Health trend drives gum sales in Saudi Arabia

The health trend continued to drive demand in urban areas and pushed the growth of sugar-free gum sales at regional level.

Retail value sales of gum in Saudi Arabia grew by 2% (constant local currency retail value) in 2009. This performance was driven by strong demand for functional gum, which grew by 6% in retail value in 2009. Research shows that functional and sugar-free gum demand was driven by rising awareness of its oral health benefits among adults and children. This trend was driven by extensive television advertising for leading brands such as Extra and Extra for Kids from The Wrigley Co Ltd, and Clorets and Dirol from Cadbury Adams ME SAL.

Strong catalysts for growth also included several new launches introduced during previous years and 2009 (such as Happydent and Mentos from Perfetti Van Melle Group, Wrigley’s Extra Professional White and Gandour Sugar-free gum from Saudi Chewing Gum Co). According to Euromonitor International’s findings, packaging was another important area of supplier innovation, with successful examples in 2009 including Wrigley’s Extra Go and Perfetti Van Melle Group’s Mentos economy pack. Both products are presented in re-sealable plastic packs and are aimed at people on the move for consumption anywhere and anytime.

Future direction

Retail volume sales of confectionery in MENA are expected to grow by 16% over the 2009-2014 period, according to Euromonitor International’s projections. Research shows that regional demand will be driven by gradual economic recovery and the expansion of more premium confectionery categories, like chocolate, among middle-class consumers. Conversely, sales growth will be partly constrained by health/obesity concerns with regard to sugar and chocolate confectionery in large urban areas.

Retail volume sales of gum are projected to grow by around 20% over 2009-2014 in Saudi Arabia. Rising health awareness and gradual economic recovery will drive demand for health-oriented gum formats, particularly functional and sugar-free lines. According to Euromonitor International’s findings, child-oriented products, particularly sugar-free variants, will be an area of considerable potential in the country, a trend which will be both consumer- and supplier-driven. Child-oriented variants, similar to Extra For Kids from The Wrigley Co Ltd, are expected to be introduced by other international companies such as Cadbury Adams Middle East SAL and Perfetti Van Melle Group.

Euromonitor International will be speaking at Sweets & Snacks Middle East 2010, October 31 – November 2 in Dubai. For more information, please visit the event website.