Sourcing Nova prides itself on sharing knowledge about China’s various industrial chains.  The more informed you are as a buyer, the better we can help you with your specific purchase decisions.

Previously, we have mentioned some of China’s better industrial chains: kitchen knives, human hair wigs and scented candles.  This blog will focus on another lucrative niche product – the electric toothbrush.

It makes good sense.  Electric toothbrushes are an idea product to source from China.  It meets all of the characteristics we strongly recommend for our customers: high demand, stable quality, large profit margins, frequent repeat purchases and very light weight.

 

Here is a bit more information for you to consider:

  1. Toothbrushes are something that people use at least once, sometimes twice or more, times a day.  The toothbrush is the most commonly and frequently used small personal care appliance.
  2. Everyone, regardless of age, should brush their teeth.
  3. Those who choose to use an electric toothbrush rarely return to manual brushing.
  4. The performance and technology behind electric toothbrushes continue to improve.
  5. The cost-effective quality of the electric toothbrush increases as well.

 

The quality of life and living is constantly improving, and the pursuit of health and a quality life will not stop.  Those customers you are looking for have strong spending power, so a lower price is not as important as other factors.  These customers are more interested in being attractive, keeping their hands free, a good looking product and a comfortable user experience.

 

This information provided us a pleasant surprise – the electric toothbrush is the largest personal care product by sales sourced from China.

 

Why are electric toothbrushes so popular?

Oral care continues to be a major element of overall health, and oral care problems cannot be ignored.

 

Oral health is a necessary element of overall physical and mental health.  Oral disease affects chewing, but oral diseases also are related to systemic diseases like stroke and heart disease.

 

Moreover, we only have one set of adult teeth.  If these are lost, the only recourse is expensive oral surgery.

 

Modern life continues to accelerate at an unheralded rate, and the increasing pressure causes oral problems for the modern individual.  A report, Oral Health Worldwide, from the FDI World Dental Federation points to a variety of factors that affect oral health of the modern individual.  These include a lack of a healthy diet, excessive stress, lack of regular rest and poor hygiene habits – smoking, alcoholism, lack of exercise, injuries and the like.  This often results in common oral diseases like calculus (buildup of tartar), bleeding gums and common cavities.

 

Using a traditional toothbrush is not effective because many people do not understand the basic brushing methods.  Incorrect brushing means poor overall oral health.  This brings about gingivitis and bleeding gums.

 

The electric toothbrush is superior to a manual toothbrush for cleaning.  Electric motors vibrate the head of the toothbrush at a high frequency.  This breaks the foaming action of the toothpaste and more deeply cleans the teeth.  The convenience and effectiveness of the electric toothbrush becomes more and more evident.

 

  1. The cleaning capabilities of the electric toothbrush are greater.  There is a larger contact area and increased work time because of the vibrating bristles – thus a better cleaning effect.
  2. Experiments with the electric toothbrush have pointed to increased plaque removal over manual toothbrushes.  This is supported unanimously by Canadian dental experts in data and a report, A 4-week clinical comparison of a novel multi-directional power brush to a manual toothbrush in the reduction of gingivitis and plaque.  The report documented electric toothbrushes are more effective than their manual counterparts in reducing gingivitis and plaque.
  3. Electric toothbrushes are safer and do not damage teeth.  Ordinary toothbrushes and the traditional left and right sawing brushing method damages teeth and gums.  Two British studies, The Safety of Oscillating-Rotatingand Powered Toothbrushes, show electric toothbrushes reduce brushing force by about 60 percent.  This greatly lowers the frequency of gingivitis and bleeding gums.
  4. Electric toothbrushes are safer for the soft and hard tissue in the mouth.
  5. Electric toothbrushes have an intelligent timer function.  This reminds the user of the appropriate amount of time to ensure thorough brushing.

 

Consumers, particularly in the U.S., recognize the value of electric toothbrushes.  These have become an indispensible invention for the average U.S. citizen.

 

Classification of electric toothbrushes

 There are two primary categories of electric toothbrushes on the market: rotary electric and sonic vibration.  The vast majority of electric toothbrushes sold are the sonic vibration variety.

 

Rotary Electric Toothbrush

The rotary electric toothbrush uses a small electric motor inside of the toothbrush.  These motors drive the circular brush heads in a pendulum-like manner.  The rotation and increased friction of the bristles remove debris much more efficiently.  While more effective than a manual toothbrush, the rotary electric model is not as efficient in cleaning as the sonic vibration type.

 

Advantages: An exceptionally clean tooth surface over the manual toothbrush.

 

Disadvantages: The rotary action of the bristle does not work into gaps efficiently.  This can cause some surface damage.

 

Representative brand: Oral B

 

<Illustration>

 

Vibrating electric toothbrush

 Vibrating electric toothbrushes use a micro-motor to drive the head and bristles, but the motor moves the head at a 90 degree angle to the handle.  The swing amplitude is around 5mm as well.  This vibrating frequency is similar to that of a sonic wave, thus giving the vibrating electric toothbrush its common name – the sound wave type.

 

The sonic vibration toothbrush uses an ultrasonic transducer to vibrate the brush head at a high frequency.  The action clears all of the plaque and tartar on the tooth’s surface.  The cleaning range also covers all of the tooth and mouth interior.

 

The vibrating electric toothbrush is superior to the rotary electric toothbrush by user experience and tooth damage.  The sonic vibration toothbrush is the mainstream choice in most markets.

 

<Illustration>

 

Each electric toothbrush has its advantages.  The official Oral-B website mentions the vibration amplitude of the vibrating toothbrush is small, softer than the rotary and has better cleaning power over the rotary brush.

 

Analysis of demand for electric toothbrushes

Sourcing Nova used some of its keyword research tools and found the electric toothbrush has a high search volume as evidenced in the following:

demand for electric toothbrushes
demand for electric toothbrushes

The search intent is transactional.  This means the searcher has a high probability of converting to a customer.

 

Looking at Google Trends, the sales of electric toothbrushes surge for the holiday season.  If you are looking for quality gift items, the electric toothbrush is a solid choice.

electric toothbrushes google trends
electric toothbrushes google trends

 

Electric toothbrush permeability

 Statistics from Statista and Nielson dating back to 2019 shows the penetration rate of electric toothbrushes in developed countries is significantly higher than that of under-developed countries.

 

In the U.S, the penetration rate is 42 percent; in Japan, 40 percent; in Germany, Italy, France and the U.K., the rate is between 20 to 40 percent; in China, the rate is around five percent.

 

The development history of electric toothbrush in China

As a choice sourcing agent in China, we have a substantial range of information sources to review the domestic industry .  Again, looking at the statistical data from 2021, the sales of Taobao and Tmall electric toothbrushes was around 4.82 billion yuan (approximately 73 million U.S. dollars).

 

Besides looking internationally at sales and demand, Sourcing Nova reviews sales data in China.  Many purchasing agents will only review demand for their Western customers, leading to one-sided data.  We have learned that if a product has a high demand in the West and is increasing in popularity in China then there is a well-established supply chain.  Looking to the economies of scale, Sourcing Nova can find the best manufacturers with excellent product quality and competitive pricing.

 

Electric toothbrushes have been in the Chinese market for over a decade.  In the early stages, the high prices of foreign monopoly and other factors kept the market blank for a long time.  Recent years and technological advances in Chinese domestic brands means a reduction in product prices, leading to explosive growth of the electric toothbrush industry.

 

Why is the electric toothbrush industry growing explosively in China?

There are three considerations: the overall economic level, consumer level and product level.

 

Overall economic level: China’s domestic economy and income levels continue to improve.  This means there is dispensible income available for electric toothbrushes.

 Consumer purchasing power is when the economic level of the purchaser can support consumption of electric toothbrushes.  Those countries with economic levels high enough to make the purchases of electric toothbrushes receive priority.  This makes sense since the initial purchase of an electric toothbrush and replacement brush heads are substantial.

 

Consumer level: The increased awareness of personal oral care mean consumers are more willing to purchase electric toothbrushes.

 

Consumers decide to buy and form a product demand.  For consumers to make a purchase, there needs to be an existing demand based on previous purchases.

 

Consumer demand for electric toothbrushes is week in China but strong in Europe and the U.S. due to previous interest in the product. The following evidence supports this fact.

 

Consumer understanding of the electric toothbrush: Europe and the U.S. have a better understanding of electric toothbrushes and their efficacy over manual brushes.  This understanding is greater than that of the Chinese mainland and leads to a stronger demand of the product.

 

Consumer awareness of oral care: Consumers in Europe and the U.S. have much higher awareness of oral hygiene, better medical conditions as a whole and visit the dentist with much greater regularity.  The dentist plays a large role in the formation of consumer awareness of oral care.

 

Product level: The electric toothbrush market in China has a variety of categories.  There are constant improvements and upgrades in both the traditional functions and innovation of new functions in the electric toothbrush.  The technology is able to keep up with these changes, and this makes it easy to meet market demand.

 

The development law of electric toothbrush industry

 The Chinese people revisit history to determine the future.  For the electric toothbrush industry, we look to the development history in developed countries like Europe and the U.S. as well as the development of the electric toothbrush industry in China.  This means Sourcing Nova can summarize the development law of the electric toothbrush industry:

  1. An increase in income means consumers do not shirk back when reviewing electric toothbrush costs.
  2. Enhanced awareness of oral care helps drive the development of the electric toothbrush industry.
  3. Diverse product categories, enhanced functions and rapid technological updates drive future development direction.

 

Of these three points, the third point needs some elaboration.  As basic functions of the electric toothbrush continue to improve, new functions emerge.  Currently, there are two functions under continued and consistent review and development:

 

Specialization – Improving exisitng functions and improving product performance.  For example: longer battery life and expanded working modes.

Multifunctional: New functions or technologies increase value.  Timing partition functions, Bluetooth display, intelligent data recording and more are all functions that continue to evolve and grow.

 

Competitive Analysis of Electric Toothbrushes

 The competiton within the electric toothbrush industry has seen plenty of changes in the last few years.  Initially, only Philips and Oral-B created electric toothbrushes.  As the Chinese industrial cluster for electric toothbrushes grew, the market shares of these two giants fell and fell rapidly.  Today, there are four main players in the electric toothbrush market:

  1. Traditional home appliance manufacturers: Haier, Midea, Xiaomi and Panasonic
  2. Traditional manufacturers of electric toothbrushes: Philips and Oral-B
  3. Traditional toothbrush manufacturer enterprises: Darlie, Crest, Colgate and Saky
  4. Private label brands: Wal-Mart, Target and the like

 

Electric toothbrushes made in China are highly favored by consumers because of their high cost performance.  Another blog will discuss how to select the best electric toothbrush for your needs.

 

There are lots of individual manufacturers in the industry, but the technical differences of each product varies minimally.

 

Each make and model have a singular, core component – the motor.

 

The motor drives the core function of an electric toothbrush – maintaining high cleaning power to keep teeth and gums healthy.  High vibration frequency means high cleaning power, and the major brands are virtually matched in this.  The vibration frequency must be stabilized against the amplitude.  This ensures the strength of the motor, reduces physical friction and more for the most efficient way to clean teeth and gums – performance based on the motor.

 

The motor is also what drives the cost of the electric toothbrush.  The motor is the single most expensive part of the unit.

 

Philips and Oral-B have patented their motors and motor technology.  The motor performance does not provide any significant advantage over Chinese electric toothbrush motors.  China is a world supply leader in micromotors and export over one billion micromotors annually.  The difference in the motor supply of the electric toothbrush brands is mainly due to stability and cost of suppliers.

 

Famous brand of electric toothbrush

 The most well-known brands include Philips from the Netherlands; Oral-B from the U.S.; Panasonic from Japan.  The more popular Chinese brands include Mi, Huawei and Saky.

 

Opportunities for electric toothbrushes

If there was a time to import electric toothbrushes from China for your private business, it is now.  The recent release of the electric toothbrush industry standard, T/CHEAA 0009-2019, in 2019 set the first standards for the electric toothbrush and represents the first electric toothbrush product performance standard from any organization.

 

This creation of standards in the electric toothbrush industry makes it easier to eliminate substandard manufacturers, regulating the industry order, accelerate market reshuffle and continual change in the industry competition patterns.

 

The adoption of these standards means the product quality of China’s electric toothbrush industry has grown significantly.  Many once popular Western brands, like Philips, are bring replaced with Chinese brands in the Chinese market.  The Chinese manufactured electric toothbrush have excellent cleaning ability, ultrasonic technology, long battery life, multiple designs, aesthetically pleasing, a variety of functions and some now feature intelligent network capabilities.

 

Best of all, the Chinese brand of electric toothbrush features the same configuration as the Philips model and at a fraction of the price.

 

The largest purchasing group are millennials  They have high aesthetic requirements, are quick to try new things and like to flaunt individuality.  Electric toothbrushes with an attractive appearance and personalized design are likely to reach a transactional consumer much more effectively.

 

Challenges of Private Brand Electric Toothbrushes

Philips and Oral-B’s influence and market saturation is on the decline.  However, these two brands still occupy a large market position because of high-quality products and brand image, particularly within the high-end market.  This means a private brand will need to work hard to gain a decent foothold in the market.

 

Consumer preference for origin also has an effect on private label brands.  The preference of a national brand over a private label is a challenge.  Panasonic has a strong, unique brand advantage in Japan and Oral-B has a similar one in the U.S.

 

The ‘Made in the U.S.A.’ label means a great deal to many Americans, and they will pay more for that label over a similarly made Chinese product.

 

Trends in electric toothbrushes

More and more electric toothbrush brands are focusing on product development, design innovation, marketing and sales.  These brands do not have their own production plants but instead go for the OEM model.  This is a typical asset-light operating model, similar to the iPhone.  Apple does not make any products on their own but use manufacturers like Foxcomm to make their computers and phones.

 

The same can be said for most electronic toothbrush brands – they are commissioned by Chinese manufacturers..

 

What can SourcingNova do for you?

 Sourcing Nova uses OEM manufacturers of famous companies like LG, Mi, Huawei, Haier, Saky and Honeywell.  These manufacturers take the high-end Philips models as a reference for the same quality product but with a considerable competitive advantage.

 

If your target customer has strong buying power and seeks high-end, quality products, you need the most advanced manufacturer in China for a private label electric toothbrush.  Sourcing Nova will be glad to be your partner on the ground in China to meet your specific needs.

 

Our goal is to help you make money, and we use only the finest manufacturers of products available.

 

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