Consumers reach for simple, value-added oral care

Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK —A glowing smile and fresh breath still are important to U.S. consumers, but there is evidence that the weakened economy impacted the oral care market in 2009, as shoppers became less brand-loyal and increasingly turned toward such value-added products as battery toothbrushes, according to research firm Euromonitor International.

For the most part, this trend is expected to continue, and consumers likely will exhibit a willingness to pay more for products that make their oral care regimen easier, stated Euromonitor in its most recent oral care report. More specifically, Euromonitor predicted that most of the growth will be in “value-added,” “improved benefit” and “simplified” oral care products.

Several upcoming launches suggest that manufacturers are on this track. For example, McNeil-PPC is launching in September the new Listerine and Reach Total Care + Whitening collection. Positioned as a premium multibenefit oral care portfolio, the lineup includes the Listerine Total Care + Whitening mouthwash; Reach Total Care + Whitening toothbrush, which delivers a whitening power with whitening calcium carbonate bristles; and Reach Total Care + Whitening floss, which features micro-grooves to grab more plaque and baking soda to help whiten teeth.

In its recent second-quarter earnings announcement, Colgate-Palmolive noted that new product launches in the balance of the year include Colgate Sensitive Multi Protection toothpaste. The toothpaste is designed to provide long-term relief from sensitivity with regular use, as well as fight cavities, plaque and tartar.

Church & Dwight recently introduced its new Arm & Hammer Whitening Booster Plus Enamel Strengthening, which is designed for people who want effective whitening without adding an extra step to their routines. Before brushing, the formula is to be applied on top of a fluoride-containing toothpaste, and then teeth are brushed as normal.

Meanwhile, Dr. Fresh continues to make oral care fun for children with the launch of its new Hot Wheels FireFly Light Up toothbrush, available at Meijer in late August or early September. A cousin to the original FireFly, the Hot Wheels brush features the brand’s signature light-up technology.

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