The Hygienix conference, Oct. 24-27 at the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, featured some of the world’s most notable thought leaders and innovators from organizations that are revolutionizing the absorbent hygiene and personal care industry. They spoke on Consumer Needs, Market Statistics and Trends, Material and Technology Advancements, Haptics for a Competitive Advantage, and Disposable Product End of Life Options. The keynote presentation from Bruce Lavash, research fellow, The Procter & Gamble Company, focusing on consumer research insights and adventures, was well received.
“Hygienix 2016 exceeded my expectations with presentations that provided a diverse range of high quality marketing, consumer insights, and technical topics. Usually, I take away one or two findings, but this year I took away many more critical findings due to the high international presence, valuable program content, and representation from a diverse set of attending companies,”
says John F. Poccia III, associate R&D director, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc.
One key finding came from Brad Kalil, director of Market Research & Statistics, INDA. Kalil advised that “capacity growth has rebounded in North America after the Great Recession significantly impacted new capacity in 2012 through 2014 (only 110,000 tons), with a net capacity of 77,000 tons added in 2015 (2.7% annual growth), and forecasts at least 148,000 tons will be added in 2016, (4.9% annual growth).”
Bill Pedersen, global business unit director Disposable Products, Tietex International, Ltd, says, “Attending the Hygienix Conference allowed for three days of learning and out of the box thinking. Plus, the numerous informal discussions and meetings with suppliers, customers, and prospects provided a cost effective way to do business in the absorbent hygiene and personal care markets.”
An event highlight included the presentation of INDA’s prestigious Hygienix Innovation Award to Sustainable Health Enterprises, (SHE) for “Go! Pads,” a banana fiber-based, low-cost feminine pad that sustainably delivers affordable and much needed hygiene for women and girls in Rwanda. “This year’s winner demonstrates the best-of-the-best for creatively expanding the use of nonwovens into a new application providing quality-of-life benefits for a group that greatly needs it. This combination of indigenous fibers and ingenuity is a great example of innovation in nonwovens making lives better,” says Dave Rousse, INDA’s president.
The other finalists for the award were: Kimberly-Clark Corporation’s Kleenex Exfoliating Cushions for facial cleansing; and H.B. Fuller’s Conforma Adhesive for disposable underwear.
Hygienix also highlighted 54 tabletop displays representing the latest in products and processes from industry leaders and entrepreneurs. The displays were held in conjunction with two evening receptions attended by hundreds of professionals looking for new partnerships and collaborators.
“The conference format was both educational and informative, plus it provided time and the right environment for us to network and develop precisely those contacts we were seeking,” comments
Peter Littley, business development director, Norkol Inc.
“As a second year attendee to Hygienix, my expectations were countless and rewarded. I made valuable connections with entrepreneurs and exchanged technical knowledge which will inspire new ideas for the future. Hygienix 2015 was excellent and 2016 was even better!” says Jenny Day, corporate research & engineering, Kimberly-Clark Corporation.
The next Hygienix Conference will be held November 6-9, 2017, at the Renaissance Austin Hotel in Austin, TX.