According to a recent report, presented by the ministry, the Russian diaper market is still far from full saturation, and the per capita consumption of diapers in Russia is significantly lower than in the U.S. and the European Union.
That means that, in contrast to Western markets, the Russian market has strong potential for further growth and market statistics prove this theory. Last year Russian baby diaper sales grew 52% in value terms, compared to 2014, which was a catastrophic year for local diapers as well as multinational diaper producers who have operated in the country since the early 1990s.
Currently, the Russian diaper market is estimated at RUB 27 billion ($300 million) in value terms and 2.5 billion in unit volume.
According to the study, conducted by Industry and Trade ministry analysts, the level of saturation of the market is estimated by 30%. By 2020 the market should grow 30% both in volume and value terms.
The main consumers of baby diapers in Russia are parents who have children under the age of one year (75%) as well as parents of children aged from 1 year to 3 years (23%).
Currently the market is still dominated by global majors, however, in contrast to previous years, their leadership is not as strong, as it was at the beginning of the 2000s when their marketshare varied in the range of 95%-98%. The financial crisis in Russia has reduced their share to the 80%-85% range and this trend currently continues to be seen. According to analysts of the Russian Association of Textile and Light Industry Producers, that became mainly due to the growth of domestic diaper production.
In the meantime, the financial crisis in Russia has not resulted in a significant change of consumer preferences. Currently, about 90% of buyers continue to pay the most attention to the quality
characteristics of the product—such as absorption, “breathable” properties, ease of use, as well as its package of exteriors.
About 70% of the overall sales of diapers in Russia accounted for discounters. The remaining accounts for pharmacies and stores for children.
In contrast to Western markets, the share of diapers for adults in the Russian market remains small, not exceeding 5%-7%, however there is a possibility that it may significantly grow during the next several years.
In the meantime, Western diaper producers are aware of the ever growing competition from local manufacturers, considering measures for the recovery of their positions in the local market. This is mainly achieved through the increase of their advertising budgets, as well as investments in the promotion of their products in the domestic market.
For example, according to Russian media reports, the advertising budget of Procter & Gamble (P&G) this year is expected to reach $75 million, which is slightly lower compared to last year’s figures of $78 million. Despite this decrease, the company will remain the biggest advertiser on Russian television and media resources, and a significant part of these funds will likely be devoted to promoting P&G’s diaper business.
In addition, the company plans to expand its local production. According to recent statements from Gary Coombe, head of Procter & Gamble Europe, the European division of P&G, in January the company had officially launched a new line of diapers that are produced under the Pampers Premium Care brand at its Russian plant, and P&G has not ruled out the possibility of further expansion of its local production in the coming years.
In the meantime, in addition to P&G, particular hopes on Russia are put by Kimberly-Clark, which in recent years has significantly increased its attention to the local market (along with Brazil) in an attempt to help it counter sluggish growth in developed markets. According to analysts of the Russian Association of Nonwovens Producers, this is quite understandable, as about half of Kimberly-Clark’s sales are outside the U.S.