Colgate - Story of the World's Most Trusted Oral Care Brand

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Our Teeth are an important part of our body and human being has been taking care of them since primitive times. Interestingly the world's first toothpaste was made as early as 4 AD. Today, there is n number of oral hygiene products available in the market. However, when it comes to oral hygiene, one company that has stayed on top of the game for centuries now is  Colgate. In 1873, the first-ever commercially produced toothpaste was launched by Colgate, and the company is still maintaining its charm. Even today a considerable chunk of the population worldwide uses Colgate toothpaste and oral hygiene products. Here is the story of Colgate, which is now a household name across the Globe.

Colgate - Company Highlights

  • Startup Name-Colgate
  • Headquarters-New York, United States
  • Sector-FMCG
  • Founder-William Colgate
  • Founded-1806
  • Parent Organization-Colgate-Palmolive

Colgate - About

Colgate is an American Brand. The brand derived its name from its founder William Colgate. The company at its inception was known as William Colgate and Company, and it was just a small business, where Mr. William used to sell soaps and Candles. In 1857, when after William Colgate's demise, his son Samuel Colgate took over the business, the company was renamed Colgate and Company.

In 1873, Colgate launched the first-ever commercially manufactured toothpaste. This aromatic toothpaste was then sold in jars. Colgate toothpaste is still one of the most sold products of the company. In 1896, Colgate launched Colgate Ribbon Dental Cream, which was the first toothpaste available in a tube.

Colgate and Company came to be known as Colgate-Palmolive -Peet Company after the acquisition of Colgate by Palmolive-Peet Company in 1928. Palmolive Peet was an association between Palmolive and Peet Brothers.  Palmolive was the maker of the world's best-selling soap Palmolive in the early 20th century. While Peet Brothers was a soap manufacturing company in Kansas.

In 1953 Colgate-Palmolive-Peet was renamed Colgate-Palmolive, which is currently the parent company of Colgate.

Colgate-Palmolive is successfully holding on to its legacy to date and has a wide range of products including personal hygiene & care products, various cleansers, and pet food, that are sold all over the world.

William Colgate began his career with a little candle and soap business in the 19th century in New York City, which happened around two hundred years ago. William was born in Hollingbourne, Kent, England. He was an American industrialist born on the 25th of January 1783. William passed away on the 25th of March 1857.

Colgate - Mission and Vision

Colgate's Mission statement says - 'Colgate-Palmolive is committed to act with compassion, integrity, honesty and high ethics in all situations, to listen with respect to others and to value differences. The Company is also committed to protect the global environment, to enhance the communities where Colgate-Palmolive people live and work, and to be compliant with government laws and regulations.'

Colgate's Vision statement says - 'As we plan our strategies to sustain growth for the years to come, our core values of Caring, Global Teamwork, and Continuous Improvement will continue to drive our future initiatives.'

Colgate - Tagline, Slogan and Logo

The first tagline of Colgate is 'It cleans your breath while it cleans your teeth.'

Over the years, Colgate has come up with many taglines to promote its products. Some of Colgate's popular slogans are

  • Cleans more than just teeth.
  • Fights germs for 12 hours.
  • So clean, you can feel it.
  • Smile with strength.
  • What a refreshing idea.

Colgate - Business Model

Colgate Palmolive is one of the top FMCG companies in the world. Colgate products include -

Oral Care

Toothpaste, mouth rinses, toothbrushes, tooth whitener, dental floss, and drug store products for health professionals such as dentists are available under this category.

Household Surface and Fabric Care

Dishwashing fluid, Palmolive, and home cleansers are the major products available under this category.

Pet Nutrition

Pet care products like pet nutrition food and supplements are available under this category.

Personal Care

Shower gels, body sprays, shampoos, conditioners, shaving products, fluid and bar hand soaps are available under this category.

The company spends a considerable part of its revenue on advertising and marketing. In 2021, Colgate spent nearly 2 Billion US Dollars on advertising worldwide. With intelligent market segmentation, and by building trust with the target audience, Colgate has established itself as a top player in the FMCG category, particularly in the oral hygiene segment worldwide.

The company also keeps adding new products and phasing out old products from time to time to meet changing customer requirements. Some of the popular products that Colgate discontinued over time are Fab One-Shot detergent, Coleo soap, Cashmere Bouquet Soap, and Peter Pan Beauty Bar with Chlorophyll, among many others.

Colgate - Funding and Investors

Colgate has raised a total amount of $15.2 million in funding over the two funding rounds.

Colgate - Competitors

The competitors of the company are Crest, Sensodyne, and Pepsodent respectively.


Crest is the top competitor of the company Colgate. The company was founded in 1955 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Crest specializes in oral hygiene products only.


Sensodyne is one of the top competitors of the company Colgate. The company was founded in 1907 and is headquartered in the United Kingdom. Sensodyne has specially positioned itself as an oral care brand for sensitive teeth.


Pepsodent was founded in 1915 and is headquartered in the United States of America. Peposedent is a brand owned by Unilever. However, in Canada and United States, the rights for selling Pepsodent lies with Church & Dwight.

Colgate - Growth

From being just a small business selling soaps, candles, and starch, to becoming an MNC, the journey of Colgate is truly exemplary. As per 2020 reports, Colgate Palmolive holds the largest share in the oral hygiene segment Globally. Colgate Palmolive's oral care brands include Colgate, Tom's of Maine, and Elmex.

The company's products are sold across 200+ countries and territories worldwide. The company is also no. 1 in the household products industry by Dow and Jones Sustainability Indices. As per Statista reports, in 2021, Colgate-Palmolive generated net sales worth 17.42 billion U.S. dollars worldwide. In the Q4 of 2020, Colgate reported a 7.5% increase in Net sales.

In FY 2020-2021, Colgate-Palmolive India recorded net sales worth Rs. 4,810.5 crore, which is a 7.2 % increase from that of FY 2019-2020. In India, Colgate- Palmolive has launched new products like Colgate toothpaste for Diabetics, Colgate Vedshakti Spray, and Oil Pulling to capture more consumers. Colgate has also come up with attractive offerings like the first AR toothbrush that makes brushing fun for kids. Colgate has also been ranked No.1 Most Trusted Oral Care Brand from 2011-2019 by The Economic Times - Brand Equity - Most Trusted Brands Survey, which was conducted by Nielsen.

Colgate - FAQs

Is Colgate an Indian Brand?

No, Colgate is an American Brand.

Who is the CEO of Colgate?

Noel Wallace is the CEO of Colgate-Palmolive. He has been associated with Colgate-Palmolive for over 3 decades.

What are the products of Colgate?

Besides oral care products, Colgate deals in personal care and personal hygiene products, household cleaning products, and pet food.

How did Colgate get its name?

Colgate is named after its founder William Colgate.

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