The consumption of chewing gum is growing in Nepal as Nepalis from even the remote parts of the country have become fond of this synthetic food item. As a result, from FY 2008/09 to FY 2018/19, Nepal's import of chewing gum increased 19 percent on a year-on-year basis. In FY 2018/19, the import amounted to Rs 718.7 million, an increment of 123 percent from Rs 322.21 million in FY 2017/18.
Given the market potential, the government should focus on increasing production of chewing gum and support the local confectionaries to enhance their capacity so that the domestic production can meet the growing demand in the country. Furthermore, the government should declare the production of chewing gum as tax-free for local producers. The tax waiver facility should be extended to wholesalers, distributors and retailers to increase the competitiveness of domestic products. Likewise, chewing gum manufacturers should be protected through incentives, subsidies, and finally by levying higher tariff rate on imported products.
According to market research and consulting firm Mordor Intelligence, the global chewing gum market is expected to reach USD 22.27 billion by 2024, growing at a rate of 4.3 percent from 2019 to 2024. This trend also indicates the opportunities available for Nepali producers in the global chewing gum market. If Nepali confectionaries can produce chewing gums having a unique flavour, distinct identity, assured quality and required quantity at relevant price points, there is also a huge potential to export Nepal's chewing gum to international markets.