Wrigley launched the caffeine gum earlier this month

Wrigley launched the caffeine gum earlier this month

Wrigley, part of food giant Mars Inc, has halted production of the caffeine gum it launched earlier this month in the US.

The US confectionery giant launched Alert Energy Caffeine Gum, a product it has claimed is targeted at 25 to 49-year-olds, at the beginning of the month.

The launch, however, prompted the US Food and Drug Administration to look again at the impact caffeine has on health. Campaigners have expressed concerns about the use of caffeine in foods and the launch sparked more questions about the ingredient.

In a statement today (9 May), Casey Keller, president of Wrigley's North American arm, said the firm had taken "great strides" to ensure the product was formulated, distributed and marketed in "a safe and responsible way".

"We exceeded all regulatory requirements on labeling and disclosure because we believe consumers should be informed about the amount of caffeine they are consuming in their food and beverage products so they can make smart choices."

However, Keller said it has "a greater appreciation" for the FDA's concern about the proliferation of caffeine in the nation's food supply following discussions with the agency.

He added: "There is a need for changes in the regulatory framework to better guide the consumers and the industry about the appropriate level and use of caffeinated products.

"In an effort to support this process, and out of respect for the FDA, we have paused the production, sales and marketing of Alert. This will give the FDA time to develop a new regulatory framework for the addition of caffeine to food and drinks."

Keller did not say when he expects production to re-start.