Hygienix featured expert industry speakers from leading global companies that are revolutionizing the absorbent hygiene and personal care industry. The presentations focused on Brand Disruptors, Incontinence Perspectives: Consumer & Institutional, Incontinence Perspectives: Product & Positioning Opportunities, Diapers: Smart & Sustainable, Feminine Hygiene Disruptors, Performance & the Economics of Thinner Diapers, Cutting Edge Approaches to Odor Control, Game Changers: Machine & Technology Developments, Retail & Demographic Groundswells, and Material Science Developments in absorbent hygiene products.
A keynote presentation from Don Frey, chief innovation officer, The Honest Company, detailed how their company leveraged non-traditional marketing channels to become a world leader in personal care.
The keynote session also included a presentation from Diane Sheehan of Kantar Retail, who spoke on the changing role of private label products in the branded retail world. Sheehan discussed how retailers, both brick and mortar and e-commerce, are using private label products to better serve their customers and promote their businesses overall.
Another conference highlight was a Tuesday morning session dedicated to adult incontinence. Speakers included Sion Agami, of Procter & Gamble, who shared his experience developing Always Discreet Boutique, a new, stylish line of bladder leakage underwear. P&G researchers enlisted the help of incontinence sufferers to gauge what women want in these products, helping to better remove stigmas surrounding adult incontinence.
“We had the opportunity to help people regain their self esteem and help them feel beautiful again,” Agami says. “By doing the right research at the right time, we were able to come up with the right strategy.”
Also speaking on the subject of adult incontinence was Tom Wilson of Center Brain Partners, who talked about Alyne, a new-to-the-world adult incontinence product that he helped bring to market. Alyne coincidentally won the Hygienix innovation award later during the conference.
Keeping true to its role as a hygiene-focused conference, Hygienix also featured a session on feminine hygiene disruptors, featuring speakers from THINX, reusable period panties, and Lunapads, the maker of washable cloth menstrual pads and diva cups. Suzanne Siemens, who spoke on behalf of Lunapads, discussed the evolving role of feminine hygiene products starting with the introduction of Kotex pads in the 1910s and Tampax tampons in 1930s and how stigmas and shaming of periods needs to stop.
Turning to diaper technology, Don Sheldon, one of the inventors of Alyne, spoke on The Quest for the Perfect Pulpless Product, while Jim Robinson, of BASF, spoke on Fluffless Diaper Concepts and Bruce Harding, of Georgia-Pacific, presented Thinner Baby Diapers, The Need for Better Acquisition Layers. These three presentations comprised the session, Performance and Innovation of Thinner Diapers.
Other sessions at Hygienix included: Cutting Edge Approaches to Odor Control, with presentations from Olfasense, Bostik, St. Croix Sensor and H.B. Fuller, and developments in AHP, with speakers from BASF, Tethis and NatureWorks.
Additionally, two gamechanger sessions—one on machinery and technology featuring Pricie Hanna and Paolo Ocleppo of Sandvik, and another on retail groundswells with presentations from EconForecaster and University of Texas at Austin, discussed topics including competition between e-commerce retailers and retail outlets, millenials, new generation technologies and digitization in converting technology.
“Hygienix delivered big this year on valuable insights and innovations through the premium conference content on topics molding the absorbent hygiene industry. This event also brings the industry’s senior leadership to one place at one time. Participants were able to advance their business interests with both the leading edge conference content and over 15 hours of scheduled face-to-face interaction time,” says Dave Rousse, INDA resident.
Hygienix was created two years ago as a combination of two former shows—INDA’s Vision Consumer Products Conference and Marketing Technologies’ Insight conference. INDA purchased the rights to the Insight conference in late 2014. The 2018 edition of the event is planned for Orlando, FL, Nov. 5-8.
Alyne Wins Hygienix Award
Alyne, a new style of absorbent underwear that is being billed as a game changer in the adult incontinence market, took home the 2017 Hygienix Innovation Award. Developed by a group of former executives at Covidien Retail Group, Alyne manages fluid absorption by using layers of different superabsorbent polymers (SAPs) that absorb at different rates, from quick absorption to complete absorption without bulkiness. The SAP layers are diamond quilted in a pocketed structure, sandwiched between layers of polypropylene spunbond and ultrasonically bonded together.
This design can provide stability, excellent SAP absorbency management, thinness, dryness for more comfort and discretion that provides the wearer confidence through protection. Alyne was one of three finalists for INDA’s Hygienix Innovation Award.
CEO Joe Howard led Covidien’s retail incontinence business for over 14 years. During that time, he introduced protective underwear to North America, breaking existing paradigms and growing the entire business from a 22% to 38% share.
“We decided to focus on the key need for users in this category by designing a product that would be more dignified to wear,” he says. “To do that, we came up with the concept of eliminating all the thick wood pulp used by traditional products. In addition, we decided to use colored fit threads to provide unique aesthetics, and opted to establish our own product sizes to better fit all consumers.”
To win the Hygienix Award, Alyne beat out two other finalists—Kimberly-Clark’s Huggies Little Snugglers Nano Preemie Diapers and Procter & Gamble’s Pampers Swaddlers Preemie Diapers. The finalists were elected by technical industry experts and members of INDA who serve on the Technical Advisory Board, but the final winner was selected by the conference attendees.
Last year’s Hygienix Innovation Award was presented to Sustainable Health Enterprises (SHE) for their Go! Pads, a banana fiber-based, low-cost feminine pad that sustainably delivers affordable and much needed hygiene for women and girls in Rwanda.