Chewing gum maker Wm Wrigley Jr Company has announced the launch of eight new confectionery products to hit store shelves in January 2006.

"The recent opening of our Global Innovation Center reinforces Wrigley's focus on new product innovation," said Ralph Scozzafava, vice president and managing director, North America and Pacific.  "These new items deliver on Wrigley's commitment to provide consumers with innovations that meet their changing tastes and needs."

New Doublemint Twins Mints are the first innovative extension from the popular Doublemint brand.  Available in single serve sizes, Doublemint Twins Mints come in two flavours: Wintercreme and Mintcreme.  Both flavours are a blend of mild mint flavours with a creme.

Extra "Cool Watermelon" is the latest flavour addition to Extra gum, the number one gum in the United States for over a decade.  Extra "Cool Watermelon" provides consumers a unique, long lasting twist to the traditional watermelon flavour.

Eclipse "Cinnamon Inferno" and "Midnight Cool" gums are two new items from Eclipse that deliver powerful fresh breath through intense, unique flavours.

Orbit White "Wintermint" gum is the latest flavour of Orbit White which, according to Wrigley,  not only whitens teeth and removes stains, but also tastes great.

Life Savers Gummies Wild Berry Sours are to be available in multi-serve bags. Berry Sours contain six "sour" gummy flavours: cherry berry, strawberry, red raspberry, black raspberry, blackberry and white grape. 

Creme Savers Tropicals Hard Candy is the latest addition to Creme Savers, which is the number one brand in Dairy Hard Candy.  Creme Savers Tropicals are available in a multi-serve bag and bring creamy, dreamy great taste in three new tropical flavours: Pina Colada and Creme, Banana and Creme and Mango and Creme.

Altoids Mango Sours is a new sour flavour from the leader in hard candy sours. 

"Wrigley's consumers have come to expect the highest quality, value, innovative benefits and fun from Wrigley products," said Martin Schlatter, general manager, US.  "We have a robust pipeline of innovation across formats, flavours, packaging and new products to exceed these consumer expectations."

Over the past four years, the contribution from new products has averaged nearly 20% of Wrigley's global sales, up significantly from the 5-6% rate of the 1990's.  "There is no doubt that sustainable innovation that adds value is a critical growth driver for our business going forward," said Schlatter. "What makes Wrigley unique is our focus on ensuring our innovations have staying power in the marketplace."