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Wrigley to sell caffeinated chewing gum

Wrigley says its Alert Energy caffeinated chewing gum will contain the equivalent of about a half cup of coffee.
Wrigley caffeinated gum 2013 03 08Enlarge
Wrigley's Alert Energy Caffeinated Gum (Wrigley/Courtesy)

Tired of chugging coffee or soda pop for a morning boost?

Try gum instead.

Wrigley, the world's largest gum company, announced plans today to start selling caffeinated chewing gum at convenience stores, supermarkets and mass retailers next month, CNN reported.

While it's not the first caffeinated gum, Alert Energy will be the first to be widely distributed.

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One piece is equal to about a half cup of coffee or a 16-ounce soda.

While some health experts aren't sweet on the idea, Wrigley says the gum will bear a warning label and cost $3 a pack -- about twice as much as regular gum, the Wall Street Journal reported.

It also has a bitter, medicinal flavor.

"If you come at this as a piece of gum that you chew for enjoyment it's not going to deliver on that," Wrigley President Casey Keller told the Wall Street Journal. "Kids won't like the taste."

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The Center for Science in the Public Interest blasted the idea and decried the growing proliferation of caffeinated foods and drinks.

"It doesn't seem like a good idea," Roland Griffins, a professor at Johns Hopkins medical school, told CNN. "To the extent that this makes caffeine more readily available to children, it's a potential concern."

According to ABC News, Wrigley will offer the gum in select markets next month and go nationwide this summer.

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