Mintier wants to freshen up breath mints

The oil-based challenger is moving into grocery, testing and learning whether it is a beauty, health or impulse purchase.


Appropriately, word of mouth has helped drive interest in oral health disruptor Mintier, an oil-based breath freshener that’s coming to Sobeys as part of the grocer’s support local program.

It’s described as North America’s first-ever oil-based breath freshener, locally formulated and containing only premium ingredients, sweetened with cinnamon and lemon. And each package, complete with a dropper that looks like its from the beauty or health aisle instead of confectionery, contains approximately 120 servings.

Torontonians Jessica Sheppard and Rhaelyn Gillespie are the founders of Mintier, selected into the 11th cohort of entrepreneurs by Venturepark Labs, the CPG growth ecosystem founded by investor and entrepreneur, Arlene Dickenson.

The duo explains to strategy that consumers have been searching for “better for you” everywhere, and standing out without any sugar alcohols, along with straightforward easy-to-comprehend ingredients, is what’s giving it an edge in the market.

But there are functional benefits too.

“Mints are typically just sugar and sugar alcohol and we were questioning the effects of sugar, which feeds oral bacteria,” Sheppard says. “So, your breath accelerates in terms of how quickly it gets bad again.” That’s why, she says, you can’t just have one mint but require handfuls to sustain fresh breath; hence, it does not solve the problem.

Sheppard, who calls the product a gamechanger for either home, office or vehicle, says that it was formulated to last 60 minutes per droplet serving, but that the brand is getting feedback saying it’s lasting longer than that.

The duo reports its audience initially was the health-conscious consumer, typically between 18 and 45 and female. However, since the initial Mintier launch, it’s seeing a lot of males over 45, leading them to conclude its more universal in its applicability.


Rhaelyn Gillespie and Jessica Sheppard, Co-Founders of Mintier

As Sheppard points out, “everyone suffers from bad breath from time to time, we’re all human.”

Mintier is getting exposure through Sobeys’ local program, and getting a listing in the banner’s GTA stores to start.

“We actually didn’t know for sure it was going to be oil based when we were developing it,” Gillespie admits. “When we moved to oil based and were trialing different formulations and we nailed one, we started thinking how do we make this super friendly to consumers?” That’s when the entrepreneurs settled on the eye catching, and also sustainable, minty green glass bottle.

The duo can’t wait to merchandise the product, and trying to get out to every single location to really showcase it and give it a push wherever it is moving the most. Minitier could make sense in a lot of locations: there is a trend toward oral beauty right now, but it’s an all natural product as well, while breath fresheners have historically been a checkout impulse purchase.

Sampling is a factor that will drive trial. Although Minter comes in 30ml litre tincture, there are 5ml tincture bottles for contactless sampling.

They are discussing shelf talkers as an effective way to stand out consumers at shelf, but both admit that as a brand, they’re not quite there yet; for now, the product will be displayed in its own box to draw eyeballs at Sobeys locales.