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Connected Electric Toothbrushes Become Hot Innovative Category in Oral Care Appliances

June 28th, 2016

Electric toothbrushes is expected to post a volume CAGR of 4% over 2015-2020. Developed markets, namely Germany, the US, the UK and France are the major markets currently and are expected to drive the growth over the forecast period.

Lately, several oral care appliances manufacturers, namely Procter & Gamble, Koninklijke Philips NV as well as Kolibree launched connected electric toothbrushes. These connected toothbrushes help consumers brush their teeth more effectively based on the tutoring provided via smartphones and tablets. Two major factors are expected to spur the growth of connected electric toothbrushes in the market. Firstly, increased usage of smartphones and tablets; the popularity of internet of things (IoT) triggers the popularity of connected appliances. Secondly, consumers in developed markets value high quality products helping them brush more effectively. The popularity of connected electric toothbrushes motivates leading manufacturers to launch more innovative models of electric toothbrushes.

Increased usage of smartphones and tablets as well as ‘Internet of Things’

According to Euromonitor International’s data on absolute volume growth of smartphones and tablets, developed markets, namely the US, the UK, and the Netherlands posted double digit CAGRs for both smartphones and tablets over 2010-2015. These developed markets also proved to be popular for electric toothbrushes as well. Apart from the growth of usage, according to the penetration rate of smartphones in 2015, these developed markets also gained more than 100% penetration rate of smartphones per households, since almost every adult family member will own a smartphone. This shows well how ready these consumers are to utilise connected electric toothbrushes based on the infrastructures. Furthermore, the popularity of Internet of Things (IoT) which means the connectivity among all devices via smartphones and tablets, is growing very fast in many appliances, namely fridge freezers, automatic washing machines, air conditioners and vacuum cleaners. This popular trend helps expand the category coverage of smartphones to other appliances within the household, including electric toothbrushes.

Volume CAGR of tablets and smartphones over 2010-2015 in leading electric toothbrushes markets

cagr smartphones toothbrush markets

Consumers in developed markets value high quality products

According to Euromonitor International’s data, the leading markets for electric toothbrushes in 2015 are developed ones, driven by Germany, the US, Italy, the UK and France, respectively. Consumers in these markets have higher disposable incomes in addition to a higher standard of personal hygiene, which are the key factors fuelling the volume of electric toothbrushes in developed markets rather than emerging markets. Consumers in the UK, for example, are gradually shifting towards the idea that more effective tools are needed to maintain strong and healthy teeth, partially influenced by dentists’ recommendations. Similarly, consumers in Germany are increasingly prioritising dental health, as they want to feel healthier and fitter, fuelling growth of electric toothbrushes. Also, consumers in the US do not mind trading up for premium personal care appliances for better hygiene and healthcare.

Therefore, connected electric toothbrushes, which can track specific brushing locations in the mouth, monitor the brushing time as well as indicate the time to replace the bristles, are expected to perform very well in developed markets.

Leading markets in electric toothbrushes with volume shares in 2015

electric toothbrushes market share

Philips announced to join the club

In June 2016, Koninklijke Philips NV announced the launch of its Flexcare Platinum Sonic which can connect to smartphones and tablets via an app, after Procter & Gamble launched the Oral-B Smart 7000 Series electric toothbrush in 2014 and recently upgraded its models of Oral-B Genius 8000 and 9000 series electric toothbrushes in February 2016. Both Philips’ and Oral-B’s latest electric toothbrushes not only can connect with smartphones and tablets via Bluetooth but can also see the position of toothbrushes located in the mouth as well as give alerts when consumers brush too hard and damage the gums. Apart from these two leading manufacturers, some other small manufacturers such as Kolibree and Beam Technologies have already launched connected electric toothbrushes over 2014-2015 targeting not only adults but also younger generations of consumers by launching smart brush games for children to play while brushing. According to Quartz, the global business news, Michael Cohen-Dumani, Oral-B’s brand manager revealed in August 2015 that nearly 250,000 people use the smartphone app to connect their toothbrush at least once a week.

What does the future hold?

We have seen many brands launching new models of electric toothbrushes. The improved technology and innovation will help spur the global volume growth in the future. It is also expected that developed markets, namely Italy, France, and the UK will trigger growth of electric toothbrushes over 2015-2020, posting volume CAGRs of 8%, 5% and 4%, respectively.

Improvements and innovation of future of electric toothbrushes which focus more on improved cleaning, gum and teeth care, in addition to more features on brush training based on dentists’ recommendations, is expected. Moreover, it is expected that some manufacturers will launch more cartoon-related programs helping children brush their teeth longer as well.

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Thidathip Tawichai

Thidathip Tawichai is a Consumer Appliances Analyst at Euromonitor International. She has a Master’s degree in Marketing from University of Queensland, Australia.  Professional interests include competitive analysis, marketing strategy and market research and these are reflected in the reports that she contributes to Passport: Consumer Appliances. 

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