Oral care in Asia Pacific witnessed higher growth than all other regions in 2017, thanks to key countries such as China, India, Japan and South Korea. There was increasing demand for products tailored for sensitive teeth and gum health, as well as herbal/traditional products, leading to higher unit prices. Rapid urbanisation and the penetration of international brands in emerging markets also contributed to stimulating volume sales, as more consumers undertook regular oral hygiene.
In 2017, Asia Pacific saw the fastest growth in oral care, with a 4% value increase to reach USD14,300 million, also making it the largest region globally. Despite the low value sales per capita, Asia Pacific saw an increase in oral care in volume terms due to population growth, especially thanks to growth in the urban population.
Toothpaste dominates oral care in Asia Pacific, accounting for 63% of overall value sales. China, India and emerging markets such as Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam saw growth in toothpaste in 2017, resulting from innovative products and market expansion in terms of channel distribution and demographics.
Amidst the healthy living trend and the positive economy, Asian consumers are more concerned about the prevention of oral health problems rather than treatment. Oral care benefited from rising awareness of brushing teeth more regularly and growing demand for specific oral care products for sensitive teeth or gum health.
Oral care products in Asia Pacific are mainly distributed through independent grocers in emerging markets and modern channels such as hypermarkets and supermarkets in developed countries. Internet retailing and direct selling remain niche channels in many markets, except China, where online sales have seen sharp growth thanks to internet retailers such as Alibaba, JD.com, Suning.com
2012-2017, key companies like Colgate-Palmolive, Procter & Gamble and Unilever led oral care in APAC, with a value share approaching 50% in 2017. However, due to aggressive cutting-edge innovation and digital strategies from smaller players, the top companies saw slower growth over review period.
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