direct-to-consumer brands

With First Mouthwash, Quip Tackles Mask Breath

Quip wants to help you cure your mask breath. The oral-care brand that pioneered subscription toothbrushes and good-for-your-teeth gum is introducing a mouthwash.

Designed to be as pretty on bathroom counters as its other products, it's also part of the brand's expanding definition of healthy oral care, says Simon Enever, its founder and chief executive officer.

The launch "completes the initial family of oral care" for the brand, he tells Marketing Daily. And while previous introductions, such as the refillable floss picks, are designed as on-the-go items, this countertop model "is very much designed to create that home-base feel. Mouthwash is something people use first thing in the morning and at night, so we wanted to finish out the line with something like this."



Sustainability is a key focus of the alcohol-free product. Because the minty mouthwash is four times as concentrated, "we're not shipping as much water," he says. "So we cut down on emissions used in shipping."

Asking people to add water to concentrate is something bigger brands are exploring, "but it's riskier for them. People expect us to bring them something new and innovative. So this fits into our model."

Enever is coy about what's next. For instance, he won't comment on whether Quip is cooking up a water flosser. But he does say the company intends to expand existing product lines, which now include toothbrushes, toothpaste, flossing systems and gum.

"As we did with the gum launch, we're looking at more adjacencies. We're open-minded: What drives all health outcomes?"

The company's research uncovers the alarming news that almost 60% of people have delayed a dental care appointment because of the pandemic.

Besides slacking on dental appointments, they're also sleeping less, with nearly 70% of women reporting that pandemic-induced stress is costing them ZZZs.

The survey, based on 1,000 respondents, also found that taking care of teeth continues to be an important part of people's daily rhythms, despite the ups and downs of being stuck at home more.

"People do seem to understand that taking care of their teeth is about their overall health, not just the cosmetic consideration of who might be close enough to smell your breath," says Enever.

About 83% say basic hygiene habits, such as showering and hand washing, are either the same or increased. And 77% say their dental care routines stayed the same. And 30% say they care more about their bad breath now that masks force them to smell it.

Of the devoted mouthwash users -- about 40% of Americans -- 80% have either kept up or increased their use. And 61% say they typically follow their dentists' recommendation, waiting the full 30 minutes after using to eat or drink.

Enever says the brand plans a second-quarter marketing push that features not just the mouthwash but the entire suite of products.

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