Toothbrushes, interdental brushes, toothpaste, mouth wash, kids dental care products, denture care products, tongue cleaners, speciality kits – these are decisive cornerstones of Curaden’s broad portfolio. They not only guarantee an extraordinary quality made in Switzerland but also reflect the company’s profound expertise gathered over more than 50 years.
Curaden is synonymous with tradition and innovation; it catches the attention of consumers with its broad range of oral care products and catchy slogans such ‘Mind the gap’.
“‘Mind the gap’ has become one of Curaden’s key messages,” explains Sales and Marketing Manager Richard Ström. “The gap does not just stand for an anatomical gap between tooth and gum or between the teeth but also gaps in our knowledge and gaps in our ability where prevention and care are concerned. Everyone wants lifelong healthy teeth. Our aim is to deliver sound information about health concerns, treatments and products.”
Curaden was founded in 1954 as Hans Breitschmid’s dental supply business. In 1966, Ueli Breitschmid followed in his father’s footsteps; over the following years, he pushed forward the development of the Curaprox oral health brand that today includes a complete range of dental cleaning products and services.
2015 was a decisive year in Curaden’s history; Curaden AG merged with Curaden International AG and Curaden IT solutions AG to further strengthen its pioneering position in the dental market.
“The new Curaden AG focuses on a one-company strategy,” sums up Mr. Ström. “While Curaden IT Solutions concentrates on advanced IT solutions for dental practices, Curaden AG markets dental practice equipment and supplies to dentists, dental hygienists and dental laboratories in Switzerland. Together with the strong brand Curaprox, all three companies joined forces to face upcoming market challenges. We believe that the future of dental practices is in networking and integration. Our IT products and services are essential for keeping up with the development.”
Today, Curaden is headquartered in Kriens, has around 150 employees and generates turnover of around 100 million CHF. The company has 15 subsidiaries and cooperates with distributors in almost 50 different countries around the world.
Exporting to more than 60 foreign markets is pivotal for the business. Brazil, where six million toothbrushes have already been sold, is a core target market.
“Our dental depot stocks more than 40,000 different products,” says Mr. Ström. “More than 700 Swiss dental practises work with them nowadays. They not only rely on oral care products but also on Curaden’s IT software solutions.”
Four product families dominate Curaden’s oral care product array: toothbrushes, interdental brushes, toothpaste and mouth wash products that are distributed under the brand Curaprox.
“Our product families even include different subcategories,” adds Mr. Ström. “Furthermore, we rely on the strategy of a brand within a brand. Most of our products are manufactured by selected partners in Switzerland. In August, we started producing toothbrushes ourselves in Degersheim. Due to the newly formed Curaplast we are proud to be a manufacturer ourselves now. Our aim is to produce twelve million toothbrushes a year.”
In terms of research and development, Curaden relies on its own competence – all products are developed in-house. One of the company’s latest innovations is a black toothpaste that removes discolouration by using activated carbon.
“Our new credo is ‘Go Black’”, underlines Mr. Ström. “Usually, activated carbon is used for the purification of water. Although, it is perfect to clean teeth. The great advantage is that it is a whitening toothpaste that works with activated carbon only but does not contain any bleaching agents or plastic particles. The toothpaste is refreshingly lemony and can be used as a regular toothpaste on a daily basis. It even promises a cooling sensation while brushing. It is part of our philosophy to offer whitening products but not bleaching products that can seriously damage teeth.”
‘Black is white’ is not Curaden’s only toothpaste that makes the difference. To satisfy the most diverse consumer demands, Curaden offers different brushes for individual needs. CS smart for instance comes as a toothbrush with an extra small brush head that allow children older than five years to accurately brush their teeth.
Babies and toddlers can enjoy a damage-free brushing experience with CURAkid, a special toothbrush with a narrow brush head that has been developed in collaboration with scientists from the University of Berne. CS single is the perfect choice for people with braces or implants and ATA is loved by those with brushing damage.
All products are distributed via dentists and pharmacies where competent product consultancy can be guaranteed. “We benefit a lot from recommendations,” states Mr. Ström. “Our products are clearly not the cheapest ones but they work efficiently. Due to their quality we have an excellent reputation that speeds our dynamic development.”
Last but not least, thanks to their appealing design, Curaden’s products stand out from the market. Toothbrushes come in many different colours and boast a very modern, minimalistic appearance.
“Consumers simply love the look of our brushes,” says Mr. Ström. “They are delighted by the rainbow of colours. However, this is not everything. We don’t generally use nylon bristles but filaments made of CUREN® that are exceptionally gentle and fine. And although the brushes are very sensitive they clean perfectly. A standard toothbrush has 800 to 1,000 small bristles that are loosely arranged. As our products have 5,460 filaments that are densely packed they are softer but still guarantee perfect cleaning. This is exactly what makes the difference. They are even ideal to clean the gums without causing any damage. Last but not least, our brushes have small, compact brush heads that are able to reach places in the mouth that are not easily reached by standard toothbrushes.”
Curaden is keen to expand its impressive, innovative product range. Part of the strategy is the development of a baby brand and the brand swiss-smile-beauty.com that includes cosmetic products that are distributed via duty free shops, airlines and superior department stores such as Harrods.
Furthermore, Curaden will place a stronger focus on marketing. Instead of only working with dentists, the company plans to shift its focus more and more towards the end consumer.
“Made in Switzerland is recognized as a label of quality throughout the world,” sums up Mr. Ström. “We still see huge market potential in foreign countries, especially in Asia. We are already distributing to Japan and are about to launch in China. In the past, dental care has clearly been neglected in Asia. But this is about to change now. Today’s generation is well informed and modern communication channels have contributed a lot to this development. While in Europe, sales are sluggish, we expect the Asian market to grow by 20 to 30%.”
Curaden will seize the opportunity to continue consolidating its position in Asia. Innovative dental products and IT solutions will be the key to success. “One major challenge of the market will be the digitization of dental practices,” says Mr. Ström. “Due to our structure, products and services, we are ready to face these challenges.”