Online Exclusives

Chinese diaper explosion continues

By Karen McIntyre, editor | March 22, 2012

K-C, P&G, Pigeon all setting up plants in China.

The Chinese diaper market is exploding or at least that’s what major brand owners are betting. In the past couple of weeks, no less than three, large-scale diaper plants have been announced by foreign firms.

Earlier this week, Kimberly-Clark, Dallas, TX, announced construction had started on its new diaper manufacturing base in the Jiangning Development Zone, according to China Sourcing News. The company will reportedly invest more than $100 million in this new manufacturing base and product development center, integrating product manufacturing, quality control, product innovation, engineering projet management and logistics management.

Meanwhile, K-C rival, Procter & Gamble, the maker of Pampers and Luvs diapers, has started stage one of a three-stage investment operation in Luogang, Gaungzhou, China that will ultimately be one of the largest manufacturing sites in Asia. The first stage of the plant will reportedly make a number of consumer goods including Pampers. The initiative is part of the company's goal of investing as much as $1 billion in China by 2015. The plant is expected to add as much as $490 million of production value to the Cincinnati, OH-based company annually.

Also investing in the Chinese diaper market’s future growth is Japan’s Pigeon Corporation. In early March, the company voted to increase investment in its Changzhou-based Chinese operation, which was completed in late 2011. According to company documents, this site currently makes breast pads, baby wipes and other baby items, and the new investment will add baby diaper production to the site. When construction is complete, which is forecasted for 2013, the site will be able to make about 85 million diapers per year. Pigeon also operates a manufacturing site in Shanghai.

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