Oral Care in Western Europe

May 2021

Oral care sales in Western Europe stagnated over 2015-2020, yet are expected to see further growth from 2020 onwards. Toothpaste and toothbrushes constitute the bulk of oral care sales across the region, with sustainable products and products with specific claims continuing to gain momentum. The forecast period will witness the growth of traditional categories, as well as relatively immature categories, as consumers further improve their oral hygiene.

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Key findings

Oral care sales stagnate in Western Europe, with toothbrushes slowly taking share from toothpaste

Oral care was a mature category and saw a fairly stagnant performance over 2015-2020. Western Europe’s largest markets in value terms are Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Spain. While toothpaste leads, it is gradually losing share to toothbrushes. Indeed, consumers are buying more power toothbrushes, which due to their higher unit prices are taking share away from toothpaste.

Solutions with added benefits are gaining traction and driving up value sales

Solutions with added claims, such as sensitive, gum protection, etc, are gaining traction despite their higher price tag, thanks to more advanced and clinically-proven products entering the market. They are seen as efficient and multifunctional, which helps to drive up their sales, as while they still provide the same attributes as competing products, such as whitening and fresh breath toothpastes, they offer more features, such as gum protection or enamel strength.

Sustainability and natural products are reshaping oral care routines

Leading companies have multiplied their sustainability initiatives to provide more environmentally-friendly products. Products with a natural positioning and free-from claims also fare better, as consumers increasingly wish to exclude ingredients considered as harmful, such as fluorine.

Channel diversity remains limited

Grocery retailers, drugstores and pharmacies remained the main distribution channels over 2015-2020, due to habit persistence and their convenience. However, the COVID-19 pandemic slightly boosted sales via e-commerce in 2020.

The Procter & Gamble Co, Colgate-Palmolive and GlaxoSmithKline remain the regional leading players

Top companies The Procter & Gamble Co, Colgate-Palmolive and GlaxoSmithKline continued to lead oral care in Western Europe in 2020. They benefit from their large product portfolios, variety of products with free-from claims, constant innovation and launches, as well as strong consumer loyalty.

Introduction

Scope
Key findings

Regional Overview

Oral care sees fairly stable sales in Western Europe
Western Europe set to see higher growth during the forecast period
Toothpaste leads oral care, but is slowly losing share to toothbrushes
Power toothbrushes and tooth whiteners see the highest value CAGRs
Toothbrushes dominates absolute growth in key markets
Improving oral care routines positively impact absolute value growth
Grocery retailers are the go-to distribution channels in Western Europe
Sales in traditional channels remain stable while e-commerce grows

Leading Companies and Brands

Top five players dominate the oral care space
Top three players maintain their strong lead in oral care
The top three companies are well-positioned in the largest markets
Solutions with therapeutic claims are gaining traction
Oral care companies follow the sustainability agenda
Antibacterial claims see strong growth in 2020
Natural claims see a 19% increase over 2019-2020

Forecast Projections

Germany leads, but France has the highest absolute growth forecast
Improved oral hygiene will drive growth across most categories
Increasing GDP per capita will boost oral care in Western Europe
Product variety and competitive prices will be key

Country Snapshots

Austria: Market context
Austria: Competitive and retail landscape
Belgium: Market context
Belgium: Competitive and retail landscape
Denmark: Market context
Denmark: Competitive and retail landscape
Finland: Market context
Finland: Competitive and retail landscape
France: Market context
France: Competitive and retail landscape
Germany: Market context
Germany: Competitive and retail landscape
Greece: Market context
Greece: Competitive and retail landscape
Ireland: Market context
Ireland: Competitive and retail landscape
Italy: Market context
Italy: Competitive and retail landscape
Netherlands: Market context
Netherlands: Competitive and retail landscape
Norway: Market context
Norway: Competitive and retail landscape
Portugal: Market context
Portugal: Competitive and retail landscape
Spain: Market context
Spain: Competitive and retail landscape
Sweden: Market context
Sweden: Competitive and retail landscape
Switzerland: Market context
Switzerland: Competitive and retail landscape
Turkey: Market context
Turkey: Competitive and retail landscape
United Kingdom: Market context
United Kingdom: Competitive and retail landscape
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