Wrigley is attempting to get rid of mints’ “old fogey” reputation and inject a bit of youthful pizazz with a launch under its youth-oriented Extra brand. The confectionery company is ditching its current boxed Extra Mint offer and introducing a more premium mint, Extra Ice, in January. The 97p mints will come in peppermint and spearmint, and are packaged in pocket-sized tins.

They were a completely different mint from the old ones, said the company, describing them as smaller, with a better “fresh kick” and a smoother, longer-lasting mint flavour.

They have already proved successful in the Australian market where they are sold under the Eclipse brand and are now the top-selling mint.

“Young people do see mints as slightly old-fashioned but there are still occasions, such as just before a date or a job interview, where they see a mint as more appropriate than gum,” said corporate communications manager Alexandra MacHutchon.

The launch will be supported by TV advertising, in-store promotions, PR and sampling and the new mints will be featured in the brand’s ongoing sponsorship of Hollyoaks. About 66% of Extra users are under 35 and the company is hoping the youthful appeal of the brand and the mints’ proven appeal to younger consumers in Australia, will encourage young people to move into the mint category. It said it expected some cannibalisation of sales from its Wrigley Extra Ice gum offer but its experience in other markets demonstrated it was possible to grow both the chewing gum and mint categories simultaneously.

“Mints and gum cater for different occasions,” said MacHutchon. “We are in this to grow both the brand and the category.” The old boxed Extra Mint offer was launched in 2003 and initially saw some ­success.

However, since then sales have fallen, Wrigley admitting to a lack of support for the brand, which has received little advertising, promotional activity or innovation since its launch.