Rembrandt put teeth whitening by toothpaste on map in the US. Launched in 1990 by Den-Mat Corp., it was sold to Gillette in 2004. But P&G was forced to shed the toothpaste brand when it acquired Gillette. Johnson & Johnson's McNeil-PPC took over in 2005 when the Rembrandt’s sales were estimated to be around well above $60 million a year.
But the brand’s stock has fallen considerably with new players, especially Crest, commanding the lion's share of the whitening toothpaste category. According to IRI, Rembrandt’s sales for the 52 weeks ended Sept. 4, 2016 fell 30.70% to $1.57 million.
According to Rich Sorota, president and chief executive officer, Ranir’s acquisition of Rembrandt is a clear fit with the company’s purpose of delivering affordable, healthy smiles,
“There is a gap in the whitening category today for a value oriented brand to bring more consumers into this sector as the key barrier to entry is price. We believe Rembrandt can provide that entry point into the whitening category that is not currently being met by other brands today,” Sorota told Happi.
By focusing on the value segment and leveraging new whitening technologies, Ranir believes “Rembrandt can own a unique niche in the whitening category that will give more consumers access to the whitening category and its benefits,” he said.
Ranir, a maker of store brand private label consumer oral care products, owns the Plackers oral care range too.
Sorota told Happi, Ranir is exploring options to expand Rembrandt into other oral care subcategories.
“We know whitening users use multiple products to attain whitening benefits, including floss, toothbrushes and mouthwashes. We believe the Rembrandt brand has the ability to compete in these additional oral care categories. Timing for expansion is under review as we integrate the Rembrandt business into Ranir,” Sorota said.
Even with two national brands in its stable, Ranir recognizes the sway private label has with many consumers, and the potential for growth.
“More consumers are understanding the value and quality of private label oral care. Consumers no longer see private label as an inferior product, but have realized that they provide great quality for a reasonable price – a trend that we are seeing in multiple oral care categories. Ranir continues to be one of the fastest growing players within the private label brand oral care segment and we expect to continue that momentum for the foreseeable future,” Sorota said
The privately-held company is keeping close to the vest on its annual revenues, but Sorota said Ranir’s five-year global sales CAGR of +7% is outpacing the category overall.
Yet, there are hurdles to clear when it comes to further growing the private label business.
“One of the major challenges continues to be increasing household penetration of private brand oral care products,” he noted. “The US market is grossly underdeveloped relative to other markets globally, by providing consumers access to affordable, high quality private brand oral care products that we believe we can enhance consumer’s overall oral health in the US and globally.”