As sales of whitening kits decline, whitening gums and mouthwashes take hold.
The U.S. oral care market is giving consumers plenty to smile about, offering a wide assortment of new products made possible through technological advances. More than 200 oral care items are launched in the U.S. every year, including dental tools, whitening kits, oral pain relievers, floss, toothbrushes, toothpaste, mouthwash and portable sprays plus denture cleaner and adhesives.
That said, the oral care market has idled in recent years, posting few gains between 2001 and 2006. According to Mintel’s April report, “The U.S. Oral Care Market,” the dental sector captured almost $3.9 billion in sales last year, up only 2 percent from 2005. (Breath-freshening and whitening products, such as gums and mints, were excluded.) The Mintel report attributes the slow growth to “cannibalization,” as new products replace older ones, rather than attracting new consumers and broadening the market.
According to Mintel, toothpaste is the market’s leading category with 33.6 percent of sales, while mouthwash and dental rinses represent 17 percent.
THE PHYSICAL HEALTH LINK New research shows a link between poor oral health and illnesses, such as diabetes, heart disease and certain types of cancer. Recent studies from Proctor & Gamble seem to support the findings.
“We’re seeing a surge in awareness among consumers about oral care and the body’s overall health,” says Diane Dietz, general manager of P&G North American Oral Care.
The company is tackling the issue through its Crest Oral B Pro-Health line. In September, Crest will launch its Pro-Health Night toothpaste and rinse, designed to protect the mouth from germs during sleep. In addition to freshening breath, the new line will also protect against gingivitis, plaque, cavities, tartar, sensitivity and stains. The formula is composed of stannous fluoride and whitening ingredient sodium hexametaphosphate.
WHITENING WOES According to Mintel’s September 2005 report, “Non-Invasive Cosmetic and Dental Procedures in the U.S.,” dental whitening sales more than quadrupled from $435 million in 2000 to an estimated $2.1 billion in 2005. However, sales of whitening kits have been declining for the past four years, perhaps as a result of the growing number of whitening toothpastes and mouthwashes.
Companies are trying to reenergize the category with new at-home whitening kits, hoping to attract lapsed whitening users. This past March, Crest introduced Whitestrips Daily Multicare for consumers dissatisfied with how long whitening takes. Retailing for $39.99, the 42 mint strips are designed to be worn only five minutes a day, compared to the old 30-minute strips.
In August, Listerine will launch its own Whitening Quick Dissolving Strips, modeled after its successful PocketPaks, which melt in the mouth.
MOVING BEYOND STRIPS While whitening kit sales may have softened, whitening ingredients are increasingly found in other oral care products, such as toothpaste, mouthwash and gum. The Mintel report found that consumers now view whitening as an expectation rather than a value-added benefit. In September, Crest will introduce Scope White mouthwash, Crest Extra White Plus Scope toothpaste and Glide Whitening Plus Scope Flavor floss. The new products are designed to whiten teeth and freshen breath.
The mouthwash will be Scope’s first with a whitening element. In an attempt to reinvent its brand, Scope is targeting younger consumers by utilizing new media platforms, such as blogs, Web sites, MySpace and Facebook.
SuperSmile’s also getting into the whitening game with a new tooth polish and gum. The all-natural sugar-free SuperSmile Professional Whitening Gum is designed to whiten teeth and freshen breath, while making gums healthier and removing superficial surface stains. SuperSmile Quikee Whitening Tooth Polish is an on-the-go whitener, designed to be applied on teeth with the tip of the tongue after eating. It doesn’t require brushing or rinsing.
GUM AND THEN SOME Industry experts predict the next wave of oral care products will prevent gum recession and bad breath. The antibacterial, organic, portable and children’s markets are earmarked for growth, too.
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews