80g.

"New Extra Professional Calcium is a significant innovation for us – the first fortified sugar-free gum to be approved for release in this market," said Wrigley Pacific marketing director Andrew Leakey. "Extra Professional Calcium is an ideal way for consumers to add a little bit more calcium to their diet, without having to make and sustain any major lifestyle changes."

Wrigley said that the Extra Professional range, which includes Extra Professional and Extra Professional White, has been a key category growth driver, accounting for 16.1% share of gum in national grocery channels and a 15% share of gum in national convenience channels.

"The Extra Professional range has been enormously successful for Wrigley. As the market leader in the gum segment, we are continuously striving for product innovation that enhance our consumers' experience and enjoyment of our products. The addition of Extra Professional Calcium to our range is the next step to extending our Professional brand offer," said Leakey.

Over the past five years, the gum category has grown strongly at 7.72% in national grocery channels. During this period, total Extra Gum has grown 1.64%, while the Extra Professional range has enjoyed 2.58% growth.

"We know that consumers are increasingly seeking products that offer additional new benefits, so we believe that Extra Professional Calcium has the potential to expand the category by increasing per capita consumption and attracting new or lapsed users," said Shane Bonello, Wrigley Pacific sales director.

"Calcium is something that should be on everyone's agenda because it is essential for strong, healthy bones and teeth," said Leakey. "With approximately 90 per cent of the Australian population reportedly not consuming enough calcium from their diet, Extra Professional Calcium provides consumers with an 'on-the-go' option to complement a balanced diet and help boost their daily calcium intake."

The launch of Extra Professional Calcium will be supported via a substantial integrated marketing and communications campaign across Australia and New Zealand, including above the line advertising, dedicated point of sale, experiential marketing, proactive media engagement and healthcare professional outreach to drive awareness of the launch. Consumers can expect to see the TV commercial on-air from early May.

Extra Professional Calcium is available in a 10 pellet blister pack - RRP A$1.20 (US$1.25) - and a three-pack multipack, which has an RRP of A$3.25.

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