Brushing up on good habits

Innovation — and a bit of fun for the little ones — is the name of the game when it comes to manual and power toothbrushes as manufacturers look to grab consumers’ attention.

Sales of both manual and power toothbrushes are on the rise, albeit not as robust as other segments within the oral care category. According to SymphonyIRI Group, sales of manual toothbrushes rose 2.7% to $466.9 million at food, drug and mass (excluding Walmart) during the 52 weeks ended Aug. 7. During that same period, sales of power toothbrushes rose 2% to $216 million.

Looking to bolster sales, manufacturers are developing toothbrushes that promise to deliver the latest and greatest in oral health.

For example, Colgate-Palmolive has developed the new Colgate Optic White toothbrush, which contains both whitening cups and polishing bristles. The new toothbrush, as well as the new Colgate Optic White toothpaste, is being supported by an integrated marketing campaign, including both direct in-store and out-of-store support.

Meanwhile, manufacturers continue to inject a bit of fun into the segment in hopes of establishing healthy oral care habits among children at an early age.

Oral care company Sunstar Americas has inked a licensing agreement with film and entertainment company Lucasfilm to launch a new line of manual and power toothbrushes featuring iconic characters and lightsabers from the “Star Wars” film saga and “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” TV series. The brush flashes for one minute to encourage kids to brush longer. Available in three lightsaber designs, these toothbrushes have interdental bristles to clean hard-to-reach areas between teeth.

Manual toothbrush displays will be hitting store aisles in February 2012, with additional power and light-up toothbrushes coming in April 2012.

Dr. Fresh recently announced the introduction of its new pink Barbie rotary toothbrush, the newest cousin to the manufacturer’s popular FireFly light-up toothbrush. The Barbie battery-powered rotary toothbrush is available at Walgreens and H-E-B, and incorporates Dr. Fresh’s signature FireFly light-up timer — a colorful light that, when activated with the touch of a button, blinks for two minutes to keep children entertained and brushing for the appropriate length of time. In addition, its dual-action rotary vibrations are designed to remove more plaque than a manual toothbrush.


 The article above is part of the DSN Category Review Series. For the complete Oral Care Buy-In Report, including extensive charts, data and more analysis, click here.

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