Shoppers are becoming more focused on health and wellness — and they are making the connection between oral health and overall health — so they increasingly are moving from the value segment to premium products, not to mention oral care regimens.
“With more than 500 SKUs in the category, shoppers can find it overwhelming and complicated to select the right oral care products. GlaxoSmithKline understands the importance of good oral health, as families spent $102 billion for dental services last year,” stated Janet Carter Smith, VP corporate development for GSK.
Clearly the challenge is how to help consumers connect with the products that offer the best solutions for them and their loved ones; however, many manufacturers are working to overcome those hurdles by developing products with added benefits.
For example, while the toothpaste segment has experienced very modest growth — up less than 2% for the 52 weeks ended Oct. 31 at food, drug and mass (excluding Walmart), according to SymphonyIRI Group — those products that provide therapeutic and sensitivity benefits helped fuel growth, as evidenced by GSK’s Sensodyne Pronamel toothpaste, which experienced strong double-digit growth during the same 52-week period.
There’s also an opportunity to drive growth in the oral care segment by encouraging consumers to use a regimen of products. For example, Procter & Gamble has seen success with its Crest 3D White regimen of strips, toothpaste, rinse and toothbrush.
“What we are finding ... is that as we design products to look like they go together and we design them to work together, more and more consumers are buying regimens,” said Kevin Kelley, North America category associate director for oral care at P&G. “We are actually seeing, in the latest 12 months, a 12% increase in the number of households [that] buy two-plus segments at a time.”
To further drive sales of 3D White, P&G is shipping at the end of December its new 3D White Whitestrips 2 Hour Express, which promises noticeably whiter teeth in just two hours. The new product, priced at about $54, has four whitening treatments that can last up to three months each.