100% natural True Gum
Did you know that a conventional chewing gum is made with a synthetic rubber base? A base that contains many of the same ingredients found in plastic bottles, glue and rubber tires! Not only that, many of them also contains animal fat, artificial flavouring and sweeteners, and more, but I’m sure that’s enough mentioned to make you think twice before buying your next packet. But to all the chewers out there, don’t worry, we have found the perfect gum for you!
Recently launched True Gum was founded in Denmark by four friends, Peter Juul Regnersgaard, Jacob Motzfeldt, Zabrina Ziegler and Morten Ebdrup. They produce an all-natural chewing gum, which means no plastic, no added sugar, 100% biodegradable and vegan friendly. Instead of the traditional plastic-filled gum base, they use a chicle base, which comes from the Sapodilla tree, they use low-calorie sweeteners stevia & erythritol, which stem from plants, all natural flavours and organic vegetable glycerine. And oh, they have some fabulous flavours as well!
Who is behind the team?
Since we are such a small team and do not have a large production setup, it is important that everyone does a little bit of everything. However, we do try to delegate tasks as much as possible to cater to everyone’s strengths. Zabrina is the creative master chef who picks out the best ingredients, invents the new flavour combination and makes sure that every batch of chewing gum is of the highest quality. Jacob is in charge of the money and makes sure that production flows smoothly so no one has to wait longer than absolute necessary for their chewing gum. Peter does a lot of the selling but also has an eye for design, and that is why he also creates a lot of content for our social media channels. Morten helps Peter with the selling and manages True’s relationship with external advisors and investors.
How come you decided to make chewing gum?
The idea emerged after a dinner party last year when Peter offered Morten a chewing gum. Peter and Morten were both regular ‘chewers’ and chewed gum several times a day, but it struck us that none of us actually knew what was inside a chewing gum.
The greenish neon coloured chewing gum suddenly represented quite a stark contrast to the healthy organic meal we had just prepared and eaten, so we decided to investigate. After a few quick searches on our phones, we found out that conventional gum is made with a synthetic rubber base, which contains many of the same ingredients found in plastic bottles, glue and rubber tires. In fact, we found out that the rubber base has so much in common with rubber tires that some of it is produced by tire producer Goodyear.
Surprised by our discovery, but not willing to give up on our chewing gum habits, we decided to try to make our own. And we wanted to make one that was free from plastic and sugar. Naively, we thought this would be easy, but we ended up spending more than a year creating and fine-tuning the recipe in Morten’s kitchen and traveling around Europe and Central America looking for the best ingredients. After 472 trials (and subsequent cleaning sessions) we had what we believed to be the world’s best chewing gum. We quit our regular jobs to dedicate ourselves fulltime to the chewing gum adventure. Today, the chewing gum is handmade in an old converted train storage facility in central Copenhagen.
What flavour is your most popular one?
Our ‘Quiet Night In’ with Liquorice and Eucalyptus is a fan favourite here in Denmark. Scandinavians love liquorice and the fact that we use (grounded) raw liquorice root instead of artificial flavours gives the gum a really rich taste. At the same time, the sweetness from the liquorice blends well with the freshness from eucalyptus, meaning that it functions as both a breath freshener and a sweet treat.
What inspires your flavours?
With True, we want to change people’s perception of what a chewing gum can be by creating modern classics and updating the old favourites. That included substituting artificial flavours and preservatives with real ingredients. As an example, we use real mint leaves instead of artificial mint flavour. Because the ingredients we use resemble those found in traditional cooking, this is also where we have found the inspiration for our flavour combinations. Throughout the development process, we have worked closely with Danish chefs in order to find the right combination of flavours and ingredients.
Will you release more flavours in the near future?
I’ve promised not to say too much, but I can say we’re working on a few seasonal variants for the coming year.
Who is your typical customer?
True is for everyone who cares about great taste, sustainability, organic living and minimalistic design. We also have a following among vegans, as our gums are 100% natural and free from animalistic products.
Where are you hoping to see the brand in 5 years?
We hope that natural chewing gum has become the obvious choice and that True has made a considerable contribution to the movement for sustainable and plastic-free products. We want to show consumers that you can make the eco-friendly choice without compromising taste. Quite the opposite actually.
What is the ethos of True Gum?
Real flavours from real ingredients. We use ingredients from nature, not from a lab - and that is never going to change.
Does True Gum know of any Danish hidden gems they could share with us?
‘Løs market’ (“Loose Market”) in Saxo Gade in central Copenhagen is a really cool shop with a wide selection of Organic products and a sustainable approach to packaging. There is no disposal packaging, instead customers have to bring or buy a container, which can be re-used for later purchases.
This approach actually inspired us for our chewing gum subscription model. Instead of sending our customers new cardboard packaging with every delivery, we send them a high quality, tin box the first time they order. This box is made of recyclable material and is extremely sturdy which means it can be re-used and re-filled with subsequent deliveries of chewing gum. Another benefit is that it looks really cool.