With government data revealing one in four five year olds in the UK have experienced dental decay, it’s clear that access to the right sort of paediatric dental products is key.
Punch & Judy toothpaste was launched in the 1950s as an alternative to strong mint toothpastes. The brand recognised that children needed a milder flavoured toothpaste which was gentler on their super sensitive palates. Its aim was to be “The Children’s Toothpaste” and was one of the first to offer a flavoured (Raspberry) and a SUGAR FREE alternative. Over the years the pack has changed, and different flavours have been introduced, as well as a range of bamboo toothbrushes.
We caught up with UK manager, Michael Bennett, to find out more. He started by explaining to us why the heritage brand is just as relevant to today’s generation of children.
“Today the characters from the Punch & Judy Show are reformed as is our range of kid’s toothpaste with its new, bright and engaging packaging. However, one thing remains the same; the flavours that they have always loved which are now back and available to a new generation. Our philosophy has not changed either. Punch & Judy is still “The Children’s Toothpaste” because no other brand has more experience and understanding of kids and what they need.
Many of the “popular” brands are focused on the lucrative adult market, where they fight tooth and nail (pardon the pun!), but it means they only pay lip service to their children’s offering – often a single product, normally mint flavoured.”
Sugar is a big no-no for many parents, especially when it comes to children’s dental health – how do you work to reassure them that your products are good for teeth?
“Punch & Judy toothpastes were the first to offer “sugar free”. All our flavours, including the mild mints, are sugar free and will remain so. What’s more our toothpastes have the benefit of fluoride at the right level for the age of the child and now parents can also choose from our natural range which also features great tastes which kids love.”
Why should a retailer stock Punch & Judy products?
“The larger toothpaste brands have a limited choice in store and they also offer similar products, the vast majority of which are mint flavoured. Recent surveys suggest that up to 1 in 3 mums are experiencing problems getting their children to brush their teeth, we call it the brushtime battle. It’s rated alongside getting kids to eat their veggies and getting them to go to bed as being the most stressful things to do with your kid. Punch & Judy’s great flavours have been developed over the years with kids in mind as this is all we do. Our mission is to become the number 1 children’s toothpaste and since launch last year on Amazon the brand rapidly attained number 2 status in the children’s toothpaste category with more than 20% share – outselling Colgate 3:1. Our conversion rate is one of the highest across all Amazon categories at more than 70% which means that given the choice Mums and Dads are choosing Punch & Judy.”
What three words would you use to describe Punch & Judy?
“Engaging, fun and effective.”
What sets Punch & Judy apart from its competitors?
“We focus on being “The Children’s Toothpaste” with a mission to make brushtime fun time. The big brands treat kids’ toothpaste as an afterthought with limited ranges dominated by mint flavours that kids don’t like.”
What’s your best-selling toothpaste flavour – and why?
“Strawberry is by far and away the best seller but our recently launched Bubblegum is catching it up!”
Through which marketing channels is the brand communicated to consumers in the UK?
“Social media, mums’ websites, bloggers and parenting press are planned later in the year.”
Can you share any specific plans or developments for Punch & Judy for the year ahead?
“Having just launched our Natural Range of Toothpastes and Bamboo Toothbrushes we are looking to consolidate and gain share in bricks and mortar retail. However just as a teaser we are looking at launching a Probiotic Gummie which kids can take to school in their lunch boxes to keep plaque creating bad bacteria at bay throughout the day.”