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Up From the Dentist's Chair

By: Leslie Benson
Posted: February 3, 2009, from the February 2009 issue of GCI Magazine.

With natural oral care ingredients on the rise, brands are also looking into offering more sustainable options in packaging. Sheffield Pharmaceuticals, for example, uses postconsumer recycled materials for cartons and master cases, which by their nature are recyclable. “Use of aluminum tubes is on the rise,” says Sheffield’s Ana de Oliveira, “and there’s a focus by tube manufacturers to offer postconsumer resin tubes.”

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For Whiter Image, the company offers chair-side whitening at luxury locations, including at V Spa at Trump, Wynn Las Vegas, Greenbrier, Encore Las Vegas and Planet Beach franchises. Whiter Image also sells OTC products, including the Whiter Image ToGo Whitening Pen—which features 4.5 mL triple-action mint flavored gel, delivering 9% stabilized hydrogen peroxide. In addition, Whiter Image will launch its new Chic-Flic ToGo Whitening Pen in 2009, targeted toward female consumers with a teeth whitening gel on one side and an 80% organic lip plumper on the other. “We talked to [representatives from] Sephora and other retailers when researching the product’s concept,” says Stevens, “and they told us that lip plumpers sell 5-to-1 in their stores when compared to lip glosses. So, we made the Chic-Flic a lip plumper, and its mint flavor serves as a breath freshener.”

Similar to Beyond Dental & Health, Whiter Image has experienced tremendous growth since entering the industry in early 2008. “We have received a ton of interest globally, because teeth whitening is in its infancy in many countries,” Stevens says. “Other than in the U.S., we’re launching in South Africa, Mexico, Ireland, Canada and Poland.”

For private label manufacturer Sheffield Pharmaceuticals, global interest has also peaked. “We have companies from as far as Australia, England and France doing business with Sheffield,” says Ana de Oliveira, vice president of sales and operations. “There is definitely an emphasis on tooth whiteners, and while this trend seems to be big in the U.S. and in the U.K., this is now a growing product that’s in demand in other countries.” In addition to requests for whitening toothpastes and tray applications, Oliveira says she receives orders for mouth rinses to accompany bleaching whiteners. On a weekly basis, her company also receives requests for calcium peroxide, hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide-based teeth whiteners, as well as more natural oxidizers.

Merging Natural and Classic

With beauty brands across all segments turning to more naturally derived, sustainable and certified organic ingredients, the teeth whitening market isn’t far behind.

“Consumer demand indicates that natural and organic products are sought after, and all indications reflect that this is the fastest-growing product category,” says Oliveira. “Depending on our customer requirements, we have explored the use of natural abrasives and enzymes, as well as oxidizers for whitening products. The addition of natural oils or extracts also enhances a formula’s appeal and offers the consumer that extra ‘uniqueness and experience.’ There is also a concerted effort to find new and exciting ingredients such as licorice extract, pomegranate, cranberry seed, goji berry, chamomile, mangosteen, marigold and edelweiss for the manufacturing of products. However, we continue to receive weekly requests from the traditional customers who prefer the conventional flavors such as peppermint or wintergreen.”