Founded in 2016, the Ireland-headquartered oral care brand offered a range of toothpastes, mouthwashes, toothbrushes and flosses in various format options, including whitening strips and pens and teeth cleaning powders. Available online and in a range of beauty stores, including Boots and Feelunique in the UK and Ulta Beauty, CVS Pharmacy and Target in the US, the brand was continuing its expansion plans after receiving €13m in investment last year from Irish growth capital firm Development Capital.
And company expansion plans weren’t just geographical, said Beth Holden, senior UK account manager at Spotlight Oral Care.
“We have a few things going on,” Holden told CosmeticsDesign-Europe at Cosmoprof Worldwide Bologna in Italy earlier this year.
Beyond dental care – skin rejuvenation
“I think one of the main things in this industry is to make it feel more accessible to customers who are just shopping in retail markets. Dental, as an industry, can feel quite clinical and quite scary and very boring to some people, but at Spotlight we like to be the bridge between oral health and beauty,” she said.
The company, for example, had recently launched a ‘smile rejuvenation system’ – a micro-needling kit including a serum designed to smooth out fine lines around the lip area, she said.
“We’re really interested in launching more products in the beauty department and being a sort of all-rounder for oral health and face care as a whole,” Holden said.
Teeth whitening makes mass market
Beyond that, Spotlight Oral Care remained committed to its best-selling sub-category teeth whitening that had continued to see “massive growth”, according to Claudia Gocoul, head of retail for the EU and UK at the company.
“It’s more that whitening products have become more of an everyday occurrence with people that are less beauty-focused,” Gocoul said.
And growth had been especially prominent in teeth whitening strips and “fast whitening” alternatives, she said, as consumers looked for simple, on-the-go options.
But looking ahead, she said the brand would also continue its focus on plugging rising consumer expectations around environment and health, and the challenge here remained education and cost.
Educating consumers and retailers
“What we find a lot is we have to do a lot more education with our retail partners with regards to the ingredients we do have and the ingredients we don’t have and the reasons behind that as well,” she said.
And for consumers, price point remained “the biggest challenge” for the brand, she said.
Spotlight Oral Care packaged all its toothpastes in 100% recyclable sugarcane packaging, for example, and all its products were formulated with very high-quality ingredients, she said, which meant the products were, as a result, more expensive.
“It’s about educating people,” Gocoul said. “People are used to picking up a toothpaste for one pound, or depending on where you are one euro, and they’re asking why it’s more expensive. It’s quality.”