West Hampstead gum producers launch partnership with WHSmith

Oh My Gum!'s packaging

Oh My Gum!'s packaging - Credit: tbd

Environmentally conscious travellers have a reason to smile because the plant-based chewing gum company Oh My Gum! has launched a partnership with WHSmith. 

The partnership, which launched May 12, has brought the natural gum brand to most airports in the UK such as Heathrow, Gatwick, Belfast, and Birmingham.

The company’s founder Malak Ben-Hmeda, 31, credits the inspiration for the product to a startling discovery she made about many name brand gum companies. 

To her surprise and disgust, she found out that gum is typically made with the same plastic utilized in the manufacturing of tyres. This motivated her to sell gum that was more authentic yet equally as flavourful as the generic brands.

In the recipe for Oh My Gum!, one can find an ingredient called chicle which comes from the sap of the Sapodilla tree. The chicle is then paired with a dentist recommended sweeter called xylitol, which further results in a chewing gum that is gluten-free and vegan-friendly.

The idea of plant-based gum is hardly new, as it has roots in the ancient Mayan empire which chewed chicle thousands of years ago. Malak recognised this saying, “I haven’t invented plant-based gum, I’m just bringing it back to its roots.”

The company was founded in November 2019 when Malak was an expectant mother. She regards having to balance motherhood with her business to be one of the most difficult challenges she’s had to face.

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She explained the many personal sacrifices she had to make in order to be successful. “Your life can’t be completely the same when you’ve got a business and a baby.” 

Founder of Oh M Gum!, Malak Ben-Hmeda

Founder of Oh M Gum!, Malak Ben-Hmeda - Credit: tbd

Oh My Gum! is based in Cromwell Road, West Hampstead. The product is also designed to look stylish in your pocket with a packaging that is recyclable and spill-proof. The exterior is modelled after many popular makeup brands so that it is eye-catching and feels luxurious. 

Malik explained this is so because, “in the age of social media people buy with their eyes.” 

Malik’s commitment to ethically made gum has earned her product several awards including a Great Taste Award and a Sustainable Food Award.

“The reason why I started the business was because I wanted to change how chewing gum was made but also how chewing gum is perceived and bought,” she said.

In addition to airport shops, Oh My Gum! Is available to purchase on their website ohmygum.com and in select stores all over the world.