Toothpaste and the 100 Billion High-end Market

On the way to pandemic recovery, public health awareness is also improving. At present, in addition to basic oral care, people are more concerned about self-confidence and appearance. Relevant research shows that over 90% of people in all ages admit to having oral problems, and oral care is gradually receiving more attention. The market scale of the global oral care industry is worth about RMB 300 billion, and the market scale of China's oral care industry is about RMB 42 billion, which is expected to reach RMB 100 billion in ten years, according to Euromonitor.

01. Toothpaste market with high penetration rate

Looking closely at the segmented product structure of the oral care industry, toothpaste is the most consumed product in the world in 2019, accounting for nearly half of all consumed products; and in the Chinese market, toothpaste accounts for more than 60%. However, compared with the annual per capita consumption data of toothpaste in 2019, China’s 329 grams is less than half of the 720 grams in the United States.

Kantar data shows that the penetration rate of toothpaste category has reached to 95% in 2016, which is higher than that of toiletries, personal cleaning, skin care products, color makeup and other cosmetics categories. Among the personal cleaning products most used by Chinese male consumers, the penetration rate of toothpaste is as high as 100%.


2. Demand drives innovation

In order to meet the demands of new users and adapt to new consumption needs, toothpaste is also undergoing rapid innovation.

The 2019 White Paper on Eating Habits and Oral Health shows that the toothpaste industry has become increasingly specialized in recent years. In addition to satisfying the basic oral demands for fresh breath and clean teeth, it has derived functional care effects such as anti-cavity, gum protection, anti-sensitivity, and extensive demands for whitening.

Protection, maintenance, treatment and repair are new breakthroughs in toothpaste products. The sales performance of toothpaste products rich in calcium and capable of strengthening teeth, as well as toothpaste effectively targeting Helicobacter pylori and dental plaque bacteria, has achieved high growth.

Soothecare, who has its own toothpaste production base and more than 20 years of R&D experience in oral products, faced with the trend of gradual diversification of toothpaste components in recent years. It has added probiotics, sea salt, enzymes and other components to increase the efficacy of toothpaste, and enhance the refreshing experience, so as to obtain consumers' recognition of the brand and improve the repurchase rate.


Soothecare "JQH" toothpaste, which contains hemostatic cyclic acid and has the function of nourishing and caring gums and refreshing breath, won the 2018 China Meiyi Fashion List Oral Care Product Award. The "Bamboo Charcoal" toothpaste, which added enzymes, baking soda and probiotics respectively to the extracted activated carbon components, can effectively whiten teeth and protect periodontal, also won the best oral care award of individual care category in 2019 Meiyi Award Fashion List.


3. Cutting-edge brands favored by the Capital

Although traditional channels have been affected to some extent by the pandemic, toothpaste, a necessity with a high penetration rate, makes full use of online channels to enable growth. Many new and cutting-edge brands use big data for precision marketing and livestreaming e-commerce to obtain significant online sale results.

AvecMoi, a cutting-edge brand focusing on oral care with probiotics, ranked first in the toothpaste bestseller in June this year with 290K+ followers.

Through insight into consumers' needs, starting from solving consumers' pain points, and combining physical feelings with emotional appeals, AvecMoi's Ocean Air probiotic toothpaste at RMB 68/100g achieved a monthly sale of 25K+.


Oral care is also getting more attention from the capital market. In May 2020, BOP, a domestic oral care brand, announced that it has completed a Pre-A round of financing of RMB 10 million. BOP’s main product is a plant-based and functional toothpaste at the price of RMB 50.

The brand Canban also completed a $10 million A+ round of financing at the beginning of 2021, which will further expand the layout in the oral care FMCG and oral service sectors. At present, its main product has been extended to mouthwash, gradually pushing its product line to the entire oral market.


4. Increase of high-end demand

The increase in sales of high-end products in the toothpaste category further reflects consumers' attention to oral care.

The trend of toothpaste consumption upgrading can be clearly seen from the toothpaste products in 2021 Meiyi Award Top · Oral Care Award this year.

The 1905 series of Pasta del Capitano, a century-old Italian toothpaste brand with a complete oral care product line, is characterized by containing the exclusive patented zinc molecular component sulfetal Zn®. Combined with the antibacterial activity of zinc and the cleaning activity of coconut oil, it can slow down the growth of bacterial plaque and protect the oral cavity.


The national traditional brand LMZ is also continuously cracking the high-end toothpaste market. Its SWZH toothpaste is the homology of medicine and food, focusing on solving oral inflammation and gum bleeding.


Pasta del Capitano and LMZ, which won Meiyi Award Top·Oral Care Award, have successfully opened up the medium and high-end market of toothpaste category with unique efficacy and mild and safe natural ingredients, and the price of a single product has reached more than RMB 30.

With the adjustment of the demand structure of the toothpaste market over the past few years, new brands and products at home and abroad have been injected with more vitality, and the mid-to-high-end market has become a new trend in toothpaste consumption.

5. New policy creates a benign market

In October 2019, the Industrial Structure Adjustment Guidance Catalogue (2019 Edition) issued by the National Development and Reform Commission officially deleted toothpaste production lines from the restricted industry catalogue, further activating the momentum of domestic upstream toothpaste production, which is expected to change the current state of strong foreign investment.

In terms of raw materials, the key material in toothpaste production is silica for toothpaste. As a friction agent and thickener, it affects the main performance of toothpaste, which is in line with the current demand for whitening effects.

Relevant media reports that in July this year, Jinsanjiang, an upstream manufacturer mainly producing silica for toothpaste, was approved for registration on the Growth Enterprise Market of the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, and it will soon become the first share of toothpaste raw materials, reflecting that the upstream R & D of toothpaste production is getting more attention.

On the other hand, toothpaste products were managed with reference to ordinary cosmetics for the first time in the Regulations on Supervision and Administration of Cosmetics officially implemented on January 1 this year. After evaluating the efficacy according to the national standards and industry standards, toothpaste products can claim to have the effects of preventing cavities, inhibiting dental plaque, resisting dental sensitivity, and reducing gum problems.

In addition, the regulatory authority issued the Measures for the Supervision and Administration of Toothpaste (Draft for Comments) in November 2020, and the Specifications for Toothpaste Recording Materials (Draft for Comments) in January 2021.

A series of toothpaste management measures that have been issued and are to be issued have left enough space and given policy support for scientific and technological innovation in the industry.

With the continuous optimization of policy environment, the improvement of residents' income level, the upgrading of consumption concept and the rise of oral health awareness, oral care products will usher in greater market development prospects. 


The continuous rising of domestic oral care awareness, favorable promotion of regulatory policies and the upgrading of scientific and technological research and development are all making the basic category of toothpaste more modern, personalized and high-end. Core products and cutting-edge products are making comprehensive use of new retail tools and socialized marketing to gain consumer recognition in order to achieve new growth.