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March 23, 2012

Brushing Up

By Anna Wolfe

Stocking oral care products that address consumers' top concerns will better position grocery stores for increased sales in this billion-dollar market.

Like other segments of the U.S. economy, the oral care market has had its ups and downs. Knowing which product categories are hot, and which ones aren't, can help buyers create a set that will give them something to smile about.

According to Mintel's 2011 research, the overall market is almost $3.5 billion and expected to grow to $3.9 billion by 2016. Oral care products that offer multiple benefits, such as whitening toothpaste that is also designed to protect tooth enamel, will continue to drive growth in 2012, according to the Chicago-based market research firm.

Brighter Sales
Highlighting multitasking oral care products can help grocers reach the most active buyers of these products. According to Mintel's June 2011 Oral Care Concerns report, adults younger than 45, consumers with household incomes of $75,000 to $99,000, and households with children are more likely to be concerned about a variety of oral care issues. And while cavity prevention is the No. 1 concern when shopping for toothpaste, 82 percent of adults 18 to 24 have purchased tooth-whitening products and are also seeking bad breath control, according to Mintel's research.

Top Consumer Concerns
Very/Somewhat Concerned Percent
Plaque Buildup 70%
Tartar Buildup 69
Cavities 66
Yellowing of Teeth 64
Thinning Enamel 63
Bad Breath 58
Source: Mintel February 2011 survey of 2,000 consumers

Not all segments of the oral care industry are booming. Sales of toothbrushes decreased from $723 million in 2007 to $669 million in 2010. During the same period, sales of floss, tools and accessories — including replacement heads for the popular power toothbrushes — increased 19 percent, from $477 million to $553 million.

Brushing Up With Kids
Brushing teeth is a key part of oral hygiene and helps reduce plaque, tartar and cavities — three of the top oral health concerns. Teaching children the task can be a challenge.

Back in 2002, Brush Buddies, based in Fontana, Calif., launched its talking toothbrush that teaches children to brush for the dentist-recommended two minutes. And according to the company's research, the talking brush helps extend children's brush times. In a brushing-time study of U.S. children conducted in January and February, children brushed 63 seconds on average. The same children using Brush Buddies increased their time to 109.2 seconds, a 73 percent improvement.

Last July, the company added the Justin Bieber Singing Toothbrush, which plays two of the pop singer's songs. The item is an impulse buy, notes Jennifer Reza, Brush Buddies' director of consumer products: "It's fun and cute. And at a retail price of $9.99 to $14.99, it's an affordable purchase for most households." The Justin Bieber oral care line includes manual toothbrushes, floss, flossers and replacement heads. In its first five months on the market, the toothbrush has had more than $12 million in sales, according to the company.

The American Dental Association recommends replacing a toothbrush every 90 days, and promoting this message in-store can drive sales.

Stocking your oral care department with multitasking products, as well as tools and accessories that appeal to your shoppers, can position this category for growth in your stores.

 

 

Source :

progressivegrocer.com

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