The maturity of the global oral hygiene market means that the only way for manufacturers to tap into new growth is to develop increasingly sophisticated products that meet the growing demands of consumer's oral care routines. Now people want cleaner, whiter teeth, fresh breath and healthy gums. And if that can all be found in one product, then so much the better.
According to Euromonitor's Claire Briney, consumer expectations in the category are high, but the dividends are even higher for those manufacturers that can meet those expectations.
The maturity of the North America market in particular has meant that product innovation has been world-leading. Europe tends to follow behind with regards oral care trends and new product launches, with the UK market often serving to bridge the gap between the two.
In the North America the emergence of smaller, niche players providing eye-catching products has created a well established category. One of those players is Dessert Essence, a Canadian company that has just launched a paraben- and SLS-free toothpaste. Playing on its use of natural ingredients, the premium products retails at $4.48 and comes in Cinnamon Burst, Mint and Citrus Fresh varieties - playing on the growing interest in increasingly adventurous flavors.
Whitening still remains a tremendous selling point for oral care products and following up on this trend Wal-Markt has added to the Equate brand with its Extra Whitening and Maximum-Care Whitening toothpastes in the US. Both formulas are said to prevent cavities, freshen breath, whiten teeth and remove stains and retail for $1.97.
It has long been known that calcium is a vital constituent for strong teeth. Now Church & Dwight, maker of the Mentadent brand, has launched a toothpaste with liquid calcium under the Replenishing White label. Priced at $1.99, the product is said to replenish surface enamel, which in turn helps to whiten and prevent stains naturally. It also strengthens teeth and helps fight cavities, making it a good family toothpaste.
Sensitive teeth have always been a strong niche market for a number of key oral care players. CVS is attempting to firm up its hold on this product area with its Maximum Strength Sensitive Toothpaste with Flouride, which will be sold in its own-brand stores throughout the US at $3.99. Muscling in on the desire for increased functionality, the product provides extra whitening and cavity prevention for those with sensitive teeth.
The rise in multi-functional oral hygiene products has been emulated in all categories, with mouthwashes, whitening strips and even toothbrushes all witnessing a similar trend. But with no end in sight for consumers' willingness to explore this type of product, industry experts believe that this pattern of product development is likely to continue for at least the next few years.
This range of products is from a selection contained on Mintel's Global New Products Database.