Procter & Gamble has officially announced its entry into the North American adult incontinence market. The company reports that its line of Always Discreet products, specifically designed to revolutionize the way women manage their sensitive bladders, are now available at major retailers nationwide.
The new line consists of liners, pads and underwear designed to offer comfort, protection and discretion, in a feminine design, that absorbs leaks and odors quickly. According to P&G, Always Discreet pads are up to 40% thinner than the leading brand and absorb twice as much fluid as women may need, based on the average consumer usage of incontinence products. The curve-hugging, disposable Always Discreet underwear is designed to be easy to wear and discreet, with the extra protection of Dual LeakGuard barriers to help stop leaks where they are most likely to occur.
P&G is building off the success of its Always feminine hygiene brand, which has provided protection for more than 30 years. With Always Discreet, the brand continues to support women in all phases of their lives with the comfort and protection they’ve come to expect from Always. According to sources familiar with incontinence trends, about 40% of current Always feminine hygiene customers use the products to handle incontinence problems.
“Always Discreet products have undergone extensive consumer testing and are specifically designed to provide the things that matter most to women with sensitive bladders, including odor neutralization protection and discretion,’’ says Chandrika Kasturi, Always Discreet product research director. “Our advanced OdorLock technology traps odors instantly and for hours and our innovative Advanced Core Technology absorbs fluids to the core and locks it away, offering incredible dryness protection.”
P&G began test marketing Always Discreet liners in the UK a few months ago and the hygiene industry has been speculating that a North American launch was imminent. The company exited the adult incontinence market, which it helped create in the 1970s, in 1999 when it sold its Attends brand to PaperPak Industries.
But, the company could not ignore the appeal of the growing adult incontinence market much longer. During the last 15 years—roughly the same time P&G has been absent from the market—North American adult incontinence sales have tripled to reach $1.5 billion, according to experts. Global sales, now at $7 billion, are growing about 8.4% annually, faster than any other paper-based household products.
According to a global survey conducted by Always Discreet, managing bladder leaks can have a major impact on women’s personal relationships, physical activity, self-confidence and overall outlook. In fact, 30% of women say their sensitive bladder impacts their relationship with their partner, and one in four admits it influences their sex life. The results of the study, published in the British Journal of Urology (BJUI), found having a sensitive bladder also limits almost on in three women’s ability to visit their friends, and over a third of women say the threat of bladder leaks affects their ability to travel.
Women also say having a sensitive bladder affects their daily activities. Thirty percent of women are careful about how much liquid they drink, and 62% report their sensitive bladder impacts their sleep. Eight in 10 women with sensitive bladders experience a little leak when they cough or sneeze, and more than half (69 percent) worry they might smell.
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By Karen McIntyre, senior editor