Convenience retailing giant 7-Eleven and South Beach Beverage Company (SoBe) have jointly developed a new chewing gum product, which will be launched in 7-Eleven stores throughout this month.

Norwalk, Ct-based SoBe specialises in manufacturing herb- and vitamin-enhanced beverages marketed under the SoBe brand name.

The companies explained that the idea to develop an energy-enhanced, liquid-infused gum was prompted by the growth in the functional, non-carbonated beverage segment. It will be produced by Lotte USA, in Battle Creek, Michigan, which explained that it was difficult making enhancements without deteriorating the gum base or losing the flavour match.

Derek Schmitt, category manager of confectionery, gum and mints for Dallas-based 7-Eleven, said: "It took more than a year to come up with a formula that would be a hit with consumers and is good enough to carry the SoBe brand name."

SoBe's senior VP, marketing, Renee Coughlin, added: "Our focus was to develop a great-tasting product that fit both companies' needs. The new SoBe Gum extends SoBe's reputation as an innovator in the functional food and beverage category, and it's a perfect fit with 7-Eleven's goal to have the most innovative products in the market available exclusively to its consumers."
SoBe Gum is available in three flavours, Energy, Power and Liz Blizz, and as part of the agreement, 7-Eleven has product exclusivity at up to 5,300 participating US stores until the autumn.