Kantar found that levels in the Middle East were higher than any other region in the world with Iran and Saudi Arabia the most frequent consumers.
Iranians the biggest chewers
Consumption rates in these countries outstripped levels in more developed Western Markets, such as the United States where the leading gum brand, Mars-owned Wrigley, is based.
Kantar’s Global TGI research found that 82% of people in Iran and 79% of those in Saudi Arabia chew gum, compared to 59% in the US.
“One reason behind this pattern could be because it is common practice to give customers chewing gum in place of small change,” said Kantar.
Kantar told ConfectioneryNews.com that it was unable to say whether gum manufacturers were losing out on sales in these high consuming markets due to gum being used currency.
Iranian gum market
The Iranian gum market is worth around US $181.9m in retail value sales, according to data from Euromonitor International.
Wrigley rules the roost in Iran with a 43% share. Global TGI said that the company’s Orbit brand was the most popular gum product.
Saudi gum market
The Saudi Arabian gum market is valued at US $117.6m by Euromonitor.
Local manufacturer Batook is the market leader with a 39%, with Wrigley second place with a 21% stake.
Kraft Foods, the second largest gum manufacturer worldwide, also has a strong footprint in these two high consuming markets through its Cadbury acquisition. It is the second largest gum maker in Iran and although its although its Cadbury’s share of the Saudi Arabian market declined from 2006 to 2010, according to Euromonitor, it still commands third place.
Tracy Allnutt, Head of Commercial Development at Global TGI said: “Competition is fierce amongst chewing gum brands. Our Factoid research gives marketers a brief overview of how they should shape their branding strategies by region.”
To reach its findings Global TGI collected information online and face-to-face, with a self-completion questionnaire.
Samples sizes differed from country to country to match demographics. The sample size in Iran was around 10,000 in Iran and 7,000 in Saudi Arabia.
In most countries some information is collected face-to-face, with a self-completion questionnaire subsequently left with respondents. However increasingly online is being offered as an option for respondents.