Nestle and Colgate-Palmolive bite into mouth market

The European Commission today approved a joint venture between Swiss food giant Nestle and Colgate-Palmolive to develop and market oral-care gums and lozenges in Britain and Ireland.

Financial details for the 50-50 joint venture were not disclosed, but the venture will start up next year.

The project combines the world’s largest food and oral-care companies in an effort to capture a slice of a market currently dominated by Cadbury Schweppes and Wrigley.

Colgate Dental Gum, which is meant to reduce plaque and clean teeth, will be the new venture’s first product.

According to Cadbury, the “functional confectionery” market is growing at 5.2% a year, twice the rate of standard products, and generates global sales of about €8.59bn or 10% of the total sugar and chocolate market.

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