Nestlé, the world’s largest consumer food company, and Colgate-Palmolive, the world’s number one toothpaste maker, are to join forces to challenge Wrigley, the world’s number one gum maker, for leadership of the dental chewing gum market.

Nestlé and Colgate-Palmolive have signed an agreement to develop and market a new range of “portable oral care” products. Their initial joint product will be Colgate Dental Gum, which will be test marketed in Canada, Ireland and the UK, reported the Financial Times.

Nestlé’s move into a specialist sector of the chewing gum market comes only six months after rival Cadbury Schweppes bought Adams, the second biggest gum maker. Last year Nestlé was also one of the unsuccessful bidders for US confectioner Hershey, which is the world’s number three gum maker.