Listerine targets children's oral care market

By Katie Bird

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Oral care Pfizer

Listerine's new Smart Rinse mouthwash that changes color to give an
immediate visual cue of product efficacy is being marketed
specifically for children.

Owner of the brand Johnson and Johnson says the product is specifically designed for parents who are trying to educate their children into good oral care habits.

The product release is part of the company's plan to expand the Listerine brand that was acquired by Johnson and Johnson in summer 2006.

Listerine Smart Rinse - fun and functional "Listerine Smart Rinse was designed with fun and functionality in mind," said Kathleen Weber, vice president of Oral Care at Johnson and Johnson.

The mouth wash protects teeth against cavities and cleans the mouth beyond brushing alone, according to the company.

In addition, the company explains that the product tints the particles that are left behind by brushing to leave proof in the sink of a cleaner mouth.

This visual cue that the product is working provides an immediate benefit to the child that is to easy to see and understand, making oral care more fun and hopefully building better habits from a younger age.

The company quotes education psychologist Dr Michele Borba who explains the importance of visual cues in habit formation: "When kids can see the immediate benefits, they are more likely to adopt a new habit."

Listerine acquired in 2006 Listerine became part of Johnson and Johnson's oral care portfolio in June 2006 when it acquired the healthcare division of Pfizer.

The move tripled the size of the company's existing oral care business giving it a turnover in excess of $1bn a year and making oral care a focus area for future growth.

This focus was reiterated earlier this year when the company published 2007 year end results.

Commenting on future plans in 2008, CEO William Weldon said: "Ongoing product introductions and geographic expansion of major brands such as newly acquired Listerine and Nicorette, along with our key skin care brands will continue to be growth drivers and we will continue to focus on growth in emerging markets."

The year saw the company report sales of $61bn, a 14.6 per cent increase on 2006 figures, however the profit figures were less spectacular due to high restructuring costs.

For the full year, operating income fell 8.9 percent to $13.3bn while net profit dropped 4.3 percent to $10.6bn.

"Despite challenges in certain markets, our broad base of businesses allowed us to achieve solid results in 2007, building on our foundation of long-term profitable growth," said CEO William Weldon.

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