Facts and Figures: COVID19 and the Toothpaste Sector

The Oral Care Industry

Due to rising consumer awareness about dental health across emerging nations, the importance of toothpaste and oral care products has increased significantly in recent years. The essence of oral-care products derives from the fact that the majority of oral health problems can be prevented and/or treated using commercially available products. World Health Organization (WHO) states that oral diseases affect almost 45% of the world population, posing a great health challenge for many countries, where the affected people deal with lifelong severe dental infections resulting in pain, disfigurement, and even death. Despite the life-threatening implications an oral disease can trigger, dental treatments are costly and are not covered by medical insurance companies. They only cover 5% for dentist visits and treatments in high-income countries, while in most low- to middle-income countries there is little policy to cover this type of medical expenditure.

Considering the number of oral diseases, the dental care industry serves both consumers and dental practitioners. Goods and oral care solutions are nuanced, and the level of skill and infrastructure required to manufacture these products vary substantially. However, due to the volume of customers worldwide, generic products that appeal to consumers outperform those that cater toward more specialized sectors in terms of value. As a result, the market's main sales and distribution channels comprise supermarkets and convenience stores, drugstores and pharmacies, specialty stores, and, more recently, the online retail marketplace.

 Toothpaste sales vs Covid-19

Since toothpaste falls under the category of commodities, the export of such products across borders was allowed with little to no restriction.

 The COVID-19 pandemic seemed to have a minor effect on the global toothpaste sector.  The demand for toothpaste was generally unaffected throughout the year. Nevertheless, the consumers around the world were more likely to favor brands that offered discounts on additional purchases, as well as products that were high in volume yet low in price due to the overall financial hardships. Lately, the rising number of dental conditions among children and adults as a result of bad dietary habits, as well as the increasing interest in herbal oral care products, are the key factors driving the toothpaste sector. Furthermore, the escalating trend of premium brands and consumers demanding more specialized solutions are propelling the market's growth.

 The top oral care brands have taken advantage of the increasing customer awareness, expanding their product categories with more specialized options such as teeth-whitening toothpastes and other innovative oral care products. The technological advances allowed brands to implement more competitive marketing strategies revolving around sustainability and the addition of natural ingredients such as herbs.

What About Statistics in the Oral Care Sector?

According to surveys, the international toothpaste market is expected to increase at a CAGR of 3.4 percent from 2019 to 2027. Specifically, the global market share was 17.75 Billion US Dollars and it is estimated to reach almost 22 Billion during the forecast period.

 The Asia-Pacific region holds the largest market share, mainly because of the high number of customers, the lifestyle shifts, and the rise in household expenses. Hence, the shift towards sustainable policies is utterly essential. In fact, industry leaders are putting an emphasis on environmentally friendly packaging. A lot of the top producers like Colgate are adopting waste-minimization techniques and developing entirely recyclable toothpaste tubes. Due to the single-use packaging, 300 million toothpaste tubes are dumped at landfills around the world to address the problem.

 As for the product categories, the herbal toothpaste segment will present the highest CAGR of 5.6% by 2027. There are various factors driving this growth, such as the global movement towards natural and eco-friendly personal care products and the consumers’ preference to eliminate chemicals in essential goods. Yet, the dominant product will still be the conventional toothpaste, as it is perceived to guarantee fresh breath, gum and teeth infections, and bacterial overgrowth. (Source: www.alliedmarketresearch.com/toothpaste-market-A11278)

Regarding the segmentation by region, the Asia- Pacific will hold the leading position, as it accounts for 60% of the global population. Domestic brands such as Dabur and Lion Corporation are gaining ground in the regional markets and they form partnerships with leading distribution companies to test their products on the global market.

It is worth noting that Europe and North America are projected to accelerate considerably due to lifestyle and dietary choices such as smoking and consuming coffee, acidic soda drinks, and meat, as it’s part of their culture. Thanks to the high levels of income and the citizens’ priority to proper dental hygiene habits, they turn towards the premiumization of dental care and sustainable practices.

 The Top 5 Brands in the World

The top brand names in the toothpaste sector are:

  1. Procter & Gamble
  2. Colgate-Palmolive
  3. Lion Corporation
  4. Unilever
  5. GlaxoSmithKline PLC

The majority of the shares are held by the above-mentioned companies, except Lion Corporation, which is based in Japan. The market is highly competitive with a lot of small regional brands, but these five hold the leading positions. This offers them the competitive advantage to expand their product portfolio and provide niche products, addressing more issues such as sensitivity and pain relief. In fact, GlaxoSmithKline PLC launched a mint toothpaste in 2018, specifically for customers with sensitive teeth and gums across significant markets. Plus, a year prior, Unilever Ghana Limited introduced a similar product to the market, but in three variants, whose unique formula offered holistic protection and treatment for sensitive teeth.

 Sources

www.alliedmarketresearch.com/toothpaste-market-A11278

 https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/oral-health

https://www.gdpuk.com/news/latest-news/3869-toothpaste-tubes-an-environmental-hazard

https://www.fortunebusinessinsights.com/toothpaste-market-104484

https://www.mordorintelligence.com/industry-reports/global-toothpaste-market


How Dental Care Earned Their Spot In eCommerce

How many times have you bought a toothbrush or toothpaste without even thinking about it? Probably more than you can count. And how many times did you use eCommerce for the purchase? Dental care is an important element of overall health and well-being, which is exactly why it is crucial to invest a little more thought into what kind of products you use. Luckily - according to an Oral Care Hygiene Market report, people are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of oral health for overall health, which has transformed the way we choose and buy dental care products.

Commodity goods and the law of demand

All commodities derive their value from their ability to be sold on the global market. The sale of commodities is a universal process that remains unchanged regardless of the product's use or the country that it is sold in. The sale of any commodity depends solely on the law of supply and demand.

E-commerce of dental care products 

In the light of recent events, new opportunities have opened up in the oral care market. The growing popularity of e-commerce stores for oral care products is setting new trends in dentistry. Now more than ever, oral care products are being sold on e-commerce platforms. Pandemic has reshaped the way people shop for everyday products, including cosmetic products and toiletries. In fact, shopping at online oral care shops is now more popular than in physical stores like pharmacies. That fact can easily be explained by the advantages e-shopping brings along like the availability of multi-brand oral care products, price promotions, bundles, ease of purchasing, and free shipping. It is no surprise that because of this growing trend major market players have increased their investments in these channels.

A marked shift in the way people buy dental care products

For decades, toothpaste has been marketed as a cosmetic product, regarded as having little importance to overall health. As such, people weren’t exactly thinking or doing any research about what kind of toothpaste or toothbrush they should use. Most would simply head to the nearest supermarket and buy the first toothpaste they see.

Due to the Covid pandemic as well as the growing awareness of oral health importance, there has been a marked increase in online purchase of oral care products. In fact, according to the Research and Markets 2020/2025 forecast report, the oral care hygiene market is projected to reach USD 53.3 billion by 2025, with the toothpaste segment holding the highest market share.

These two consumer behavior changes have helped rank products like toothpastes and toothbrushes higher on the list of priorities. In addition to that, these realizations have had a huge impact not only on a personal but also on an economical level, which we’ll discuss in the subsequent paragraphs.

Implications on an economic level

With that in mind, it is no wonder that the FMCG market has been growing rapidly over the last decade. In fact, sales in the FMCG industry grew from $1.5 trillion in 2012 to $1.68 trillion in 2016. In a year-over-year comparison, the industry grew by $217 billion. The huge growth of the FMCG markets is detectable not only in the United States, but also in Europe, China, India, and Brazil. Another contributing factor to more toothpastes and mouthwash being sold globally is the fact that consumption of sugar is growing steadily, and is suspected to rise to about 171.8 million metric tons by 2020/2021. Excessive sugar consumption, as you probably know, is tied to tooth decay because of the way it alters the bacteria in your mouth to produce acid which then eats away the enamel causing cavities and bad teeth.

Fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) take up a significant percentage of spending in developed countries like the United States. These everyday products, including cosmetics and toiletries like toothpastes and soaps, account for more than half of total consumer spending. Because people are paying more attention to the fact that dental products are both a necessity and a commodity, these products are now becoming more available online.

 

Implications on a personal level

In most cases, when you set out to buy a commodity good, you simply buy the most affordable or easily reachable item and then move on with your life. However, thanks to a boom in online shopping, people are now choosing more deliberately what they buy. 

Browsing online, as opposed to physically visiting the store has several benefits, especially when it comes to dental care products like toothbrushes, toothpastes, and dental floss.

Being able to shop for FMCG online has several advantages:

  • you can easily compare prices of different brands and product types;
  • you can read other people’s reviews to make an informed choice;
  • you can compare features, look at the ingredient list - something you rarely do at the pharmacy or store because there is no sales pressure;
  • you can relax and make an informed choice at your own pace, worthy of your money.

People are often not aware of the health implications everyday personal care products may have on their health. Little by little, chemicals in these products can affect your overall wellbeing. Why not avoid that when you can? Opt for naturally derived oral care products whenever you can. You should never skimp on oral care, even when you are trying to save money - simply because oral health has a huge impact on many aspects of your overall well-being. 

Sources:

https://www.marketsandmarkets.com/Market-Reports/oral-care-market-80546246.html  

https://econsultancy.com/how-fmcg-brands-are-adapting-products-in-response-to-the-shift-to-ecommerce/ 

https://www.statista.com/map/europe/branch/consumer-goods-fmcg 

https://www.researchandmarkets.com/reports/4714888/oral-care-market-forecast-to-2028-covid-19?utm_source=GNOM&utm_medium=PressRelease&utm_code=dzj63n&utm_campaign=1547178+-+Global+Oral+Care+Market+Report+2021-2028+-+Mounting+Preference+for+Online+Purchase+of+Oral+Care+Products&utm_exec=chdo54prd

https://unctad.org/news/how-covid-19-triggered-digital-and-e-commerce-turning-point 


Nordics recyclable tubes: a life-saving innovation

You might have been buying toothpaste for years, but have you ever wondered where the plastic tubes end up when they’re empty? The collapsible toothpaste tubes were first made of metal, such as tin or lead, and later on, a combination of plastic and aluminum. This allowed flexible packaging, however not really being recyclable. Oral hygiene companies across the globe have taken initiatives in the last few years in order to address the sustainability issue by introducing sustainable and innovative packaging products.

 Why do more and more companies quit using plastics? Plastics are produced by oil or petroleum, which are finite sources that could possibly be depleted in the next 50 years. In addition to that, manufacturing plastics releases chemicals, which are extremely harmful to the environment. Despite the advantages plastic packaging offered until now, it is time to eliminate all materials which endanger the natural sources of our planet and the air quality and atmosphere. Considering the volume of plastic which ends up polluting our oceans and ecosystem, and the fact that it can end up inside our system through what we consume, makes it so much more concerning and we must implement immediate measures on a global scale.

The Rise of Bioplastics

Bioplastic was introduced as a potential alternative material, made from biological material instead of petroleum. A material is considered bioplastic if it meets at least one of two criteria:

  • It is manufactured by renewable plant-based resources
  • It is biodegradable, meaning it has the capacity to be decomposed into water and carbon dioxide by microorganisms.

Due to the plant-based sources used for bioplastic production, the carbon dioxide emissions are very low, so the integration of this type of material is highly recommended by environmentalists and climate organizations.

 

The first bioplastic, known as polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) was discovered almost 100 years ago by a French researcher. However, people used exclusively petroleum for its price and abundance until the 1970s, when the petroleum crisis led them to use alternative materials and take a closer look at the bioplastic discovery.

 How is it produced? There are two ways to manufacture it. The first one refers to extracting sugar from sugarcane or plants like corn and converting it into polylactic acids (PLAs). The second way refers to processing microorganisms, resulting in polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs). The PLAs are more used in food packaging while the PHAs can be found in medical equipment and surgical tools. Between the two types, the PLAs require less capital to manufacture, actually making them the least expensive bioplastic product. Hence, manufacturers took an interest and put it to use for utensil production, food packaging, and more.

 

Nordics Mission

Our mission has always been focused on two key areas: sustainability and premium quality. We aim to inspire change by setting an example with our ethical standards through the ingredients and the manufacturing of our oral care products. Apart from choosing certified, cruelty-free, and vegan first materials for our organic dental care products, Nordics has revolutionized toothpaste packaging. True to our mission, Nordics has introduced a recyclable tube, made of Sugarcane-based Polyethylene (PE). Equipped with the same properties as its non-recyclable counterpart, a sugarcane tube presents the following benefits:

 

  1. It is made by the residue of sugarcane, which is used to produce ethanol
  2. It is a renewable source, meaning that it does not endanger the finite sources of energy of our planet
  3. It is recyclable, so it can be reused for the same or other products, not like the typical toothpaste tubes which end up on landfills
  4. The carbon footprint emission is considerably low, as the sugarcane metabolizes more carbon dioxide to grow than most plants and it regenerates by itself.

 

One of the biggest challenges oral care companies had to face was to source collapsible tubes which could be recycled. Up until now, the regular plastic tubes had an inner lining of aluminum, crucial for the structure, which made it impossible to recycle. However, the global consumer interest in sustainable packaging and the introduction of bioplastics have allowed more companies to discontinue the harmful plastic tubes.

Conclusion

 The big companies in the oral health sector have recently announced the shift to recyclable packaging in order to tackle climate change and adopt sustainable techniques. We at Nordics are proud to represent the much-needed movement towards green energy and plant-based renewable sources.

 While the top oral hygiene brands now introduce new recyclable toothpaste tubes and transform their branding and positioning, the driving forces behind our purpose have remained the same since day one. Nordics products will always be equivalent to innovation, sustainability, top oral health and the utmost respect for our Mother Nature.

Sources:

https://www.britannica.com/technology/bioplastic 

 https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/article/are-bioplastics-made-from-plants-better-for-environment-ocean-plastic