A big majority of shoppers - 74% - buy branded products and 68% of that group always buy the same brand.
Overall, reasons for their purchases range from liking the taste (62%) to the cheapest on offer (8%).
Brand loyalty is high, with more than a third (35%) of shoppers saying they would leave their purchase until the next visit if their brand were out of stock. An even higher proportion (37%) would go elsewhere to buy it.
That leaves just 28% who are prepared to buy a toothpaste that was not their usual brand.
Displays are neat, tidy and well-stocked, which is a benefit to the grab and go shoppers who are able to select their brand with the minimum of delay. The average time taken to make a purchase at the fixture is 51 seconds
There is a need for better visual guides to the oral care fixtures, perhaps by more prominent displays of brushes and mouthwashes.
Displays for the pump-action toothpastes differ according to store. In one retailer they are displayed alongside the brand, while in another they are placed on the top shelf of the fixture.
As one shopper said: “Buying toothpaste used to be quite simple but now there are so many different ones, some cheap, some expensive.
“I really don’t know what I should be buying.”
Segmentation in the category is confusing some shoppers and they tend to compare prices so they can understand the differences within a brand and across brands.
Opportunities for trading up do exist within the grocery sector but shoppers will need help to understand the benefits that the different products state they will deliver. A proportion appear keen to understand the different propositions and clear demarcation at the fixture would enable them to do this more easily.
Several shoppers are reminded to make their purchase by the sight of associated dental care products, such as mouth-washes or toothbrushes.
Of the 16% of shoppers who had not intended to buy, half said they made the purchase because it was convenient to pick up at the time, rather than wait until a later shop.
Because the category attracts strong brand loyalty it is important to minimise out of stocks. In addition it is clear from shoppers’ behaviour that a visual impression of out of stocks can quickly be created when the first few rows of toothpaste have been sold.
The products stacked on the lower shelves are out of the shopper’s view.
At the time of our research there were two promotional offers and shoppers were buying into them only if they were for a brand they had in their repertoire, or knew.
Few said they would try a different brand because of an offer, especially if it was a bogof or two-for-£3 offer because two products would have to be thrown away if the family didn’t like it rather than only one. Therefore, a price reduction on a single pack is the preferred promotional route for trialling a new brand.