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The Future of Oral Care – The Meaning of Healthy Teeth

Ujwal Arkalgud, EVP & Group Director at Lux Research

Ujwal Arkalgud

EVP & Group Director, Anthropology

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Jason Partridge photo

Jason Partridge

VP, Client Success

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Welcome to “Why Meaning Matters”—a Story Studio Network podcast hosted by Erin Trafford with MotivBase cultural anthropologist, Ujwal Arkalgud and MotivBase president, Jason Partridge.

In today’s episode of Why Meaning Matters, Erin, Jason and Ujwal discuss the meaning of premium oral health. There are three areas that consumers and companies in the oral care industry are concerned with: sustainability, formulation or ingredients, and ease of use.

Consumers are overwhelmed by the options in the toothpaste aisle. Major companies have struggled to improve their margins. It goes to show that there is a cultural gap somewhere and MotivBase is exploring what it all means.

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In today’s episode of Why Meaning Matters, Erin, Jason and Ujwal discuss the meaning of premium oral health. There are three areas that consumers and companies in the oral care industry are concerned with: sustainability, formulation or ingredients, and ease of use.

Consumers are overwhelmed by the options in the toothpaste aisle. Major companies have struggled to improve their margins. It goes to show that there is a cultural gap somewhere and MotivBase is exploring what it all means.

Welcome to Why Meaning Matters. A Story Studio Network podcast hosted by Erin Trafford with MotivBase cultural anthropologist, Ujwal Arkalgud and MotivBase president, Jason Partridge.

To the consumer, sustainability in the context of oral health means zero waste. And not just zero plastic waste.

UJWAL [00:04:19] “So zero waste is not just reducing waste, which is the obvious but in the consumer’s mind it means being minimalistic. Yes, I know that’s not technically zero waste, but that’s why we study meaning.”

JASON [00:05:15] “[W]hat you’re kind of alluding to right now is that, even as people are thinking about the role of, you know, caring for oneself or taking care of one’s teeth, they’re looking for better solutions, but less solutions with less to clutter the environment, because at the end of the day that says something about how they’re choosing to live their lives.”

From outer packaging and presentation to product formulation, we’re starting to see all the do’s and don’ts of the food industry show up in oral health and the oral care aisle. It’s simply par for the course now for a product to be considered premium in oral health.

UJWAL [00:07:38] “…not only is it innovative, it also does not have all the don’ts right? Whether it’s preservatives, sugars, harm to animals, all of that stuff. It has to be a combination. You can’t just do one of them and go, ‘yep, this is premium’.

Toothpaste. Tooth brush. Floss. Mouthwash. Teeth whitening. The list goes on. One thing is crystal clear, there’s a complex set of considerations that are going into place every time we walk down the oral care aisle. And it has to be as simple and as easy as possible.

JASON [00:12:45] “All of these things are kind of a toolkit that we’re building and we’re assessing each and every one of these components as we put together our Batman utility belt of oral care for each of the members of our family.”

Next week on Why Meaning Matters, we move from the bathroom to the bedroom to dissect the cultural meaning (and challenges) of getting a quality night’s sleep.

Why Meaning Matters is a podcast produced by Story Studio Network and iContact Productions for MotivBase- Decoding implicit meaning behind what people talk about.

If you want to contribute to the conversation, make sure you drop us an email at hello [at] storystudionetwork [dot] com. If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to SHARE it, RATE it, and SUBSCRIBE to the show!

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