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Bite’s Back in Oral Care
By: Colin Decker, Euromonitor International
Posted: January 31, 2012, from the January 2012 issue of GCI Magazine.
page 4 of 5As populations in many major oral care markets continue to age, these older consumers are looking for ways to stave off old age and the variety of maladies that comes with it. In Japan, denture care is a fast-growing category and is expected to expand its market share in the near future as brand owners create products that are easier to use and have greater appeal. Older German consumers are also increasingly focused on maintaining dental health, which has helped to maintain growth levels in the country through the global economic crisis.
Mouthwash has emerged as a strong growth driver in growing markets such as China and India. In China, mouthwashes/dental rinses were the clear leader in terms of current value growth in 2010 over the previous year, with sales increasing by 17%. Growth was underpinned by a rising focus on grooming in urban areas, with consumers keen to avoid bad breath. In India, mouthwashes/dental rinses value sales are still small, accounting for less than 2% of oral care in 2010, but grew by 70% in that year. This robust growth was supported by increasing consumer demand for products to augment the daily oral care regimen, coupled with increasing product availability and penetration, particularly in urban areas.
Products viewed as herbal and/or natural are also very popular around the world, especially in countries that have fewer historical ties to modern oral care. A notable trend in 2010 was the increasing preference of consumers in India for herbal and ayurvedic-based toothpastes. These are perceived to be more “natural” than standard products, and herbal and ayurvedic-based toothpastes saw increasing traction in 2010, as consumers veered toward oral care alternatives perceived as more natural or healthy. In China, there is a growing interest in traditional herbal medicine—specifically benefiting the brand Yunnan Baiyao, which contains a traditional herbal remedy to inhibit gingival bleeding, repair mouth ulcers, relieve gum pain and swelling, and eliminate bad breath.
BRIC Fueling Global Oral Care Growth
The BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India and China) are significant contributors to global oral care growth, with the four countries accounting for a $396 million increase in value sales from 2009 to 2010. Developing countries, including the BRICs, are playing a major role in sustaining the growth of basic oral care. Increasing frequency of usage, especially for toothpaste and toothbrushes, is driving this growth. Stronger hygiene awareness, pushed by major brands and many governments, is encouraging more frequent brushing of teeth, the usage of toothpaste when brushing and also the frequency of toothbrush replacement. In addition, growing middle-class consumer bases in all four countries are further driving demand for secondary oral care products.
India: Hot Spot for Future Oral Care Growth
Rural consumers in India (roughly 70% of the country’s population) are set to drive growth, thanks to rising awareness of the importance of oral hygiene and improving income levels. Consumers are switching from traditional, homemade solutions such as datun and neem leaves to using toothbrushes and toothpaste. Meanwhile, urban consumers are changing their toothbrushes more regularly than before, in line with dentists’ recommendations, due to rising oral hygiene awareness.
Outlook: Growth for Both Basic and Secondary Oral Care Products