Reinventing Oral Care

January 2023

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed oral care: from being an essential category, oral care is now seen as an extension to overall health and beauty. Value-added products will drive growth in developed markets, while emerging markets will see consumers adding new products to their oral care regime. Evolving demographics provide opportunities for specific positioning. Sustainability and wellness will characterise innovation in packaging and formulations, with waterless oral care developing.

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This report comes in PPT.

Key Findings

Oral care’s enhanced positioning improves growth prospects

Oral health, a focus on hygiene and a preventive positioning is driving up consumption in developing markets, and is also driving greater ingredient focus and new formats in developed markets. As consumers’ purchasing power varies so much across markets, oral care players will have to determine how consumers balance their wellness/oral health goals with what they consider to be “discretionary” or “non-discretionary” spending in oral care.

Changing demographics provide various avenues for growth

Demographic shifts is one of the most influential trends impacting businesses, and oral care is not immune to this. A focus on gum and enamel health in ageing markets should be complemented by a beauty and lifestyle positioning when targeting younger consumers, especially Gen Z.

Top players are investing in multiple areas to remain competitive

Market leader Colgate-Palmolive benefits from its sheer size and from the fact that Asia Pacific is its biggest revenue generator, while it also has a sizeable presence in other emerging countries. It leads in innovation in sustainability and formulations, as well as in strategy to target younger consumers. Second ranked Procter & Gamble, meanwhile, is using gamification to reach younger consumers.

Sustainability and wellness will dictate product innovation

Innovation in oral care is driven by savvy consumers who understand sustainability and demand environmental friendly options from manufacturers. Wellness (featuring here as “clean beauty”) is seeing many indie brands using this as a differentiator. More needs to done in reducing plastic use, helping recycle items, using sustainable packaging and using less water. Investment in waterless toothpaste by major oral care brands will drive this trend further in the industry.

Market Attractiveness Scorecard suggests opportunities in Southeast Asia

The Market Attractiveness Scorecard indicates that oral care potential over the forecast period is coming from Asia Pacific (specifically Southeast Asia and South Asia), the Middle East and, to a lesser extent, Europe. Factors supporting this growth include increased awareness of oral health, aided by government initiatives, as well as an emerging middle class, and population and income growth.


Key findings
Oral care maintains its momentum despite COVID-19
Polarisation in per capita spend between developed and developing markets
China dominates growth between 2016 and 2021
Focus on health and hygiene will benefit oral care
Economic uncertainty adds to the substantial inflation increases
Global stagflation will impact key oral care markets
Toothpaste and power toothbrushes offer future potential
Blurring of categories, with whitening toothpaste becoming prominent
Emerging Asian markets with a focus on health and hygiene will provide opportunities
Consumers trade up to power toothbrushes for a better clean
Affordability pushes growth of power toothbrushes in China
Mouthwash/dental rinses see a revival after COVID-19
Growth of top five players slows down, challenged by regional disruptors
Colgate-Palmolive benefits from its sheer size
Yunnan Baiyao champions functional ingredient
Market penetration strategy helps multinational companies maintain top ranking
Megatrends in oral care provide strategies for innovation
Demographic shifts will impact business decisions
Gum health should be explored for ageing markets
Preventative and wellness positioning could benefit oral care
Young consumers drive beauty’s association with oral health
Gen Z – the consumer that everyone is vying for
Oral care turns to a beauty and lifestyle positioning to appeal to the Gen Z consumer
“Clean beauty” trend could compromise dental health
Conscious consumers demand sustainable products
Toothpaste tubes continue to be a key area of innovation
Smaller players and retailers also join the bandwagon
Replaceable heads in manual toothbrushes provide two benefits
Proactive actions needed in recyclability of electric toothbrushes
Oral care could accelerate waterless innovation
Consumer behaviour combined with water scarcity ranking can help map opportunities
South Africa and Poland are ripe for waterless innovation
Toothpaste and mouthwash tablets need to reach more consumers
Subscription-based eco-friendly oral care companies could provide opportunities
Market Attractiveness Scorecard identifies potential in key emerging and developing markets
Extended claims and premiumisation to benefit markets with high potential
Growing oral health awareness through government policies will boost demand
Lower social economic potential implies focus needs to be on ageing consumers
Understanding local trends can help companies capitalise in emerging markets
Key findings
Oral care’s non-discretionary status will enhance growth prospects
Euromonitor International definitions: Oral care
Euromonitor International definitions: Oral care (2)
Oral Care Market Attractiveness Study: Methodology
Oral Care Market Attractiveness Study: Ranking 11-20
Overview of Beauty Survey

Beauty and Personal Care

This is the aggregation of baby and child-specific products, bath & shower, deodorants, hair care, colour cosmetics, men's grooming, oral hygiene, fragrances, skin care, depilatories and sun care. Black market sales and travel retail are excluded.

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