Food ingredients maker Beneo has said it is looking to grow its global gum business further through the development of a new sugar replacement, Isomalt.
The German firm told just-food today (28 January) that while the company’s focus is on two key markets: hard boiled sweets and gum, it is the chewing gum market that the company aims to “grow further and stimulate”.
“Gum is a growing market so we decided to carry out a bigger research programme,” Beneo marketing manager Jens Bohm told just-food at this year’s ISM confectionery exhibition in Cologne.
While he did not give a percentage of group revenues that its gum business currently holds, he added: “We have a larger share in boiled sweets than we do in gum. We started out in the category producing the coatings but now we are interested in the making of the gum. We are looking at where we can grow the business. We have a global business base so we are looking to build on that.”
Of the competition in the global confectionery market, Bohm said: “There are selected key players worldwide, but we want to inspire all of them.”
Bohm explained that through its research, the company has replaced the commonly used Polyol Mannitol ingredient with a functional alternative: Isomalt.
“It is the only sugar replacer derived from sugar. Its benefits lie in the firmness of the gum … it is sugar-free, it has less calories, it has a natural sweetener profile and it improves the shelf life of the gum,” Bohm commented.
In addition to growing its global gum presence, Beneo has developed two boiled sweet concepts: Dessert Candy and Candy in Candy.
Bohm said the idea behind the concept is to offer adults functionality and flavours when buying sweets through a multi-layered candy, offering three colours and three flavours.
“What we are doing is trying to expand the category and cross borders,” he revealed. “Our customers are looking for new flavours and functionality at the same time. So in these sweets we have three: biscuit, coffee and cream, to create the taste of tiramisu.”
Candy in Candy attempts to answer customer’s requirements for “new experiences that create sensory sensations” in sweets. Bohm told just-food the company is hoping to bring a “fresh perspective” to the confectionery industry with the launch.
The product embeds a coloured, melon-flavoured candy inside a raspberry flavoured transparent cube, made possible through the use of Isomalt. The ingredient allows the product to remain “un-sticky” and the final product requires no extra wrapping.
“We are trying to inspire our customers with these launches and play about with these subjects. They offer different sensations with a nice look as well as less calories. So consumers looking for a treat can have a healthy treat and they don’t have to compromise on taste.”
The products, Bohm said, are not yet on the market but were developed to be brought to ISM. The company is currently in discussions with a number of potential customers for the launch of the concepts.