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Smile—Oral Care Market Set to Grow

By: Carrie Lennard, Euromonitor International.
Posted: January 20, 2011, from the January 2011 issue of GCI Magazine.

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However, manual toothbrushes proved to be more resilient to the tough economic conditions, registering 4% value growth in 2009 compared to 2% for power toothbrushes. While many markets continued to see robust growth, price remains a major obstacle in emerging countries. That said, there is still a growing trend toward battery toothbrushes, if not yet electric toothbrushes, in developing markets.

Age Segmentation Helps Drive Sales in Mature Markets

Age segmentation is a major growth avenue being pursued by brand owners in a relatively mature category, with child-orientated products, in particular, increasing in popularity. As brands seek ways to sustain growth for toothpaste, products catering to children are showing potential.

Future opportunities for children’s toothpaste clearly exist in developing countries with high birth rates, but many consumers are not yet at the level of disposable income where they will buy separate toothpaste for their children at a premium price. In contrast, even developed countries with a low birth rate have shown strong growth in baby- and child-orientated oral care products, as parents are able to devote more resources to their children. For example, Italy and Germany are among those low birth rate countries where children’s toothpaste has done well. In Germany, there is already further segmentation in terms of toothpaste for babies and children. Colgate-Palmolive recently introduced three highly segmented child-variant toothpastes: Smiles 0–2, Smiles 2–6 and Smiles 6+ under the Colgate brand. It also introduced junior toothpaste under the Elmex brand, while rival Unilever did the same for the Signal brand.

Mexico, meanwhile, is in a contrasting situation. The birth rate is high but children’s toothpaste is not yet booming, accounting for less than 1% of toothpaste sales in 2009. Brands are, nonetheless, already making inroads with children’s products, mostly battery toothbrushes for children. The potential for children’s toothpaste is, therefore, still high.

Global Success of Whitening Toothpaste?

Whitening toothpaste is one of the most popular toothpaste types, with products present in more than 50 countries as of 2009.