FoodTech start-up Sweet Victory, Ltd.’s botanical chewing gum designed to curb sugar-cravings demonstrates the potential to support weight loss. The results of a consumer study revealed that more than 80% of the participants reported that they had cut down on their intake of sweets, and that it helped result in measurable weight loss in 9 out of every 10 participants.
The start-up won the category of the most innovative Finished Nutraceutical Product at the Vitafoods Europe Innovation Challenge 2023. The event is a key feature of the international expo that takes place in Geneva yearly.
Gymnema: – The “Sugar Destroyer”
The Sweet Victory chewing gum is available in a range of flavors and was developed by the start-up’s two founders Gitit Lahav, Shimrit Lev in an initiative to create a tasty and convenient solution that can bolster consumers’ resistance to sugary temptations. The active ingredient responsible for this effect is a native Indian natural botanical, gymnema (Gymnema sylvestre), hailed in traditional medicine as the “sugar destroyer” due to its sugar suppression activity. The plant extract in the chewy composition functions by blocking the taste receptors for sweetness. It also slows intestinal absorption of sugars. After just two minutes of chewing, sweet flavours become blunted, and the immediate desire for a confectionery diminishes.
New Sense Research, a company specializing in sensory analysis of products and services, conducted a home-usage experiment to evaluate the product’s capacity to reduce the desire for sweet treats. The study also considered the flavorful treat’s subsequent impact on weight management. The experiment collated general feedback from volunteer participants regarding the product’s overall appeal and effectiveness.
The two-week trial involved 80 participants aged 25-45 who expressed interest in losing weight but were not in a dietary process. Each participant received a pack of 45 units of Sweet Victory chewing gum and was instructed to chew gum at least 3 times a day, either after meals, between meals, or whenever a sugar craving emerged. In addition to completing a daily questionnaire, they were instructed to weigh themselves daily.
Enduring Sugar Impulse Management
Among the 80 participants, a remarkable 87% reported experiencing weight loss, at an average 1.3 kilos per 2 weeks. 80% of the participants significantly reduced their consumption of sweets by the end of the trial and reported having “better control” of their food choices.
“The overall improvement we witnessed was incremental,” indicates Lahav. “Significantly more participants felt they were in control of their impulses after four days and at the end of the trial, compared to the beginning. Also, a significant decrease in the consumption of sweets was observed from the 4th day until the end of the experiment compared to the first days, suggesting an enduring effect. We further noted relatively even consumption of the gum throughout the day indicating that it can have a positive effect any time of the day,” adds Lahav.
Users find the gum fun and innovative
A survey of the users’ perceptions of the innovative gum also yielded encouraging results. 70% of the users felt that the product was innovative and fulfilled its role of maintaining weight balance. They also expressed a willingness to recommend it to friends and family. Furthermore, the participants described it a fun product, suggesting that it could be a fun addition to their daily routine.
“We created Sweet Victory gum to help consumers break their sugar habits in a fun and user-friendly way,” asserts Lev. “Sweet Victory currently is working on diversifying the product’s delivery formats, including exploring new gum flavors to join the existing peppermint, spearmint, bubble-gum and watermelon flavored gums in order to provide even more options for our customers.”
About Sweet Victory
Founded in 2020, the startup is the brainchild of two young female entrepreneurs, Gitit Lahav and Shimrit Lev. Lahav is a psychologist who spent almost a decade researching the link between nutrition and psychology. Together with Lev, a nutritional instructor and her best friend, they developed the first gum that can block sugar cravings. Sweet Victory won the first prize in the foodTech track at the fifth Coller Competition for start-ups of the Coller School of Management at Tel Aviv University. They also completed a safe fund round of US$1.5 million from CPT Capital, UK.