Without the luxury of a narrow consumer base, wipes manufacturers must work hard to know their customers and their marketing plans must reflect this. The growth and proliferation of the wipes market has been well reported in this magazine over the past decade, and we are constantly finding new application areas for wipes and wipes materials. Just take a look at our new product section on page 32 for a few recent examples.
In this issue, Chinese correspondent Ally Dai looks at a relatively new subsegment of the wipes market—the facial sheet mask market—which has been flagged as one of the most rapidly growing skin care categories in China. While China, and other Asian countries, are certainly leading the way, western companies like Suominen and Lenzing have been promoting the use of their materials in these products.
The development of new categories, whether it be a booming one like facial sheet masks or a smaller one like pet or saline wipes, all require the same thing—knowing a customer well enough to tell them why they need this wipe.
The wipes market, as we know, is one that has been borne out of the consumers’ need for convenience, and, as more women enter the workforce and disposable incomes continue to rise globally, this need will only rise. New opportunities for wipes—both in areas new and old—will follow.
One market area where we are already seeing new opportunities is industrial and institutional wipes (see page 26), which has become the fastest growing market within its category, significantly outpacing spray and gel formulations. According to Kline, a U.S.-based research firm that monitors trends in the institutional and industrial category, wipes are registering about 5% growth thanks to the users’ need for ease and convenience as well as an emphasized importance on clean surfaces in places like healthcare facilities, eateries and schools. Wipes are playing a major role in achieving this goal.
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