According torecent research from Mintel, sales of gum, mints and breath fresheners have actually seen an uptick through the recession, increasing over 10% since 2007. The consumer insight company anticipates this trend will continue through 2014.

“Although this market is not entirely recession proof, gum, mints and breath fresheners are faring well due to their low price points and the feeling that consumers are getting a small treat,” says Bill Patterson, senior analyst at Mintel. “In addition, innovative packaging and unique flavors are aiding in the upward sales momentum.”

Mintel says that marketers normally use packaging to help freshen and develop a brand’s image, but a Mintel survey indicates consumers think functionality is key in the gum category. Nearly 50% of people cited packaging that reseals better or is easier to open as being most important. Meanwhile, 19% of people want gum and mints to have packaging that’s better for the environment.

Curiously enough, Mintel also tested consumers’ willingness to share a mint or stick of gum with others, and remarkably, people are quite willing to share the goods. Nearly half (44%) claim to give many pieces away to friends, family or colleagues. On the other hand, only 6% offer it to colleagues, as to not insinuate that someone has bad breath.