Quest for the perfect smile helps lift oral care category

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Quest for the perfect smile helps lift oral care category


America’s selfie-, Instagram- and overall social media-obsessed habits are propelling growth of oral care products promising instant fixes.

(To view the full Category Review, click here.)

Beyond millennials in search of the perfect smile, products for all ages with sensitive teeth, natural formulas and new gadgets to solve dental problems also helped lift sales in almost every oral care category for the 52-week period ended Dec. 25, 2016 across multi-outlets, as reported by IRI.

But first, back to looking good for selfies. Power toothbrushes, generally thought to produce optimal results with minimal muscle, expanded 9% during the period tracked by IRI.

Retailers are enthusiastic they’ll be able to fetch even higher price tags thanks to more powerful entries, such as smart brushes. One is Oral-B Genius 8000s, which has position detection connecting to smartphones through an Oral-B app, which helps users know if they are brushing properly. There’s also the Philips Sonicare FlexCare Platinum Connected toothbrush, which features location sensors that inform users if they’ve missed a spot.

Another testament to the instant oral fix is the unstoppable power of whitening strips and bleach, which continue to generate gains, up as a category more than 3%. The most recent and supped-up versions of Crest Whitestrips — White Luxe — reported a more than 300% gain.

Convenient portable oral products to ensure fresh breath when getting up close for photo opportunities — or whatever the need — jumped 10.4%.

Whitening rules in toothpastes as well, with the Crest 3-D franchise churning out double-digit growth figures, along with Crest Complete Multi Benefit Plus Scope Outlast — a double duty, time-saving option that garnered gains of 80%.

While these more sophisticated oral care products are boosting register rings, chains also are getting impulse sales from quick oral solutions. Several offer “instant gratification” breath hacks, such as Dentyne Ice, which promises 40 minutes of fresh breath after chewing for 20 minutes. Trident also is merchandised near oral care as a convenient avenue for a quick teeth cleaning. As part of Trident’s Oral Care Program, dentists are provided gum to give to patients. The brand hammers home its oral health positioning on social media with #cherishyourteeth.

The imprint millennials make on dental care can’t be discounted, with more footage turned over to brands marketing to them. Part of this is the influx of natural options, which also are getting a thumbs-up from all ages as new products bow.

Hello is an example of a toothpaste shaking up the status quo. “I want people to see something else besides images of extracted teeth when they look at our package,” said hello Products’s founder and CEO Craig Dubitsky. The lineup is void of microbeads, triclosan, dyes or artificial sweeteners.

The natural invasion also has helped Tom’s of Maine, a pioneer of natural oral care, continue to enjoy growth, most recently posting a 22% jump in sales.

Plaque HD, a new toothpaste that helps consumers see where they are missing as they brush, contains a plant-based, gluten-free ingredient that sticks to plaque — that otherwise wouldn’t be seen — left on teeth. The greenish tint shows users where to put forth more effort. The company recently expanded its portfolio with a mouth rinse. According to the brand, Plaque HD Remineralizing Mouth Rinse promotes oral hygiene by strengthening and re-mineralizing tooth enamel, while also gently whitening teeth, preventing new stains and freshening breath.