Nestlé and Colgate-Palmolive have agreed to jointly develop and market a range of oral care products to be sold alongside confectionery items, starting with Colgate Dental Gum in the UK.

The gum - aimed to clean teeth and freshen breath - will be first test marketed in the UK, Ireland and Canada. The agreement, subject to regulatory approval, is expected to become effective from early 2004.

Nestlé said expansion of Colgate Dental Gum and other new products will depend on its success in these initial markets.