Industrial Overview Economic Look At Toothpaste Industry Marketing Essay

The toothpaste industry is a monopolistic competitive market. There are several different brand names available to the consumer all with varying claims. Some toothpaste varieties are designed to give surface whiting to the user. Other varieties focus on fluoride and still others purport to give the user fresher breath. There are even toothpastes available that offer help for sensitive teeth. Whatever the consumer is in need of for their dental health there is bound to be toothpaste that can assist them in their struggle.

There are many good acceptable toothpaste substitutes available to the consumer in today’s market. Whether they desire, whiter teeth, fresher breath, more fluoride, or help for sensitive teeth. Because there are so many brands and varieties to choose from it is especially important that pricing strategies are contemplated heavily.

The toothpaste market, the costs of production, and the competition present in the market must be a consideration. If the toothpaste to be marketed is a new brand name one assumption is that there will not be a market share present to sustain sales. If a new brand comes onto the market and is immediately tagged with a higher retail price than those brands that enjoy brand loyalty chances are rather slim that sales will be high. Pricing strategies in this instance rely on marketing.

Advertising, samples, and promotional pricing can help a new company break into the market place and build a customer base. By promoting a new brand at a price that undercuts the competition slightly may entice consumers to consider purchasing the newer item. Production, advertising, storage, and transportation costs are all costs that are related to the marketing of toothpaste. There are factors and costs that are fairly common to businesses that are producing the same types of items. These costs are considered when pricing an item with the manufacture’s suggested retail price. A company cannot sustain undercutting the competitions.


Competitive Analysis of Toothpaste Industry:

The tooth paste industry is one typical model of an oligopoly meaning that it is dominated by a small number of major firms such as Colgate-Palmolive, Unilever, Procter and Gamble and GlaxoSmithKline (Aqua fresh) .The competition among the different companies have always been ferocious with companies launching new products with new features regularly be it whitening toothpaste, mouth fresheners toothpaste or economic toothpaste. This is just an example of how the competition is harsh and how the companies want to target different market segments and the Mauritian market is far from being spared by this harsh competition. Moreover since the last few years the Mauritian market for toothpaste as well as that for other dental products have gone trough an important growth due to increase awareness about oral health (island of Mauritius An analysis of the health situation 2007). So as as result the toothpaste market in Mauritius is a very dynamic one with lots of products which are bent on targeting different market segments.

This is why this report has been designed, to analyse the different ways in which the different competitors available segment the Mauritian toothpaste market and how different brands use these segments to position their products. In this part emphasis has been put on 3 toothpaste brands which are Colgate Fresh confidence, Aquafresh White and Shine and Colgate sensitive.


Toothpaste advertisement in Pakistan:

RECENTLY a mushroom growth of various brands of toothpaste has been seen in the market. It seems to be a highly profitable business as everybody is jumping on the bandwagon. The toothpaste manufactures are using all tricks possible to enhance their sales.

Advertisements like “Elaj ki kya zaroorat hay” and “Home Dentist” are completely unethical and misleading. Projecting any toothpaste as a “cure for dental ailments and diseases” is not only unethical but also disinformation and can cause serious health hazards to unsuspecting users.

Toothpaste brands are marketed all over the world after acquiring a seal of approval from the National Dental Association which ensures correct formulation and that no harmful products are used. They also keep vigil on the manufacturing standard and quality.

Unfortunately, this practice is not being followed in Pakistan. The Pakistan Dental Association is prepared to give such a seal of approval after due testing.

The researcher requests the advertising association and the media not to advertise unethical and misleading products. We have pointed this out to the relevant authorities in the past but the people have continuously been sacrificed on the altar of advertising revenue, whether it is “saunf supari”, cigarettes or cortisone-containing brands of toothpaste.

The researcher advice the consumers not to use those brands of toothpaste which are not certified by the Pakistan Dental Association as using them can cause serious health problems to them.


Potentially harmful ingredients

The Pakistani market is flooded with imported brands of toothpaste and dental products, which are being used by millions of people. Consumers do not have the required awareness to discern whether the product they opt for is free from harmful ingredients. Before using any product, a consumer must satisfy himself about its overall toxicity level and possible effects on oral hygiene and health, said a health-conscious consumer.

It was suggested that the federal and provincial health authorities should keep a strict check on consumer products that may pose a threat to public health. They should ask the manufacturers or importers of all toothpaste brands to print ingredient details on the tubes, prove that the product really contains advertised ingredients such as herbs, cool mint, fluoride, clove oil, stain-cleaner, gel, etc, as well as prove that the product contains no harmful elements.

A qualified dentist, Dr A. Naqvi, said that the federal government should move for the certification and scrutiny of oral hygiene products since they are sometimes marketed with false claims. The chemical and pharmaceutical properties of the active constituents of the products used in oral hygiene should be made known to users, as is practised in developed countries.


Look at Pakistan Toothpaste Market

The toothpaste market in Pakistan is around 7 billion rupees while the tooth brush and mouth wash markets are 300 million and 85 million rupees respectively. The oral care market in Pakistan has increased between 2002-2007; growth rate is average annual rate of 3.4%.The leading company in 2009 was Colgate-Palmolive Company. The second-largest company was GlaxoSmithKline Plc with Unilever in third place Oral Care. Colgate’s most familiar yield in oral care includes Colgate-brand toothpaste, dental floss, toothbrushes and mouth rinses. By the end of 2008, the company had a 44.8% global market share with its flagship toothpaste product line. Growth in this product line is highly due to innovation and more and extensive use of technology. Pharmaceutical products are also produced by Colgate for dentists and other oral care experts.


Gillani Research Foundation survey carried out by Gallup Pakistan, more than 72% of all Pakistanis use toothpaste for dental care followed by Miswak (18%) and Manjan Powder(9%). Amongst those who are against the use of tooth paste, majority of them (27%) claim that toothpaste is an expensive product, 25% of them say that there is no specific reason for the use of tooth paste, 17% are of the view that tooth paste does not clean teeth properly. 22% gave their opinion that they use Miswak instead because it is cheaper and 6% said that their teeth cleaning method (i.e Miswak) is a Sunnat (practiced and promoted by the Prophet sws).A sample of men and women from across the country were state formally a list of oral care methods and were asked “Which of these do you use for cleaning your teeth?”

The results showed that majority (72%) like to use toothpaste and the remaining 18% claimed to use Miswak and 9 percent said they use Manjan Powder.It is seen that a relatively higher %age of people in rural area use Manjan Powder and Miswak as compared to those who live in urban areas who mostly prefer using toothpaste. The data also showed that the usage of toothpaste is higher in the higher income groups. Interestingly a higher percentage of men (22%) and women (16%) use Miswak to clean their teeth.

“Which of these do you use for cleaning your teeth?”

The latest investigation showed that among a sample of 2754 men and women in villages and cities of all four provinces of the Pakistan, during June 2009. Error margin is approximately + 2-3 % at 95% confidence level.

(Gillani Research,

A survey made of Pakistan’s urban population shows that 78 percent of Pakistanis clean their teeth with toothpaste. But Gallup Pakistan says this year fully 12 percent are using miswak, the little piece of wood softened at one end that serves as our traditional toothbrush. There are manjan enthusiasts, too, about 4 percent. This is a powder that you apply with your finger with miraculous results. Most of us brush our teeth once a day. About 12 percent say they do it also at night.

Miswak is no ordinary tooth-cleaning device. Its association with piety is unmistakable. Last year the same survey showed only 8 percent used it. It has gained by 4 percent against the Westernizing and globalizing toothpaste this year. This is a net gain in piety too. One organization with a big following all over the country mandates special shirts with a front chest-pocket reserved for Miswak which you have to carry all the time. Is this progress or what?


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