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Gum production shifts to Latin America, says Leatherhead

By Oliver Nieburg+

05-Sep-2013
Last updated on 11-Sep-2013 at 12:15 GMT

Gum production grows in Brazil, Mexico and China, according to data from market analysts Leatherhead
Gum production grows in Brazil, Mexico and China, according to data from market analysts Leatherhead

Global gum production is moving to two major Latin American nations, while Chinese gum manufacturing has also risen is prominence.

According to data from Leatherhead Food Research, the US remains the top gum producing country and the largest global market in retail value sales. However, production is growing fast in Brazil and Mexico, while China is another climber.

US tops the charts

Primary market analyst at Leatherhead Jonathan Thomas told ConfectioneryNews: “I think the US has always been a major producer simply because it is the world’s largest consumer market by some distance, and because it has been home to market leader Wrigley.

"However, production appears to have shifted south in the Americas over the last decade, as a result of which Brazil and Mexico are becoming increasingly significant suppliers.”

Brazilian gum market

The Brazilian gum market was worth $825m in 2012. It is dominated by Mondelez International’s Trident brand.

Mondelez recently signed a $45m-a-year deal with promotions firm InnerWorkings ahead of the soccer World Cup 2014 and Olympic Games 2016, which both take place in Brazil.

Mondelez has identified Brazil has a priority gum market along with the other BRIC nations. 

Mexican youth

Mexico is another rapidly growing market with a young population.

Market analysts Canadean forecast a 8.9% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for gum sales  in Mexico between 2012 and 2017 with volumes currently at 177m kg due to rise 9.3% each year.

According to the CIA’s World Factbook, 45.5% of Mexicans are under 24, while 24.4% are under 14, creating a large consumer base for gum.

Chinese market core for Mondelez and Wrigley

“China has also become more important, owing to factors such as low labour costs and a steadily growing consumer market,” said Thomas.

Leatherhead valued the Chinese gum market at $850m in 2012. The country is among the priority gum markets for Mondelez and Wrigley  last year opened its largest factory in Guangzhou  with an investment of over $173.4m.

Turkey remains one of the top gum manufacturing countries at 45,000 MT in 2011/12 but its output has fallen around 25% from the latter part of the last decade.

“Turkey has traditionally been a major chewing gum supplier – this has been largely due to the presence of suitable raw materials such as sugar in the country,” said Thomas.

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