Nearly 30% of respondents ages 18-35 indicated they would be somewhat likely or very likely to floss in public.
While public grooming has long been frowned upon, one personal hygiene habit may be on its way to acceptance outside the bathroom. A recent national Nielsen survey reveals that millennials are twice as likely to floss in public than baby boomers.
When considered in the context of market activity, it’s possible that this shift in attitude toward public flossing is tied to the increase in flossing tools available, such as on-the-go dental floss picks like those made by leading brand Plackers.
“Having food stuck in your teeth can be embarrassing or frustrating, but bringing out a string of floss and working it around your mouth can be disgusting for those around you,” said Don Cumming, global brand director for Plackers. “In recent years, however, we’ve seen a significant increase in adoption of convenient, on-the-go flossers. Given the results of this survey, it’s possible that younger consumers are more willing to floss in public because they perceive flossers as less offensive than traditional floss.”
According to Nielsen data, Plackers has seen an increase of nearly 70 percent in household penetration over the past five years. The data also reveals that traditional bobbin floss has seen a decrease of nearly 20 percent in household penetration over the same period.
The omnibus survey, commissioned by Plackers, asked respondents how likely they would be to floss their teeth in public. Nearly 30 percent of respondents ages 18-35 indicated they would be somewhat likely or very likely to floss in public compared to 13 percent of respondents ages 55 to 64, and only 7 percent of respondents ages 65 and older. The data also revealed that men are more likely to floss in public than women.