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Health and Beauty We examine the trends underlying the growth of the global marketplace in health, beauty and hygiene. Our analysts will point the way forward by highlighting critical innovations and behaviours that are driving industry evolution.

Electric Toothbrushes Connect US Consumers to Oral Care Ecosystems

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COVID-19 lockdowns placed hygiene centre stage and forced consumers to take oral health practices, routinely addressed by professionals, into their own hands. Post-pandemic, holistic wellness and persisting interest in oral education support the importance of premium electric toothbrushes that drive oral care sales in the US.

Two-step ecosystems embody premiumisation of US oral care

Oral care ecosystems refer to a single product that utilises multiple features to address a variety of consumer needs. Players in the electric toothbrush space have developed both offline (product ecosystems) and online (digital ecosystems) product networks, which in tandem appeal to US consumers’ appetite for sophisticated oral care offerings.

While factors such as increased affordability have contributed to the popularity of electric toothbrushes across the world, significant developments in digital capabilities push the established US market forward. Specifically, channelling multifunctionality and online education, electric toothbrush players offer oral care ecosystems that cater to US consumers’ desire for comprehensive routines and bring the traditionally offline oral care industry further into the e-commerce arena.

Although electric toothbrushes and replacement heads hold relatively low share of the total US toothbrush market in volume terms, the category’s high unit prices and projected current value CAGR of 7% means that electric toothbrushes will remain a significant contributor to value sales over the forecast period.Electric Toothbrushes Connect US Consumers to Oral Care Ecosystems Chart 1.svg

Product ecosystems bring holistic beauty to the value-conscious consumer

Amid high inflationary pressures and tightening wallets in the US, there has been greater interest in offerings that bring multiple benefits to a single product across the beauty and personal care space. Developments in electric toothbrush multifunctionality help to justify price increases by creating a perception of higher “value for money” with the proposition of a variety of use cases. Newer entrants and established players alike strive to provide this value differentiation via divergent applications of oral care product ecosystems.

Professional dental instrument player, Premier Dental, entered electric toothbrushes in 2022 with the launch of its DTC company: Izzo. The Izzo 4-in-1 Teeth Cleaning Kit goes beyond the standard offering of an electric toothbrush, by including a polishing cup and scaler attachment that execute services normally delivered by professionals. Izzo’s application of a product ecosystem justifies investment in a preventative product that aims to avoid expensive procedures that may arise from improper oral care.

izzosmile.jpg Image Source: izzosmile.com

Also noteworthy in 2022, Moon by Kendall Jenner introduced The Electric Toothbrush. This model boasts five “smart mode” settings of clean, white, polish, massage and sensitive that personalise the brushing experience, while addressing various oral care functions. The Electric Toothbrush also comes as part of Moon’s “Sonic Smile Bundle” for a complete and cost-effective brand ecosystem offering.

Multifunctionality finds cross-category application with Panasonic’s 2022 debut of the Multishape Modular Personal Care System, which includes multiple toothbrush heads, among other customisable personal care attachments.

Over one third of US respondents consider good oral health/care in their perception of beauty

Source: Euromonitor International’s Voice of the Consumer: Beauty Survey (fielded Jan-Feb 2022)

Panasonic’s Personal Care System speaks to the increasing link between beauty and hygiene, by providing a single ecosystem that addresses multiple beauty categories.

Panasonic.pngImage Source: panasonicmultishape.com

As oral care cements itself in beauty routines, and higher costs of living in the US persist, both oral care and beauty players should pay attention to opportunities for synergistic innovations. Utilising value-backed multifunctionality, brands can contribute to consumers’ expanding perception of beauty via connected product ecosystems.

Digital ecosystems expand customer interaction and product education

Taking product ecosystems a step further with digital application, brands work to expand both oral health education and presence on online platforms. Although the US is a developed oral care market, consumer education and access to dental services are surprisingly low. Capitalising on the increase in US consumers’ online path to purchase, this gap can be closed with continued innovation in online education, AI tracking applications and connection to dental professionals.

Procter & Gamble – one of the leading players in electric toothbrushes in the US - addresses its promotion of education and digitisation in a gamified way. Alongside the preview of its Oral B iO10 with iOSense electric toothbrush at CES 2022, the company launched “Attack of the Cavity Creeps” educational video game. Targeting children, the video game aims to equip players with educational artillery to defeat common oral issues and speaks to the company’s goal of creating a digital health ecosystem. The gamification demonstrated by “Attack of the Cavity Creeps” also primes children to experience oral care as a multi-faceted experience that builds lasting habits.

Established smaller player, Quip, demonstrates the continued power of app connectivity and intensified power of its new “Smart Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush” launched in late 2022. The toothbrush features technology that allows the charge to last up to three months, as well as operates with Quip’s existing Smart Motor, which creates a digital ecosystem by tracking and rewarding users’ brushing activity on the Quip app.

Quip.jpgImage Source: getquip.com

Oral care ecosystems will play an important part in future success

With greater interest in the role of oral health in overall health, evolving premiumisation and value-conscious behaviour driven by inflationary pressure in the oral care space, players should work to build ecosystems that provide comprehensive benefits to consumers. Important considerations include a value proposition that defends higher price points in a time of trading down, as well as products that optimise digitalised product education. Considering that oral care lags behind other beauty and personal care categories in adoption of e-commerce, omnichannel advertising and availability of ecosystem offerings play an important part in success. As strong interest in electric toothbrushes defines the development of the US market in the coming years, systematic products amplify the premiumisation sought after by US consumers and aid in their association of oral care as a part of the larger beauty category.

Learn more about oral care in the Euromonitor International report Reinventing Oral Care, to explore developments and opportunities in 2023 and beyond.

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