Oral care players jostle to carve up children’s category

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Oral care Mouthwash Crest and oral b

In the same week that P&G launched oral care brands aimed at the tween market, niche player Dr. Fresh claims it is now chasing the big players.

The California-based company said it registered a 33 percent growth in its sales during 2009, a year that was a major struggle for most personal care companies due to tough economic conditions.

The company says it is now the fastest growing company in the children’s oral care category, a category that is growing in importance as awareness of the specific requirements within this category gathers pace.

Dr. Fresh has targeted the children’s segment by providing products that are both functional, in helping to improve oral care, while also appealing to a child’s sense of fun.

Flashing lights encourage kids to brush their teeth

Its best-selling children’s toothbrush is the Firefly, which remains alight to ensure that the child brushes their teeth for the recommended time recommended by dentists.

However, competition in the children’s segment is hotting up, underlined by P&G’s launch this week of a line of products under the Crest and Oral B brands that will target the ‘tween’ market.

The ProHealth For Me range​will look to rival Colgate’s Total Protection brand, and the bespoke children’s’ products they bring to market.

Dr. Fresh wraps up travel kit category

Dr. Fresh has also become a leading player in the oral care travel kit category by capturing 59 percent of the US market, and is also aiming to extend its footing in the mouthwash and breath freshener categories.

Back in March the company made the leap into the natural oral care market with the acquisition of Dr. Ken’s Floss and Go product line.

The acquisition was the latest in an ambitious expansion program that began in October 2008 with the purchase of the Binaca Tex and Dantex oral care brands from New Jersey-based Ascendia after it went bankrupt.

Dr. Fresh’s yearly turnover is now around $60m a year, which by industry standards remains small, but with the company focusing on some of the fastest growing niches within the oral care category, it is looking to leverage its position to fund further acquisitions.

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