Does Wrigley make sugar free gum?

Wrigley is one of the largest and most well-known gum manufacturers in the world. With popular gum brands like Juicy Fruit, Doublemint, and Extra, Wrigley has dominated the chewing gum market for over 100 years. But with rising health concerns over sugar consumption, many gum chewers are now looking for sugar-free options. This article will explore whether Wrigley makes sugar-free gum and provide an overview of its sugar-free gum products.

The History of Wrigley Gum

Before diving into Wrigley’s sugar-free gums, it helps to understand the history of the Wrigley company. Wrigley was founded in 1891 by William Wrigley Jr. in Chicago, IL. Wrigley started out selling items like soap and baking powder but soon shifted his focus to chewing gum with brands like Juicy Fruit and Wrigley’s Spearmint. His aggressive marketing and distribution tactics allowed Wrigley gum to become popular across the country. In the early 1900s, Wrigley dominated the chewing gum market in the United States. The company has remained a leader in the gum industry for over 100 years, adding other iconic brands like Doublemint and Big Red to its portfolio. While Wrigley originally only sold traditional, sugar-sweetened gums, the rise of the sugar-free gum market led Wrigley to release its own lineup of sugar-free products starting in the 1970s.

The Introduction of Sugar-Free Gums

Chewing gum has contained sugar since its invention in the 1860s. The chicle gum base was typically sweetened with sugar or corn syrup to improve flavor. By the 1950s, over 50% of chewing gum on the market was sweetened with sugar. However, rising rates of tooth decay led some dental researchers to question the impact of sugary gum on oral health. In response, chewing gum manufacturers began experimenting with sugar substitutes like sorbitol, mannitol, and xylitol to reduce the sugar content. Xylitol, in particular, was found to have dental health benefits, reducing cavities and plaque.

The first commercial sugar-free gum, called Dimensions, was test marketed by the Dreyers Grand Ice Cream company in the 1960s. It performed well in trials, sparking wider interest in sugar-free gums. Wrigley and its competitors soon jumped on board, releasing their own sugar-free gum lines sweetened with xylitol, aspartame, or combinations of different sweeteners. Wrigley led the way with the 1975 introduction of Freedent, the first national sugar-free gum brand. The creation of Freedent marked Wrigley’s initial foray into sugar-free gums. Additional landmark launches include Extra Dessert Delights in 1984, one of the first gums to use both aspartame and sorbitol, and Eclipse in 1994, which was sweetened with xylitol.

Wrigley’s Current Sugar-Free Gum Products

Today, Wrigley offers a wide selection of popular sugar-free gum options:

  • Extra Sugar Free Gum – Launched in 1984, this sugar-free version of Extra gum is sweetened with aspartame and sorbitol.
  • Doublemint Sugar Free Gum – The sugar-free version of the classic Doublemint gum, sweetened with sorbitol.
  • Juicy Fruit Sugar Free Gum – Made with aspartame and sorbitol as sugar substitutes.
  • Wrigley’s Spearmint Sugar Free Gum – Contains both aspartame and acesulfame potassium.
  • Freedent Sugar Free Gum – Wrigley’s first sugar-free gum, now made with xylitol as the sweetener.
  • Eclipse Sugarfree Gum – Originally launched in 1994 and sweetened 100% with xylitol.
  • Orbit Sugar Free Gum – A popular sugar-free line of gums marketed for dental health benefits.
  • 5 Sugar Free Gum – Launched in 1975 as Freedent in the US, contains xylitol and aspartame.

Based on this extensive portfolio of sugar-free gums, the answer to whether Wrigley makes sugar-free gum is clearly yes. Wrigley has been a leader in the sugar-free gum category for decades, with several leading sugar-free brands under their umbrella.

Benefits of Wrigley’s Sugar-Free Gums

Wrigley’s sugar-free gums provide a tasty chewing gum experience without the negative health impacts of sugar. Here are some benefits of choosing sugar-free Wrigley gum products:

  • Fewer calories – Sugar-free gums contain little to no calories, while regular gums can have up to 4 calories per piece from sugar.
  • Less impact on dental health – Sugar-free gums do not contribute to cavities and tooth decay like sugary gums.
  • Reduced glycemic response – The sugar alcohols and artificial sweeteners used in sugar-free gum have minimal effects on blood glucose and insulin compared to regular sugar.
  • Longer lasting flavor – Most sugar-free gums are formulated to retain their flavor for longer since the sweetness does not fade as rapidly.
  • Xylitol benefits – Some Wrigley sugar-free gums like Freedent contain xylitol, which can actively reduce plaque and cavities.

For gum chewers concerned about sugar intake and dental health, Wrigley’s sugar-free gums provide an appealing option. The availability of leading Wrigley sugar-free brands like Extra, Orbit, and 5 Gum makes it easy to find mainstream gum choices without the sugar.

Potential Downsides of Sugar-Free Gums

While sugar-free gums have some clear advantages, there are also a few potential downsides to consider:

  • Gastrointestinal effects – Sugar alcohols like sorbitol and xylitol can cause bloating, gas, and diarrhea when consumed in excess.
  • Tooth damage – Sugar-free gums still have an abrasive effect on teeth enamel and gums.
  • Taste – Some users report sugar-free gums have an unpleasant aftertaste compared to sugary gum.
  • Safety concerns – Artificial sweeteners like aspartame have been linked to health issues in some studies, though these links are controversial.

The gastrointestinal effects from sugar alcohols tend to be the most common complaint from excessive sugar-free gum use. Moderating daily gum use can help minimize digestive discomfort. While no gum is perfect from a dental standpoint, sugar-free gum remains a smart alternative for oral health. Overall, sugar-free gums are considered safe and effective when enjoyed responsibly, though individual sensitivity to ingredients should be considered.

Popular Sugar-Free Gum Brands

In addition to Wrigley’s offerings, there are now many popular sugar-free gum brands on the market. Some other leading options include:

Brand Sweetener(s) Used
Trident Xylitol, aspartame
Dentyne Ice Sorbitol, aspartame
Orbit Xylitol, aspartame
Stride Sucralose, aspartame
Pur Xylitol, sorbitol
Ice Breakers Sucralose, aspartame

As this table shows, xylitol, sorbitol, aspartame, and sucralose are the most commonly used sweeteners in popular sugar-free gum. Companies combine these in different ways to achieve the desired taste profile and sweetness for their gums.

Sugar-Free Gum Sales Trends

Reflecting increased demand, global sales of sugar-free gum have experienced steady growth over the past decade:

  • According to Statista, global sugar-free gum sales grew from $1.8 billion in 2010 to $2.6 billion in 2020.
  • Europe accounts for the largest share of sugar-free gum sales, capturing over 40% of the worldwide market.
  • Experts forecast the global sugar-free gum market will reach nearly $3.5 billion by 2028 as demand continues rising, especially among health-conscious younger consumers.
  • Sugar-free gum is quickly capturing market share from sugared gum, already accounting for over 30% of gum sales worldwide.

As traditional gum sales stagnate or decline, sugar-free options are driving nearly all the category growth. Oral care benefits and low calorie / low sugar formulations are making sugarless gum more appealing to millennials and Generation Z. Wrigley and its competitors will likely focus innovation efforts on the sugar-free space moving forward.

Outlook for Wrigley’s Sugar-Free Gums

Given its long history of leadership in the sugar-free gum segment, Wrigley is well positioned to capitalize on the growing consumer demand. Here are some predictions for Wrigley’s sugar-free gums going forward:

  • Expanded sugar-free options – Wrigley will continue converting more of its core gum portfolio to sugar-free recipes, following the examples of Extra, Doublemint, and Juicy Fruit.
  • New high-intensity sweeteners – Wrigley will incorporate newer sweeteners like allulose and stevia extracts to create gums with reduced calories and glycemic impact.
  • Functional benefits – Future sugar-free gums will be enhanced with additives like vitamins, minerals, caffeine, or herbal extracts to deliver added functional benefits.
  • Online sales – E-commerce will become a larger distribution channel for Wrigley’s sugar-free gums as digital natives drive growth.

Wrigley is already America’s #1 sugar-free gum maker, but will likely pursue even greater dominance as consumer demand in this area continues expanding. The company will focus on developing innovative sugar-free products that deliver both great taste and functionality.


In conclusion, Wrigley absolutely makes sugar-free gum and has been a driving force in the sugarless gum market for decades. The company has taken nearly all of its popular sugared gum brands like Juicy Fruit and Doublemint and created corresponding sugar-free versions without sacrificing taste or quality. Wrigley currently offers one of the largest portfolios of mainstream sugar-free gum options that provide consumers with choice. While sugar-free gum has some potential drawbacks to consider, it remains an appealing alternative for health-conscious consumers concerned about sugar intake and dental health. Global sales trends reveal surging consumer demand for sugar-free gum, especially among younger demographics. Wrigley is poised to capitalize on this growing opportunity by expanding its sugar-free lineup and investing in innovative new formulations and functional benefits. The company’s 100+ year legacy of gum leadership combined with strong sugar-free gum sales growth sets Wrigley up for continued success.

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