U.S. demand for wipes, both consumer and industrial, is expected to increase nearly 6% a year to reach $1.9 billion in 2009. This growth will be propelled by further market segment and a continual spate of new product introduction, according to a report published by the Freedonia Group. The number and variety of wipes on the market will continue to multiply dramatically with companies rapidly competing to introduce new products that open or create entirely new market sectors ahead of their competitors. However, wipes that do not provide the cost and convenience benefits demanded by consumers are expected to drop out of the market just as quickly.
Convenience and innovation will remain driving forces in the relatively new consumer market with household cleaning, hand and body and a number of other small volume consumer wipes projected to register the strongest growth. Though baby wipes will remain the top selling type of wipe, demand for these products will continue to suffer due to market maturity and continued replacement by newer, task-specific wipes in non-diaper applications, where baby wipes once enjoyed considerable popularity. However, makers of baby wipes are increasingly offering products with advanced formulas targeting specific needs and demographics, which will boost value gains in this lagging sector of the market.
Following the lead of the consumer market, new product innovations and expanding applications will drive demand for wipes in the industrial market. Manufacturing and healthcare will remain the largest segments of this market with special purpose products such as cleanroom and surface preparation wipes projected to see the fastest growth.