Oral-B makes its de­but in China

China Daily (Canada) - - SHANGHAI - By XU JUN­QIAN in Shang­hai

xu­jun­qian@chi­nadaily. com.cn

Amer­i­can oral hygiene brand Oral-B an­nounced on Jan 8 in Shang­hai that it had launched its first tooth­paste in China.

The new prod­uct, one of the most ex­pen­sive tooth­pastes sold in Chi­nese main­land, re­tails at 159 yuan ($25). It is re­searched, de­vel­oped and man­u­fac­tured in the United States.

While it will be sold glob­ally later this year, ex­ec­u­tives from the oral care divi­sion of Oral B’s par­ent com­pany Proc­ter & Gam­ble (P&G) said that the new prod­uct is spe­cially tailored for Chi­nese con­sumers, who have been found to be ne­glect­ing their oral health.

“Chi­nese con­sumers have been buy­ing the most num­ber of pre­mium lux­ury, skin­care and hair­care prod­ucts, but when it comes to oral care, there ap­pears to be a huge gap when com­pared with con­sumers in Western coun­tries,” said Ouyang Qingqiu, pres­i­dent of P&G Great China’s oral care divi­sion.

Ouyang Qingqiu,

“It seems that the only rea­son for a Chi­nese to visit a den­tist is when they have a toothache, which is of­ten too late,” he added.

Sta­tis­tics from China’s third na­tion­wide oral health and plaque re­search showed that 77 per­cent of Chi­nese adults have suf­fered from bleed­ing gums, while only 14.2 per­cent of those polled have not en­coun­tered any prob­lems.

Ouyang es­ti­mated that an av­er­age Chi­nese per­son’s an­nual bud­get for oral health is about three to four times lower than that of their Amer­i­can coun­ter­parts. More­over, the oral care kit used in most house­holds in China is much more rudi­men­tary, com­pris­ing just a nor­mal tooth­brush and tooth­paste.

But this sit­u­a­tion is set to change, as Ouyang and his team de­scribed the oral care in­dus­try as “a sun­rise in­dus­try not only in China, but also around the world”.

He noted that elec­tric tooth­brushes have en­joyed the fastest growth rate among all seg­ments of P&G China in 2015, al­though its pen­e­tra­tion rate is still quite low. Ouyang es­ti­mated that only two out of ev­ery 100 house­holds in China have owned or used elec­tric tooth­brushes. In first-tiered cities like Bei­jing and Shang­hai, the pro­por­tion is around 18 per­cent, while in Europe, it’s above 36 per­cent.

With re­gard to the new tooth­paste, the com­pany dif­fer­en­ti­ates it from its key brand, Crest, as a more pre­mium prod­uct that is tar­geted at of­fice work­ers, pro­fes­sion­als and so­ci­ety’s elites who are in­dif­fer­ent to the price and want an “equally pre­mium tooth­paste to com­ple­ment their sev­eral-hun­dred-yuan elec­tric tooth­brush”.

The launch of this tooth­paste is be­ing dubbed as a break­through in the oral care in­dus­try as the prod­ucts, of­fered as a pack with two sep­a­rate pastes, urges users to take one more step of gum care af­ter brush­ing by ap­ply­ing a se­cond layer of paste to pre­vent enamel ero­sion.

Ac­cord­ing to re­search firm Euromon­i­tor, P&G took the lead in China’s frag­mented oral care in­dus­try with a value share of 17 per­cent in 2014. The in­dus­try is ex­pected to reg­is­ter a steady com­pound an­nual growth rate of 6 per­cent from 2015 to 2019, driven mainly by up­grades to more pre­mium tooth­paste and more fre­quent tooth­brush re­place­ments.

Chi­nese con­sumers have been buy­ing the most num­ber of pre­mium lux­ury, skin­care and hair­care prod­ucts, but when it comes to oral care, there ap­pears to be a huge gap when com­pared with con­sumers in Western coun­tries.”

pres­i­dent of P&G Great China’s oral care divi­sion

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