How To Start a Toothpaste Business?

How to get started with Toothpaste Business

Toothpaste Overview

Toothpaste is a white, red, or blue substance used together with a toothbrush to clean and brighten the teeth. It is a gel or paste formulation designed to remove particles of food and plaque, cleans the teeth to prevent bad breath too.

Toothpaste is a key part of your daily oral hygiene routine. Along with your toothbrush and floss it helps to remove food debris and plaque from your teeth and gums. Daily brushing of the teeth in the morning and evening before retiring for the night is the routine for most families. In fact, dentists recommend that you go the extra mile to brush your teeth after every meal to keep your mouth clean and safeguard it from decay and gum disease.

Toothpaste is indeed formulated for the purpose of cleaning the mouth and keeping gum disease at bay. It is made with a range of ingredients such as fluoride which is at the center of tooth protection.

Toothpastes can come in a gel, paste or powder form. While the ingredients differ slightly, all toothpastes contain the same general components:

  • Mild abrasive. With some help from your toothbrush, these help to remove debris and surface stains.
  • Humectants. This ingredient helps to prevent water loss, and keeps your toothpaste from drying out or getting gummy.
  • Flavoring agents. This is what gives your toothpaste a little bit of sweetness, and that minty fresh scent. Since these do not contain sugar, they also do not promote tooth decay.
  • Thickening agents. Also known as binders, these help to stabilize the toothpaste formula.
  • Detergent. That foaming action comes from detergent. It also helps to spread the toothpaste through your whole mouth, and helps clean teeth.

They may have all the same basic ingredients, but all toothpastes are not the same. Depending on the toothpaste, other ingredients can also be added for other benefits.

Toothpaste has been used for over 3,500 years and today has witnessed various brands in the market and more brands are still in the making.

Overview of Toothpaste Industry in India and Market Analysis

The Gel Segment has accounted for the majority of the growth in the Urban market. Colgate still owns a significant portion of the Market. Colgate Palmolive and Hindustan Lever Limited are the two leading participants in the toothpaste industry, with other minor businesses such as Balsara Hygiene, Dabur, and others.

Colgate Dental Cream now has a 52 % market share. CloseUp from HLL is far behind, with only 23% of the market share. Colgate Gel is the market’s third-largest player in terms of market share, with 10.5 % of the market. Other brands such as Pepsodent, Babool, Sensoform, Forhans, Cibaca, Neem, and others have a 14.5 % market share.

The global toothpaste market is on the threshold of a new phase with the advent of new biotechnologies that help curb problems of sensitivity and enable the re-growth of teeth. Oral care is undergoing significant changes with innovative and fresh products motivating people to alter their oral hygiene habits. The world toothpaste industry was valued at USD 15,061.4 million in 2017. Industry experts predict a 4.80% CAGR can go up to USD 21,642 million during the forecast period (2018-2025).

Top Players of the Toothpaste Industry in India


Colgate is the most well-known oral care brand in India. They are dedicated to conducting their business with honesty and respect for all individuals. Colgate provides high-quality oral care products such as toothpaste, toothbrushes, and mouthwashes, as well as dental health advice from experts. This vegan toothpaste is also sugar-free and gluten-free. It is priced at 40 rupees per 100 grams.

Red Paste by Dabur

It protects against cavities, gingivitis, plaque, toothache, poor breath, yellow teeth, and weak teeth and gums, as well as other dental issues. In comparison to other ordinary toothpaste, it also gives a 35 % improvement in oral care hygiene index. It costs 35 rupees per 100 grams.

Sparkling White Toothpaste from Himalaya Herbals

Himalaya’s sparkling white toothpaste is a ground-breaking herbal solution based on plant enzyme technology that helps remove stains from the surface of your teeth. It contains enzymes found in papaya and pineapple, i.e., papain and bromelain, respectively, that help whiten teeth without harming them. It costs 75 rupees per 100 grams.

Everfresh + Anti-Germ Gel Toothpaste in Closeup

Closeup Everfresh + Gel Toothpaste, now in Triple Fresh Formula, combines the power of three components to keep your mouth clean, protected, and fresh: mouthwash, purifying gel, and natural extracts of Tea Tree and Eucalyptus. It has an aggressive zinc mouthwash solution that kills up to 99 % of bacteria. It is 50 rupees per 100 grams in price.

Hindustan Lever Limited 

CloseUp by Hindustan Lever Limited is the other leading toothpaste brand in India. This company is credited with being the first to introduce toothpaste to India in 1975. CloseUp is the brand name of the first gel toothpaste in India. Since then, the brand has been reintroduced several times and is available in a variety of flavours. The company has also launched ten bundles in an attempt to reach into the rural market.

Market Share of Companies (as per volume)

The Indian oral care market, which includes toothpaste, toothbrushes, tooth powder, mouthwash, and denture care, is worth 15,000 CR.

The toothpaste market is the most important, accounting for 70% of the oral care market. The toothpaste market is expected to be around 10,000-12,000 CR.

Colgate Palmolive India Limited (CPIL) is the market leader in terms of value at 48.3% as of March 2020. HUL is in second place with a distant 16%. Dabur is gaining up to HUL, with a market share of 13.4%. Patanjali now has a 9.2% share of the Indian toothpaste market, compared to GSK’s 7.9%.

Market Share of Companies (as per category)

Prior to Patanjali’s debut, the family category was the most popular in the toothpaste segment, accounting for 35% or more of the market. Patanjali, on the other hand, entered the market and completely transformed the category mix. The herbal or natural category now accounts for more than 35% of total revenue, up from less than 10% in FY15.

Patanjali and Dabur, on the other hand, have a larger share of the natural sector, with a combined market share of 75%. This category has been rising at a 30% compound annual growth rate. MNCs like CPIL and HUL were the only ones to lose market share to domestic players in this category. CPIL has released various items in this area under the Ved Shakti Portfolio to combat this.

HUL is leading the freshness segment with CloseUp. With the Colgate Max Fresh, CPIL attempted to compete, but HUL maintained its lead. GSK’s Sensodyne is the market leader in the sensitive area, followed by CPIL’s Colgate Sensitive.

8 Steps to Start a Toothpaste Business

The toothpaste market is not price-sensitive and brand loyalty plays an important role in the majority of the customers. The product has a good scope and opportunity for entrepreneurs who really want to establish a profitable business in the household consumable goods industry.

1. Create a Toothpaste Production Business Plan

In starting the toothpaste production business a detailed comprehensive plan is of the utmost necessity. There are different varieties of toothpaste that can be made. Selecting the right category is important. Different varieties are white toothpaste, gel toothpaste, ayurvedic toothpaste, and tooth powder; white or colored.

You must select the variety and accordingly plan for marketing strategy. According to the product you will need to focus on the target niche. Determine your business objective, mission statement, and goals. By having a customized project report you will find the financial aspects also. Calculate the startup budget with the working capital needed.

2. Toothpaste Production Business Compliance 

Several different types of permits and licenses are required for toothpaste production. It hugely depends on your location and local state laws. Registration of business according to your ownership pattern is a must.

Business compliances vary from state to state and country to country. In India, you will need to obtain a Trade License, Factory License, and GST Registration. Apply for ‘Consent to Establish’ and ‘Consent to Operate’ both from the Pollution Control Board. Also, you will need to have EPF & ESI registration. According to your product specification apply for an ISI mark from BIS Certification Authority.

3.  Machinery & Raw Materials For Toothpaste Production

According to the desired specific product you will need to choose the right machinery. Taking the proper expert advice is always recommended. Commonly required machinery is a shear mixer machine, injection shoulder, weighing scale, filling, and sealing machine, tube body mold, chiller machine, vacuum paste machine.  A small laboratory setup is also important for research & development purposes.

In manufacturing different types of toothpaste different raw material is used. It also depends according to the formula. The most common raw materials required are Allantoin, Aluminium Lactate, Bronopol, Calcium Carbonate, Sorbitol 70%, Sodium mono fluorophosphate, Ethylvanillin, etc. Procure all the raw materials from reliable chemical manufacturers or suppliers.

As toothpaste is a consumer durable item you have to pay attention to the packaging. Different small and big retail packaging should be launched. Toothpaste normally comes in tube form. You will need to gather required packaging consumables like a tube, cardboard box, and outer carton for wholesale delivery.

4.  Be ready To Start Toothpaste Production

If you decide to go into the production of toothpaste or the production of anything for that matter, the first thing that you should do is to get educated at the college or university level. Having a degree in production management or production engineering is recommended since you are going to be well-grounded and with some training in the toothpaste factory, you will be ready to take control of your toothpaste factory.

You could be updated regularly by belonging to the production management association and attending seminars or other similar events.

In addition to obtaining personal training and acquainting yourself with the knowledge necessary to set up your production facility, you need to commission market research to investigate the toothpaste industry and market to find out how viable is the toothpaste market and whether you will be able to capture part of the market. The research will be thorough and will cover the following areas:

I)  Product research to cover:

  • New toothpaste introduction in the market
  • The number of brands of toothpaste in the market
  • Acceptance of existing ones
  • Which brand is the leader?
  • Packaging research and design

II)  Market research to cover:

  • Market potential
  • Market share for existing competitors
  • Sales analysis
  • Market characteristics
  • Short and long-range forecasting
  • Test market, store audits
  • Sales promotion studies.

III)   Distribution research

Research can provide crucial information affecting the distribution of toothpaste. For example, market research into alternative methods of distribution may involve;

  • The location and design of distribution outlets
  • Packaging for distribution and shelving
  • Dealer supply requirements
  • Dealers advertising requirements
  • The cost of different methods of transportation and warehousing.

IV)  Promotion research

All forms of marketing communications can be made more effective by careful research and analysis of the results of past marketing efforts. This involves researching media effectiveness, advertisement production, and testing media coverage. The activities involved include:

  • Motivation research for advertising and sales promotion effectiveness
  • Copy research
  • Media research
  • Advertising effectiveness.
  • Competitive advertising studies.
  • Effectiveness of advertising on sales demand

5. Setup Your Toothpaste Production Business 

Selecting the right location for the toothpaste production company is important. It is advisable to establish the toothpaste manufacturing operation within an Industrial Zone. By doing this you will get some certain advantages such as commercial electric connection, sufficient water supply, availability of labor with uniform wages, smooth transport facility, and many more.

Conduct location research and evaluate your findings before you make your choice to avoid the wrong choice of location.

You may establish your admin and marketing office in other places. For smooth accounting, administration, and production operation you may need to have ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) Software.

6. Calculate the Cost of Starting Toothpaste Manufacturing Unit

The bulk of your startup investment in starting a toothpaste manufacturing company will go into buying machinery and equipment. Other than equipment, other costs will include space rent, business licenses, manpower hiring, and marketing expenses.

If you are interested to start this business in India on small scale, the startup cost will be a minimum in the range of Rs. 20 lacs to Rs. 50 Lacs.

7. Toothpaste Production Plan and Production Process

To be successful in the toothpaste business, you must apply due diligence and that includes planning for the various brands of toothpaste. The plan will include forecasting the current and future demand and the planned closing inventory. These will form the number of toothpaste to be produced. The detailed production plan will therefore include:

  • Forecast your current and future sales
  • Plan your production schedule for the period.
  • Choose a production method that will make efficient use of resources.
  • Compare actual production and actual sales to determine the difference.
  • Analyze the differences to discover why the variance occurred.
  • Apply corrective action to make sure such differences don’t re-occur.
Toothpaste production process

All the ingredients should be gathered together and evaluated, put on a scale to determine their weight, mix them together in a large barrel.

Blend all the ingredients together for a smooth texture. This formulation forms the basic toothpaste; but, to make the toothpaste to whiten the teeth, whitening ingredients (e.g. turmeric) should be included in small proportions. Also, the proportion of abrasive agents (e.g. baking soda) must be very minute to prevent tooth enamel from getting damaged. From the barrel, the product will go through a filling machine, and then into the tubes.

Some of the steps to make your toothpaste are highlighted below:

Step 1: Gather the basic toothpaste materials

Step 2: Prepare the materials for processing.

Step 3: Mix the materials together for processing

Step 4: Blend the materials with the appropriate machinery

Step 5: Package your final product

Human Resource For Toothpaste Production

The toothpaste production business involves the wide activity of factory operation, marketing, sales, accounting, and admin operation. It is advisable to craft an HR Manual in the initiation stage of the organization. According to the demand you will need to recruit specific experienced and skilled manpower.

In factory operation, recruitment of a ‘Chemist’ is beneficial and sometimes mandatory. Apart from this identifying the proper and effective position and recruiting of right and capable manpower is an important factor in getting overall success.

8. Promote Your Toothpaste Production Business

Rightly planned brand promotion and media promotion are required. Electronics media like television and radio are the most effective medium to promote this type of product. Do some outdoor advertising activities too.

Online promotion is also important. Create your own organization’s website with every detail of information about the product and the company. Focusing on a targeted niche and doing sales promotions according to that is the only effective way to get success.


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