Wrigley is taking on Mentos in the chewy mint sector as it continues to expand outside its core gum market.

With its new Extra Chewy Mints line, which rolls out next month, Wrigley hopes to replicate the success of last year's launch of Wrigley's Extra Ice Mints tinned range, which the company created to extend the brand as gum sales declined.

The range would help build on the company's strategy to "modernise and bring a more youthful image" to the category, added Wrigley marketing director Toby Baker.

"We are very confident about the launch as Extra is one of the few mints that appeals to younger consumers, and is already known for its ability to drive category growth," he added.

The 38g bagged format comprises a mix of mini sweets in spearmint, sweetmint, coolmint and peppermint flavours (rsp: 59p)

Baker cited the overhaul of Extra Ice Mints last January as the main reason for the mint category returning to growth last year for the first time in five years [Nielsen].

The total Extra mint brand accounted for 67% of category growth in 2009, according to Wrigley, as sales hit £11.2m [Nielsen MAT to 7 November 2009]. Sales of Extra Ice Mints rose 31% to £5.5m in the same period.

Wrigley is backing the launch with sampling and point-of-sale activity that will coincide with the April roll-out.

The Mars-owned brand will also benefit from a £10m marketing campaign for the overall Extra brand this year.