Bite has reimagined the way consumers can and should use routine personal-care products. It has disrupted the linear approach to a stale industry with a fresh, waste-free format that offers a successful, premium model of circularity.
The habit loop of consumers across the world involves starting and ending the day with a toothbrush and toothpaste.
Industry leaders such as Colgate and Crest have capitalized on necessary products in this habit loop and look to benefit the consumer and protect the health of their teeth. However, these items have resulted in an estimated 400 million toothpaste tubes thrown away in the US alone, and about 1.5 billion globally.
This traditional, linear approach to business is becoming more actively challenged as both consumers and competitors alike reconsider their choices, amidst changing preferences.
Reimagining the format
Founded in 2017, Bite has become a venture capital-backed company that now has more than 50,000 subscribers and growing. Bite looked to change the way toothpaste functions for the consumer by transforming the product. While this was a risky move in a stabilized industry, Bite — like other successful businesses — understands that it is necessary to innovate in order to sustain momentum.
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Bite reimagined toothpaste — not in the way that it affects oral health; but in the way that the consumer interacts with the product from purchase, receival, usage, and disposal, if any is necessary.
Bite looked to completely reinvent this part of daily routine in a sustainable way — all product aspects are recyclable (or chewable), plastic free and sent directly to the consumer with reduced-impact shipping. The consumer takes a bit from the reusable glass jar, bites down, and the toothpaste foams up similar to traditional toothpaste — providing the same ‘clean mouth feel’.
Using this transformed format, Bite has quickly grown to include other hygiene products — including toothbrushes, floss, mouthwash, teeth whitener, and deodorant — all of which are plastic free.
By reshaping and challenging how we interact with our daily products, this type of innovation can change the consumer goods industry.
A premium model of circularity
Bite’s solidified form of toothpaste is relatively new in the oral hygiene industry; in order to be competitive, this business model charges a premium for the product. The average consumer will not pay $30 for a tube of toothpaste when surrounding competitors are around $2.75. To remove that point of comparison, Bite changed the format of the product and the way the consumer interacts with it.
Bite’s subscription service allows the company to have a more regular and streamlined mode of business. The consumer does not need to go to the store or even remember to re-up their purchase, thanks to automated shipping. This model allows tooth-brushers to effectively buy into removing themselves from a wasteful sector.
The brand emphasizes that its products are made for refills, not landfills; and its refill-based model encourages brand loyalty through convenience and ease of continued use.
Elevated emotional benefit to consumers
Bite’s model not only benefits the environment by reducing landfill waste but is a strong recurring business plan enforced by the emotional connection that consumers have with the brand mission.
Bite has considered how the consumer will react with its brand emotionally and made it integral to the purchase and experience — offering compostable refills, recyclable glass, plastic-free and cruelty-free products helps the consumer feels ‘clean.’ This type of emotional benefit in a sea of noise and waste can offer users a sense of peace and satisfaction.
A message on the top inner flap of the product packaging reinforces the validity and importance of the consumer’s purchase: “Thanks a billion. Over one billion toothpaste tubes end up in our ocean and landfills each year. That stops with you.” This reinforces the idea that the consumers are doing something that matters.
The emotional benefit builds upon the sheer functional benefit of being a hygiene product, and brings consumers back to a feeling of cleanliness and higher value. In these ways, Bite offers business advantage and value for a number of important stakeholders and tips the wheel of industry change.
In order to move past a period of maturity and stagnation, it is instrumental for brands to seek out new formats, new forms of innovation, and new opportunities to grow and excel.