Features

European Oral Care Market

November 28, 2006

European Oral Care Sales Show Signs of Recovery



Georgina Caldwell
European Cosmetic Markets



Compared to Americans, Europeans aren’t famed for their oral hygiene—we don’t even demand that our celebrities have a good set of knashers! Yet, the constant health campaigns and oral care messages are trickling through and more and more Europeans now have a daily oral hygiene routine. 

And manufacturers must have breathed a collective sigh of relief when the stagnant European cosmetics and toiletries markets came up trumps in the oral hygiene category. France put on 2.59% to exceed $680 million in 2005, according to ECM calculations based on figures from the FIP. Germany also reported a positive performance, with the IKW calculating a 2.2% increase to nearly $1.4 billion. The Italian market was less heady, mirroring the cosmetics and toiletries market’s overall stagnancy with a rise in value of 0.5% to nearly $710 million (Unipro). The UK was buoyant, building on last year’s growth with an increase of 5.45% to nearly $735 million, according to TNS Worldpanel and Spain also turned in growth in every sub-sector, with value sales for the first half of 2006 reaching $174 million.

Still, the work isn’t over. Teeth cleaning products still achieve under 100% penetration across the Big 5, according to Taylor Nelson Sofres Worldpanel, with 98% of women brushing their teeth on average 15 times a week and 97% of men brushing their teeth 14 times. Unsurprisingly the British are the worst, with just 96% penetration. Furthermore, far from the three-step program that dentists would have us believe is an acceptable minimum in oral hygiene, mouthwash and floss just aren’t widely used.

Across the Big 5, mouthwash enjoys a penetration of just 12% and use of dental floss is even lower, with a penetration of just 7%. Here, however, at least the Brits don’t fare the worst; they are far more willing to go the extra mile than the French, where penetration for both mouthwash and floss is just 5%.

Mentadent’s Integral chewing gum  promises to keep teeth clean for up to three hours.
So how can manufacturers push ancillary oral hygiene products on reluctant consumers? This year several of the big multinationals have come up with the solution through multifunctional launches. Realizing that consumers across the Big 5 are perfectly happy with their toothpaste and manual brushes, they have worked hard to integrate mouthwash and floss into these two products. Unilever rolled out Signal (called Mentadent in some markets) C-Fresh toothpaste, using Core & Core technology to produce a gel toothpaste with a core of gel mouthwash. The toothpaste boasts the antibacterial action of a mouthwash and the protection and cleaning properties of a toothpaste. GSK brought out Odol-med3 Extreme Plus Mundspül-Lösing in Germany—claiming that this mouthwash could also reach the difficult to reach areas of the mouth, and therefore replace the floss step.

Toothbrushes That Do More



Toothbrushes are becoming multi-functional too, as manufacturers add tongue-cleaning panels and roll out toothbrushes that are capable of reaching into inter-dental spaces, such as Signal’s new Air Precision. In terms of format, however, the manual rules the roost. Electric/rechargeable brushes have a penetration of just 15% across the Big 5, dropping to just 3% in Italy. Germany is the most important market in terms of electric toothbrushes, with 27% penetration.

Incorporating several products into one wasn’t the only trick up manufacturer’s sleeves. Given its status as an essentially commodity product, the only way to grow the oral hygiene market is to either encourage consumers to spend more, or spend more often (or both). While the latter has been an ongoing strategy for a number of years, so far consumers just aren’t buying into it. Despite repeated recommendations from dentists to buy four toothbrushes a year and six toothpastes, the majority of consumers make do with considerably less. In France, consumers buy just 3.3 toothpastes a year on average. Now manufacturers are concentrating their efforts on increasing the number of oral hygiene occasions in the average day, by introducing dental chewing gums and portable sprays, such as Mentadent’s Integral chewing gum range, which promises to keep teeth clean for up to three hours and GSK’s Odol-med3 portable antibacterial mouthwash spray.

As for spending more, manufacturers are repositioning the oral hygiene category as a more cosmetic industry in order to persuade consumers that their mouths speak volumes, not only about their approach to personal hygiene, but also about their approach to beauty. They are now trying to persuade us that not only should our teeth be clean, but they should look good too.

A Slowdown in Whiteners


In the past five years, the growth of the whitening sector has been the industry’s attempt to up the ante in the oral hygiene stakes, but now that virtually every manufacturer is in the game, the industry is looking for new avenues to explore. The whitening sector slowed considerably this year, perhaps because professional whitening treatments are becoming more commonplace, and not a week goes by without another salon installing a cosmetic dentist to cater for the demand for a beautiful smile. Bad press regarding the corrosive effects that continual whitening treatments can have on the teeth has prompted several brands to reassess their whitening offering, emphasizing the natural elements of treatments and toothpastes. Guaber’s Blanx, for example brought out several whitening kits with active ingredient artic lichen and bamboo micro-granules to produce a non-abrasive whitening effect.

Now, manufacturers have jumped on European’s biggest fear—aging—and adopted it as their own. Europe’s aging population—Italy, not Japan, has the oldest population in the world—means that anti-aging treatments have boomed in the skin care sector and with the advent of Colgate’s Time Control, no doubt the other oral care brands are waiting in the wings to assess the viability of bringing out their own anti-aging variant in hopes of providing a sales boost.
blog comments powered by Disqus
  • Long Term Sustainability In the Nonwovens Market

    Long Term Sustainability In the Nonwovens Market

    August 23, 2016
    Learn more at Cleaning Products USA, Nov. 9-11, 2016

  • Fro Yo!

    Fro Yo!

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||August 22, 2016
    Project Beauty dishes out Hairgurt, a line of vitamin-rich hair shampoos and conditioning masques.

  • TLC for Those Who Need It Most

    TLC for Those Who Need It Most

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||August 22, 2016
    New curriculum debuting at Bellus Academy helps estheticians treat a population that needs TLC.

  • The International Top 30 Household and Personal Products Companies

  • Special Effects

    Special Effects

    Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor||August 1, 2016
    Fall 2016 color cosmetics reflect light and offer a focus on elements like pigment, slip and wear.

  • Works of Art

    Works of Art

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||August 1, 2016
    These suppliers know that the container can be just as important as the juice to entice luxury shoppers.

  • Silent Partners

    Silent Partners

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||August 1, 2016
    From research & development to logistics to confidentiality, savvy distributors help finished formulators achieve their goals

  • Sustainability is Omnipresent

    Sustainability is Omnipresent

    Christine Esposito , Associate Editor||July 1, 2016
    Industry stakeholders convene in New York City for Organic Monitor’s annual event

  • Perceived Perfection

    Perceived Perfection

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||July 1, 2016
    From primers to pressed powders, facial cosmetics help create the illusion of a flawless complexion.

  • Preserve & Serve

    Preserve & Serve

    Melissa Meisel , Associate Editor||July 1, 2016
    Suppliers with innovative preservatives provide staying power for formulations.

  • Quaternized Guar Is a Natural Solution

    Quaternized Guar Is a Natural Solution

    Tom Schoenberg, Schoenberg Consulting||July 1, 2016
    The polymer has applications in a range of skin and hair care formulas that does not build up on hair with repeated use

  • The Top 50

    The Top 50

    June 30, 2016
    A look at the biggest US companies in the global household and personal products industry.

  • Take Notice

    Take Notice

    Melissa Meisel , Associate Editor||June 1, 2016
    Packaging trends revolve around trendy artwork, eco-conscious materials—and portability is a plus too!

  • Virtual Reality

    Virtual Reality

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||June 1, 2016
    An update on nature-identical ingredients for cosmetics and personal care products.

  • Shiseido Advances in the US

    Shiseido Advances in the US

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||June 1, 2016
    New facility in Windsor, NJ demonstrates its dedication to the US and other markets outside Japan.

  • Get Smart About Your Big Data

    Get Smart About Your Big Data

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||June 1, 2016
    Experts at the IRI Growth Summit explain how to make personal connections with customers.

  • For the Love of Lipids

    For the Love of Lipids

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||June 1, 2016
    AOCS and SCC to deliver a program geared to cosmetic chemists of the important role that fats and oils play in a healthy skin

  • April in Paris

    April in Paris

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||June 1, 2016
    In-Cosmetics sets attendance record in its return to the City of Light.

  • Salon Selectives

    Salon Selectives

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||June 1, 2016
    The inside story about what stylists think about the state of the industry and the state of your products and ingredients.

  • New Skin Care Ingredients

    May 13, 2016
    Here is a list of new skin care ingredients available from select suppliers

  • Erasing the Signs of Aging

    Pauline Rouaud-Tinguely, David Boudier, Sylvain Mazalrey, Jenny Laumonier, Isabelle Cruz, Gu00e9raldine Bon, Karine Perrinet, Bu00e9ranger Tassy, Brigitte Closs, Silab R&D, Saint-Viance, France||May 2, 2016
    Silab researchers explain how by acting on the endogenous hyaluronic acid pathway.

  • Bite Now

    Bite Now

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||May 2, 2016
    Is the time finally right for beauty-from-within to move into the mainstream?

  • Boxed Out?

    Boxed Out?

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||May 2, 2016
    Salon sales outpace mass-market results in the highly competitive, highly fashionable and yes, highly-colorful hair color cat

  • That’s Awesome!

    That’s Awesome!

    May 2, 2016
    Extracts & Ingredients highlights the newest ideas in efficacious oils for the personal care market.

  • Wacker Builds on Its Success

    Wacker Builds on Its Success

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director ||May 2, 2016
    The silicone maker had a good 2015 and expects the gains to continue in 2016, driven, in part, by success in the Americas and

  • I Want It All

    I Want It All

    Melissa Meisel , Associate Editor||May 2, 2016
    Skin care moves beyond the basics with pampering formulations with unique components and novel functions.

  • Who Makes That?

    Who Makes That?

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||April 1, 2016
    From concept and formulation to testing and filling, today’s contract manufacturers perform a range of services for marketers

  • The Zika Threat

    The Zika Threat

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||April 1, 2016
    Concerns are spreading about transmission of this mosquito-borne disease.