Why watermelon? How we chose our new toothpaste flavour.

Why watermelon? How we chose our new toothpaste flavour.

Interviews

Photos Rachelle Simoneau

Words Horace

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Marguerite, Product Development Coordinator at Horace, explains why we went for this surprising taste!

Can you tell us a bit about you and your role at Horace?

My name’s Marguerite, and I’ve been working at Horace for a year and a half, as part of the Product team. I work on developing new products, reformulating existing products to make them better, and diversifying products in the range with new fragrances or flavours.

So, when and why did the idea come up to work on a second toothpaste?

When we launched our first fresh mint toothpaste, it was a real event not only for Horace but also for our community. People were really waiting for it, so there was a lot of enthusiasm around the launch. Soon, people started asking about a second toothpaste, so we got to work! We consulted our parfumier to start imagining and exploring new flavours.

Why watermelon?

We went down this route after a lot of research and based on the suggestions of guys in our community. We asked them for ideas, and then conducted a blind test internally with 4 of the flavours. Watermelon was one of the strongest, most reliable options because it’s so evocative for so many people. When I was younger, it’s a flavour I’d find in toothpaste, shower gels or fragrances. It also seemed logical, since watermelon is a fruit that is both refreshing, and packed with water. This makes it very pleasant for brushing our teeth, even if at first it might seem surprising!

Which other flavours were in with a shot?

The team also tested one flavour that was more citrusy, and two different types of mint; one very strong, and one spicier. But watermelon was the winner by a long stretch.

How did the internal tests work?

I gave everybody a toothbrush (a Horace toothbrush, of course!), which they kept in their desks. Every day after lunch, I would go and see each person and give them a dose of a toothpaste to try, without telling them what it was. Everybody went to brush their teeth, one after the other. It was an odd, but fun experience. Afterwards, they were invited to fill out a questionnaire to evaluate the different aspects of each formula: texture, taste, how well it rinsed, freshness, etc. At the end of the week, we analysed their answers, and that’s how we realised that it had to be watermelon.

So, tests over, how long did it take to develop the toothpaste?

From asking our community and starting our research to today, it’s taken about 8 months. It’s quite quick since the formula of the toothpaste hasn’t changed, just the flavour. We didn’t want the flavour to affect the integrity of the formula or its benefits.

What does this toothpaste represent for you?

Summer! I think watermelon conjures up summer for a lot of people. It’s sweet, colorful, refreshing, and puts people in a good mood. We wanted this toothpaste to have a similar effect.

Is there a third toothpaste in the works?

Not right now, but it’s something we are thinking about! If people want it, and have some suggestions, we are always open to ideas!

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