Once feared more than anthrax, Chinese toothpaste brands are apparently beating out the competition with tea-flavored products that appeal to the Chinese palate. Who knew that an ingredient which makes your teeth look like rain-damaged deck planks would help revive China’s oral hygiene industry. Reuters reports:
Senior executives at companies such as The Coca-Cola Co, Procter & Gamble Co and Colgate-Palmolive Co are being forced to adapt as the challenge posed by local firms intensifies in a slowing economy.
In this tougher market, both local and foreign brands are targeting the same customers, and increasingly, the domestic firms are winning: nearly two-thirds of foreign brands surveyed lost market share in China last year, according to the report.
Understanding the needs of Chinese consumers has given local companies an edge. Privately owned Jiaduobao Group (JDB) makes canned herbal tea which it says can put out internal “fires”, playing on a concept in traditional Chinese medicine. The firm also sponsors a popular TV talent show, “The China Voice”
We can just see foreign toothpaste companies scrambling to stay relevant in China with stinky tofu whitening strips and fish sauce-flavored dental floss. Hey, we’ve seen them go to stranger lengths to woo the Chinese palate.
Though perhaps they shouldn’t feel so bad about being out of touch with the local market considering that ‘racism-flavored toothpaste‘ is also a big hit.
Currently, domestic companies are on the comeback trail with Chinese snow beer ranking as the world’s most popular brew for 2013, (mainly due to its stranglehold on the Chinese market), and local fast food corps gearing to replace that Ronald McDonald and company in wake of the recent expired meat scandal that rocked the reputation of Western fast food in China. Yeah, hypocritical protectionist measures and scapegoating of foreign brands for what were clearly ‘Chinese food scandals,’ might’ve played a part, but we digress….
[Image via qrbiz.com]