Lever, affiliate of Anglo-Dutch Unilever, made its debut in the Chilean chewing gum market as of January 2001. Lever has introduced dental hygiene gum (sugar free with dental hygiene ingredients), which it is importing from Europe. The total value of chewing gum sales in Chile is estimated to be US$60m per year. Sugar free gum now represents 50% of all gum sales in Chile. According to Lever management there is a global trend toward the use of this type of gum to complement traditional dental hygiene products.

Lever’s medium term goal in Chile is to achieve a 20% share of sugar free gum sales. Given the strong acceptance of dental hygiene gum in Chile, management expects other contenders to enter the market. Lever already sells traditional dental hygiene products in Chile including toothpaste, toothbrushes and complementary products, with respective market shares of 70%, 25%, and 5%.

By Steve Lewis, just-food.com correspondent