India oral care market-Colgate faces a formidable challenge from Sensodyne and Pepsodent

Oral Care

Since a long time, toothpaste in India was just meant to clean one’s teeth and have a ring of confidence in the personality of the user, and Colgate still is the market leader in the toothpaste segment. There have been many instances when the pole position of Colgate in the Indian oral care market was challenged, and finally the competition seems to be getting its game plan right. Now, the competition is focussing on the fact that toothpaste is not just required for cleaning the teeth, which of course is its primary function, but is also meant for other specialized uses such as for sensitive teeth and bleeding gums. And this is the marketing strategy that the competition to Colgate is focussing on, that one size doesn’t fit all.

As per the marketing experts, till recently, people in India didn’t realized that there are different types of toothpaste for different applications, and price of the toothpaste was the sole deciding factor for which toothpaste to buy. One brand of toothpaste did the job for the entire family. However, with increasing health and personal care awareness, Indians are now more aware how their diet is effecting their teeth. Indians are now willing to pay for prevention attention. Marketing experts have now observed that now each and every family member in the urban India has got awareness about what kind of toothpaste they need and they buy their toothpaste accordingly, allowing for different brands to enter the toothpaste market for several purposes.

Due to this awareness, new players that are challenging the top position of Colgate are now emerging. Sensodyne is the leader in the sensitivity segment, having approximately 30% share of the teeth sensitivity market. Considering that the toothpaste is a huge market in India, boasting a penetration rate of 99 percent, the new players and the already established players are going at full blaze in what appears to be a saturated market. However, still teeth whitening is the major reason for which toothpaste is used in India, but still the categories of sensitivity and other specialized needs are catching up, taking a sizable portion of the market.

However, the specialized toothpaste brands have many challenges to overcome. First of these challenges is the fact that oral care segment has high incidences of tunnel shoppers, meaning people who are not too involved in the category of the product they are buying. To overcome this, new brands like Sensodyne and Pepsodent are carrying out aggressive marketing and advertisement of their products and trying to capture more share of the Indian oral care market. Marketing experts say that it is specialization that is the future of the oral care market and the days of the generic products are numbered. It is the specialized products that will rule the roost in the future.

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