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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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