Size and Potential for the Baby Diaper Market in the World Today

By Carlos Richer, Diaper Industry Consultant | January 2, 2012

In this short report I am presenting my personal estimations on the size of the disposable baby diaper market for the top 100 countries of the world, listed in descending order in terms of the diapers currently sold in each country.

The model starts with the most recent economic data published by the CIA in January2011, in combination to the mathematical model used to predict birth rates developed by David Bleja and found at www.breathingearth.net. The data is then adjusted for December 2011 to obtain a fresh estimate.My model does not use any real IRC data, in fact it has nothing to do with scanned sales, it is entirely based on published macroeconomic indicators, like the purchasing power parity (PPP) data of each country divided by each economic sub-groups: such as the richest 10% of the population; the poorest 10%; as well as the other remaining 80% of the people.I also considered babies only in the age group of 0 to 30 months and adjusted the frequency of daily change of diapers per day based on my own practical experience after visiting many regions.For example; the highest use of diapers per day is in Japan at 6.6, while the U.S. and Europe both have similar numbers near 5.7. The average frequency for Latin America is around 5.25, and approximately 4.5 for Central Africa and India.

In some countries (about 20 of them) I also interviewed my clients to get their own estimations of their baby diaper market and later used their input to adjust my numbers not only to their own countries but also to other countries with similar economic or cultural conditions but where I had basically no information.I used this data to compare against a triggering PPP required for a family to have access to purchase diapers. This point was estimated at $4,000 of PPP per year. This does not mean they can buy all diapers with this income, it means it is just the starting point when a small faction of them start to buy them.The other limit was fixed at $15,000 PPP per year, where anyone above that level of income could afford the full use of the disposables for their babies.I did not use a linear equation but rather one adjusted more exponentially based on higher incomes.

Please take note that this is just an effort to get an approximation on the size of each market, for sure I do not claim to have exact information.In my opinion, the model provides a valid order of magnitude, in some cases within 10% error while in others as much as 25%; this is still useful in order to have a general understanding of the volume for baby diapers in each country, however a market intelligence specialist should be hired to develop the specific data for each country before a serious economic feasibility project. You can find several of them in my Disposable Diaper LinkedIn group.For sure the last 10 countries or so in the list are less known and the error may be even higher.
*Carlos Richer can be reached at cricher@richernet.com.

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