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All-in-one toothpastes brighten shelves


Consumers are becoming more aware that keeping the mouth and teeth clean is a key component of a healthy lifestyle. Other factors driving sales of oral care products include the burgeoning older population in the United States needing more oral health care, and the demand for natural and cosmetic solutions to dental health issues.

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Overall, sales of oral care products at multi-outlets rose by 2% or more for the 52-week period ended July 20, according to IRI. Portable oral care posted a 15% sales increase, while power toothbrushes rose nearly 8%. Toothbrushes and toothpaste rose 3% and 2%, respectively.

The whitening category was down 1%, but suppliers say these products continue to attract shoppers to the drug store.

“The whitening segment is the top segment right now within the total toothpaste category. A lot of the products in the aisle have additional benefits in addition to whitening,” said Laura Eggert, shopper insights manager for oral health at GSK Consumer Healthcare. “Whitening is a driving benefit for product choice among consumers right now. People expect toothpaste to give fresh breath and [fight] cavities, but what they also want is a whiter smile.”

Products with multiple benefits also are popular. “There’s certain folks who love these all-in-one toothpastes because they get everything in one,” Eggert said. “It’s a conversation that happens from the dentist’s office. But I also think that competitors have launched these products because they have seen some success.”

Packaged Facts projects that by 2017, retail sales of oral care products will approach $6 billion, reflecting a compound annual growth rate of approximately 4%. Part of that growth is being driven by increasing consumer interest in natural products.

“When it comes to oral care, the biggest issue that most consumers have today is gum recession and sensitivity. Gum recession is affecting everyone, not just older people,” said Patrice LeMaire, spokesman for Curaprox, which manufactures a charcoal-based whitening toothpaste. “In the whitening segment, most of the whitening systems on the market are going to be chemical-based, which we think are harmful. Black is White is the first natural alternative to these chemical-based whiteners.”

Eggert said GSK Consumer Healthcare is still trying to see how motivating “natural” is for consumers.

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