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Stocking Oral Care Products in Grocery Stores

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Like other segments of the U.S. economy, the oral care market has had its ups and downs. Knowing which product categories are hot, and which ones aren’t, can help buyers create a set that will give them something to smile about.

According to ’s 2011 research, the overall market is almost $3.5 billion and expected to grow to $3.9 billion by 2016. Oral care products that offer multiple benefits, such as whitening toothpaste that is also designed to protect tooth enamel, will continue to drive growth in 2012, according to the Chicago-based market research firm.

Highlighting multitasking oral care products can help grocers reach the most active buyers of these products. Bad breath prevention is a top oral care concern. To educate consumers on the root cause of bad breath — 90 percent comes from bacteria on the tongue — Orabrush, based in Provo, Utah, has embraced social media, creating a YouTube video explaining the problem and the solution: the Orabrush product line, explains Jeffrey Harmon, chief marketing officer at Orabrush.

When placed on end caps, the product line, which includes a tongue brush and Orabrush Tongue Foam powered by Orazyme that’s made by Dr. Fresh, generates sales. When retailers incorporate video into displays — showing a modified version of the YouTube video — there’s up to a 400 percent lift in sales, says Harmon, adding that “retailers are thrilled with what happens.”

Brushing teeth is a key part of oral hygiene and helps reduce plaque, tartar and cavities — three of the top oral health concerns. Teaching children the task can be a challenge

Back in 2002, Brush Buddies, based in Fontana, California, launched its talking toothbrush that teaches children to brush for the dentist-recommended two minutes. And according to the company’s research, the talking brush helps extend children’s brush times. In a brushing-time study of U.S. children brushed 63 seconds on average. The same children using Brush Buddies increased their time to 109.2 seconds, a 73 percent improvement.

The company added the Justin Bieber Singing Toothbrush, which plays two of the pop singer’s songs. The item is an impulse buy, notes Jennifer Reza, Brush Buddies’ director of consumer products: The Justin Bieber oral care line includes manual toothbrushes, floss, flossers and replacement heads. In its first five months on the market, the toothbrush has had more than $12 million in sales, according to the company.

While the characters appeal to young children, the power toothbrush cleaning ability appeals to parents. Dr. Fresh spokeswoman Bette Light says licensed-character powered toothbrushes are among the company’s best-sellers, such as the and new Barbie and toothbrushes.

recommends replacing a toothbrush every 90 days, and promoting this message in-store can drive sales.

Stocking your oral care department with multitasking products, as well as tools and accessories that appeal to your shoppers, can position this category for growth in your stores.