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Issue Date: Vol. 51, No. 6, June 2011, Posted On: 5/14/2011

Gumlink Buys Stake In Tab Labs, With Eye To Functional Gum

Hank Schlesinger
bulk vending, vending, vending machine, vendible products, confections, confectionary, confectionery, Gumlink A/S, functional chewing gum, gum, chewing gum, Tab Labs Inc., Blis Technologies, Nutraceutical Innovation Center, Chilcott

VEJLE, Denmark -- Gumlink A/S, a leading manufacturer and distributor of functional gum, has purchased a 50% stake in Tab Labs Inc., a Vancouver-based company that has produced a line of specialty gums since 2001. According to officials at both companies, the focus of the joint venture will be to develop and market a line of probiotic gum.

Gumlink officials said the partnership is among the first in the Denmark-based firm's strategy of collaborating with companies to bring "nutraceutical" products to market. A combination of the words nutritional and pharmaceutical, nutraceutical products are commonly defined as foods and beverages with enhanced health and/or medical value. Seen as a growth market worldwide, they are widely regarded as adding value for an increasingly health-conscious population.

Yogurt has long been prized for its probiotic content and is among a growing number of vendible products that contain the "good bacteria" that manufacturers are marketing for their associated health benefits. The microorganisms have been proven to boost health in many ways, ranging from improving intestinal microbial balance to eliminating some diseases, and are increasingly sought by consumers seeking an added health boost.

"This move makes perfect sense for us, as it will provide us with a nutraceutical manufacturing and distribution platform in North America and provide access to novel technologies that when combined with our own proprietary gum technologies will enable us to offer the most potent nutraceutical chewing gum assortment," said Gumlink chief executive Soren Birn.

Tab Labs chief executive Tom Holtgen added that Gumlink's scale, infrastructure and resources and the companies' synergies will position Tab Labs as North America's leading nutraceutical chewing gum innovator and contract manufacturer.

To support the new venture in probiotics and microbiology, Tab Labs has hired Dr. Chris Chilcott to head up its new Nutraceutical Innovation Center. Chilcott is credited as one of the leading forces behind the development of patented, oral probiotic strains Blis K-12 and Blis M-18 at Blis Technologies in New Zealand.

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