Feminine Hygiene Overview

August 17, 2005

the latest news from the makers of sanitary protection products

Amir Paper Products, Upper Galilee, Israel, manufactures a full range of feminine hygiene napkins. The company’s product portfolio is available in versions with or without wings, folded and wrapped or unwrapped and in compressed or classic designs. Manufactured according to stringent international standards, Amir Paper Products’ feminine hygiene napkins are available in all sizes/absorbency levels and can be manufactured according to customer requirements.

The company uses the latest, state-of-the-art accredited raw materials and hygiene components including laminated topsheets, perforated films, acquisition and transfer layers, etc. Amir Paper Products’ “Ultra Wings” products are ultra thin and are available either with or without SAP, without compromising performance. The company’s “Top-Pad” products offer maximum absorbency, security, convenience and comfort.

A-Fem Medical, Portland, OR, has completed three distribution agreements for its “inSync” miniform feminine protection product. The product is now available through retailers PlanetRx.com and Soma.com at their on-line stores located at www.planetrx.com and www.soma.com respectively. The feminine protection product is also available for purchase at the website of CVS Corporation, Seattle, WA, www.CVS.com, which recently acquired Soma.com. Additionally, inSync is available by direct mail through the “Transitions for Women” mail order catalog published by Transitions For Health, Portland, OR, and at the inSync website www.insyncminiform.com.

In addition to the miniform, A-Fem has developed two other proprietary technology products—the “PadKit” sample collection system and “Rapid•Sense.” The PadKit, which is currently undergoing clinical trials, utilizes a miniform as a non-invasive sample collection method for use in screening cancers and diseases. A-Fem is also developing point-of-care diagnostic products that provide quantitative results using its Rapid•Sense technology.

A-Fem offers a website for its miniform product at insyncminiform.com. The site, which was developed to promote the company’s feminine protection products, also provides product information, a forum and resources for women’s health issues.

The latest news from Consolidated Ecoprogress Technology, Vancouver, Canada, is its purchase of the assets, rights and patents of Trutona International, Atlanta, GA, earlier this year. Since then, Ecoprogress has completed a 16-month test market of its “Simplicities” flushable and biodegradable feminine hygiene napkins and panty liners in British Columbia and Alberta, Canada. The test results were reportedly positive with respect to liners and showed that napkins with wings or tabs were preferred. In answer to this request, the company has chosen Dambi Limited, Morap, Sweden, as a joint venture partner to develop a napkin with the wing design.

Another highlight this year for Ecoprogress was the “Millennium Product Award,” which the company received in July. The award identifies its B-9 technology as one of the new forward-thinking products emerging from the U.K. Ecoprogress’ technology allows for the manufacture of biodegradable and flushable feminine hygiene products. The company had been previously awarded the “Ecologo” by Environment Canada for its positive effect on the environment.

In other Ecoprogress news, U.K.-based absorbent product manufacturer Lloyds Chemist’s has developed three private label feminine hygiene products in conjunction with the company. The products—including both panty liners and sanitary pads—were expected to be delivered to Lloyds for testing and development in September.

Feminine hygiene manufacturer First Quality Hygienic, Great Neck, NY—whose product portfolio includes “Femtex” tampons and “Prevail” incontinence products—has begun expansion of its tampon plant. The expansion is expected to be completed at the end of this year and will add 100% capacity and will include the addition of both tampon and header roll equipment.

Roll goods manufacturer Fort James France, Courbevoie, France, has begun the production of air laid nonwoven roll goods for use in two new feminine hygiene products. The first, “Airtex,” can be used as the transfer layer or absorbent core of a hygiene product. The other product, which will be marketed under the “Dritex” brand name, is designed for use as the absorbent core for heavy-flow sanitary napkins. The Dritex line of nonwoven roll goods is made with superabsorbent fibers inside its core to allow for maximum absorption capacity with no loose absorbent powder. In addition to these properties, the Dritex product also allows for very fast acquisition and excellent retention capacity.

A new panty for stress incontinence control has been developed by Hygienics Industries, Miami, FL. The white panty comes in both a lace thigh-high and bikini style and uses a unique, water- and stain-resistant cotton fabric. The panty, which is popularly priced, uses a disposable liner or pad.

The world’s 35th largest roll goods producer Kang Na Hsiung Enterprise (KNH), Taipei, Taiwan, has been busy building a new skin and feminine hygiene care-related production site in Shanghai, China. Production at the plant is scheduled to begin in 2000.

As part of its new global organizational structure, Kimberly-Clark, Dallas, TX, has formed three strategic worldwide businesses: Tissue, Personal Care and Health Care/Nonwovens. The move, which is intended to drive sales and earnings growth, improve efficiency and increase the speed of bringing new products to market, began earlier this year. Each business will have its own management team comprised of business leaders around the world, which will be accountable for the development of global strategies for the company.

Under the new structure Robert Abernathy is group president of the global Health Care/Nonwovens unit, while Thomas Falk is group president of the global Tissue and Paper division and Kathi Seifert is group president of the global Personal Care business. To extend the globalization process further into the organization, K-C has also formed global senior management teams for consumer tissue, away-from-home tissue, infant/child care, feminine/adult care, health care and nonwovens. Leading these teams are group presidents: Steven Kalmanson, family care and wet wipes in North America; Russell Taylor, away-from-home sector in North America; W. Dudley Lehman, infant & child care in North America; Timothy Lehman, feminine care sector in North America; David Murray, health care sector and Jerome Schwoerer, vice president/nonwovens operations and engineering.

Kronosept AB, Eslov, Sweden, has announced the release of two new products for the feminine hygiene market. The first is an ultra thin night-towel with wings that is tri-folded and single wrapped. The second is also an ultra thin night-towel, but it is in flat packaging adapted for the light incontinence market and comes with odor control.

Feminine hygiene manufacturer Natracare, Denver, CO, has released its certified organic, 100% cotton non-applicator style tampons in both regular and super absorbencies. The product, which has received two organic certification seals, represents an extension of the company’s line of non-chlorine bleached (no added dioxins) pads, panty shields and 100% cotton tampons.

In other news, Natracare has donated 43,9290 non-chlorine bleached feminine hygiene protection pads to support relief efforts directed toward the Albanian refugees during the Kosovo crisis this year. The pads were packaged into personal care kits by Precision Kit Promotions, Utica, NY, and delivered in two separate shipments to the peacetime relief and recovery efforts of the American Red Cross.

Playtex Products, Westport, CT, plans to expand its infant-care and skin-care business. Following its purchase of the “Diaper Genie” diaper disposal system, Playtex, manufacturer of “Playtex” tampons and “Chubs” baby wipes, is reportedly considering the expansion of its largest business, feminine-care products, through additional acquisitions.

In other news, Playtex recently opened a new technical center in Allendale, NJ. The 43,000 square foot center features state-of-the-art suncare, feminine care, infant care and household product laboratories with new instrumentation for product development and testing. The center will be used for research and development, regulatory and consumer affairs and quality systems.

Absorbent product giant Procter and Gamble, Cincinnati, OH, has moved its product planning and development center from the United States to its Procter and Gamble Far East Division in Japan. The move is reportedly a result of severe competition in the Japanese market for sanitary products and heightened quality requirements from consumers.

A 50% capacity expansion was one of the highlights this year for Produsa S.A., Sabaneta, Colombia. In addition, the company increased both its sales of private label and branded products by 30% each. Produsa has also launched a new ultra thin sanitary napkin and a thin sanitary napkin including SAP this year.

The hygiene products business of SCA, Stockholm, Sweden, recently signed a cooperative agreement with Italian machinery manufacturer GDM SpA, Offanengo. The deal relates to the development of machinery for SCA’s incontinence and feminine hygiene products and baby diapers. In accordance with the agreement, GDM will take over SCA’s Norwegian unit for the manufacture of machinery in the hygiene products segment, involving about 100 employees. SCA will release resources for its own hygiene product operations and instead work closely with GDM in machinery development. There will be no personnel reductions in the Norwegian operations.

In other news, SCA has increased its ownership in tissue company Productos Familia, Medellin, Colombia, to 50%, up from its earlier 20% share. The price for the 30% stake amounts to around $40 million. Sales of Productos Familia products total approximately $100 million with a capacity of 34,000 tons of tissue in Colombia and 11,000 tons in Ecuador through the subsidiary Tecnopapel. SCA is also engaged in a 50/50 joint venture in the fluff segment with Productos Familia’s owners.

Tendasoft, Van Wert, OH, has recently added two production lines to its facility, increasing its overall capacity by 400%. It has also signed supply contracts with three retail groups in North America, which will result in the gradual growth of company sales by over 200% during the next 12 months. Tendasoft is also scheduled to break ground on a 30,000 square foot distribution facility located behind its existing facility is Van Wert. At this month’s PLMA show, Tendasoft plans to unveil several new line extensions, including “Winged Maxi Pads,” “Ultra Thin Maxi Pads,” “Dry Cover Maxi Pads,” “4 Channel Maxi Pads,” “Contoured Panty Liners” and “Long Super Quilted Maxi Pads.” The company’s main goal is to be a full line supplier of sanitary napkins; however the manufacture of peripheral products such as tampons is also possible.

As globalization within the worldwide nonwovens hygiene market continues, plans are underway at Japanese absorbent product manufacturer Uni-Charm, Tokyo, to establish a joint venture company in Korea. In an effort to augment its marketshare in the Far East, Uni-Charm created the new entity to produce and sell nonwoven absorbent products in the Korean region. Uni-Charm also operates plants in Taiwan, Thailand and China.