While caffeinated energy drinks have taken several recent hits for being linked to caffeine overdoses and even deaths, Wrigley's is getting into the action with a caffeinated chewing gum.
In a statement released by Wrigley, a division of the Mars candy company, the chewing gum leader says it is "focused on restoring gum category health, and that means creating functional and 'occasion-based' reasons to chew, bringing relevance back to gum."
According to ABC News, the new chewing gum, called Alert Energy Gum, contains 40 milligrams of caffeine in every stick—roughly the same amount of caffeine as a half a cup of coffee. “This is something [consumers] can take with them and something that’s a little bit discrete,” said Jennifer Jackson-Luth, a Wrigley spokeswoman. “It can fit in their pocket.”
The company plans to market its Alert Energy Gum to consumers age 25 and older and include a warning label on the packaging that says it's "not recommended for children." But that doesn't mean kids won’t be able to get their hands on the chewing gum, as there are currently no regulations on the sale of caffeinated products. And teens in particular, especially males, are among the most dedicated energy/caffeinated beverage consumers.
A stick of the Alert Energy Gum is equivalent to a half a cup of coffee could contribute to the caffeine overdoses that have recently been linked with energy products. 5-Hour Energy is currently under an FDA investigation for a connection with 13 deaths and 32 hospitalizations for caffeine overdoses.
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