Oral care experienced an upturn in demand in 2020 as a result of the pandemic and subsequent lockdown. The category is deemed an essential part of personal hygiene routines in the Philippines, and consumers displayed stockpiling behaviour for many oral care products in the initial stages of the lockdown, including toothbrushes, and toothpaste, the dominant value category.
Demand for toothbrushes was marginally up in 2020 compared to 2019, with the category dominated by the manual format which is more affordable to the majority of the population. However, it continued to be outperformed by power toothbrushes, especially battery powered options, as consumers, unable to regularly visit dentists in 2020 as often as they normally would, focused their attention on preventative health by investing in products that they perceived to be more effective in cleaning their teeth and gums.
Oral care remained a highly consolidated competitive landscape in 2020, dominated by multinationals Colgate-Palmolive, Unilever, and Procter & Gamble. This can be attributed to the use of strong promotional activities, brand ambassadors and regular new product launches.
Volume growth rates of oral care are set to return to greater levels of normalisation in terms of purchasing behaviour in 2021 after some stockpiling of toothpaste in particular, before gradually building stronger growth momentum over the course of the forecast period. The category is predicted to record stronger value growth (at constant 2020 prices) which suggests there is room for greater segmentation in terms of whitening, fresh breath or sensitive toothpaste as consumers generally focus on maintaining more stringent oral care regimes due to the preventative health trend as a result of the pandemic; regular mask wearing outside in public spaces has made Filipinos more aware of the need to maintain greater oral hygiene in an attempt to reduce the build-up of bacteria.
With an increasing number of consumers investing in power toothbrushes at the end of the review period, including during the pandemic due to the preventative health trend, demand for both battery and electric formats is set to notably slow over the early part of the forecast period due to lingering price sensitivity, particularly as their average unit prices are set to rise following notable price promotions. Nevertheless, power toothbrushes still offers potential to gain a wider audience with growth rates set to improve towards the end of the forecast period once consumer confidence returns along with an improved local economy.
Modern grocery retailers and health and beauty specialist retailers are likely to continue to dominate distribution of oral care in the Philippines, with the former offering convenience in terms of basic items such as toothpaste, mouthwashes/dental rinses, and manual toothbrushes, while the latter can offer advice in terms of specific products. While e-commerce held negligible value share in 2020, it recorded impressive growth from a low base due to the offer of attractive price discounts on more expensive oral care items such as power toothbrushes.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Oral Care industry in Philippines with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
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This report originates from Passport, our Oral Care research and analysis database.
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