Peppersmith is stretching its quirky charms beyond gum and into mints and plans to add further lines to the confectionery fixture this year.

The peppermint gum brand is marking its one- year anniversary with the launch of Peppersmith Fresh Mints (rsp: £1.20- £1.50), which are set for launch in March.

The peppermint-flavoured mints contain natural sweetener xylitol rather than sugar and will carry certification by the British Health Foundation.

Peppersmith said the accreditation backed up its claim that the mints help reduce plaque and tooth decay a "key USP".

Packaging will feature the brand's moustache logo, which also features on its gum packets. The latter will have grown distribution from 15 stockists last January to more than 600 by the end of the year, including a Waitrose listings deal in November.

Peppersmith is also rolling out new-look gum packets that involve less packaging but retain the tear-off papers so consumers can dispose of their gum. "We thought the old packet had charm but consumers found it a little difficult to open," said marketing director Dan Shrimpton.

"The fact board costs continue to rise was also a consideration," he added, echoing Thorntons' concerns over the price of card.

Peppersmith will expand its portfolio to comprise three mint and three gum lines by the year-end.