Procter & Gamble Co. has begun making Burt’s Bees toothpaste, and tubes will be available for sale nationwide in January through a licensing deal with Clorox Co.
Similar deals to make other Burt’s Bees products could be considered between the companies, but the toothpaste is the only one P&G has in market now.
A spokesman for the Cincinnati-based maker of consumer goods such as Crest toothpaste (NYSE: PG) said the Burt’s Bees deal resulted from P&G’s work to understand category trends and consumer desires.
The Burt’s Bees brand owned by Oakland-based Clorox (NYSE: CLX) is known for personal care products that consumers trust because of natural ingredients, and P&G is speeding efforts to take advantage of the increasing popularity of such products.
“We know that 35 percent of people in the U.S. are interested in using simple and effective toothpaste formulas, but only 5 percent of that group are buying the products today,” P&G spokesman Damon Jones told me. “Many consumers feel there are trade-offs with the current product offerings in this segment, so that led us to seek multiple options to address this opportunity.”
P&G has a joint venture with Clorox to make Glad brand food storage containers and trash bags, but the deal involving Burt’s Bees is different.
“I would describe it as a strategic licensing partnership,” Jones said of P&G’s arrangement for Burt’s Bees. “It is not a new joint venture in the technical sense.”
Clorox CEO Benno Dorer spent 14 years as a P&G employee. He began working at the Clorox headquarters in California while he was P&G’s global marketing director for new business development for fabric and home care. Clorox competes with P&G on some home care and laundry products.
P&G has a group that actively seeks out opportunities such as the one with Clorox to make Burt’s Bees toothpaste.
“If we find a future opportunity that is mutually beneficial for both companies, or other licensing partners, that’s something we would consider,” Jones said.
Founded in 1984, Burt’s Bees was acquired by Clorox in 2007. While Burt’s Bees toothpaste was launched in 2010, P&G hadn’t manufactured the brand before.
Packaging for the new toothpaste notes the Burt’s Bees trademark and logo are used by P&G under license. The Clorox name doesn’t appear on packaging.
The carton emphasizes what isn’t in the toothpaste and that the product isn’t tested on animals.
“We don’t add what you don’t want,” the label reads.
The toothpaste is made without:
- Artificial flavors or sweeteners
- Preservatives or blue, red and yellow dyes
- Plastic microbeads
- Sodium lauryl sulfate, triclosan or parabens.
Three adult formulas and two for kids will be available, including varieties geared toward fresh breath, whitening teeth and enamel care.
All-natural flavors include peppermint, eucalyptus, spearmint oils and stevia sweetener. Fluoride and fluoride-free versions will be available for adults and children.
The toothpaste will be sold at groceries, drug stores, mass retailers and online. The suggested price is $5.99 for the adult formulas and $3.99 for the child varieties.
*Original article online at https://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2018/12/28/p-g-strikes-deal-with-clorox-on-burt-s-bees.html