The Dandy Disposable Diaper Market

By Karen Bitz McIntyre, Editor | January 24, 2011

The good news for the many nonwovens manufacturers doing business in the diaper market is that this business is fairly recession proof; the better news is that diapers are the one area of the tissue and hygiene market where consumers are willing to spend more to make a splash.

And, diaper manufacturers worked hard to capitalize on parents’ willingness to spend money on their babies in 2010. Procter & Gamble no doubt had it in mind when it teamed up this summer with designer Cynthia Rowley and retailer Target to create 11 diaper designs for boys and girls. The diaper collection, available in pastel designs including madras, stripes and printed ruffles, delivers the perfect blend of utility and aesthetics, according to P&G. The premium diapers, sold exclusively at Target and on target. com, use advanced printing techniques to encourage parents to spend a little more on their babies’ diapers.

Kimberly-Clark said encouraging parents to try out its premium Little Movers brand was the impetus behind the limited edition launch of Huggies Jeans diapers this summer. Designed to act almost as a replacement product for apparel, the jeans-style diapers use pigmented polypropylene coverstock and advanced printing technologies to look more like a piece of clothing than a diaper in the hot summer months.

“The real insight is that moms love seeing babies in jeans but most babies are wearing disposable diapers under their clothing,” said Keegan Coulter, Huggies brand manager. “With the summer heat, fewer layers of clothing will keep baby cooler and fewer outfit changes make moms’ lives easier.”

According to reports, the jeans-style diapers, priced about 5-7% more per unit than regular Little Movers diapers, significantly boosted Huggies Little Movers’ marketshare position and executives expect that future limited edition launches will capitalize on the same type of graphics technology.

rnDiaper producers have new printing-on-nonwovens technologies to thank for their ability to capitalize on this “cuteness” factor. “ This new technology is just one of the many advances nonwovens manufacturers have made in recent years to allow their customers in the diaper market to create new products or offer new features to their customers. This month, NONWOVENS INDUSTRY presents a comprehensive review of the global disposable diaper market. Associate editor Sandra Levy discusses the steps diaper manufacturers are taking to defend their market positions in her feature story, Oh Baby! There’s a New Diaper Battleground on page 32. This report is complemented by a Euromonitor study on the global baby diaper market beginning on page 54 as well as a global directory of diaper manufacturers on page 46.

Karen McIntyre

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