In the early years, many doubters wondered if wipes were just a fad, something that a booming economy and a need for convenience could influence a customer to try once or twice before going back to a more traditional means of completing a task. Many thought that wipes were a niche segment, using phrases like “great for travel” or “convenient for the car or after the gym.”
All these years later, it is clear that wipes is not a niche and they are definitely here to stay. Swiffer has a section on its website talking about how the product changed the way its customers clean—making life easier by knocking out dirt in a single step. The brand has even created a hashtag, #SwifferEffect to illustrate this on social media.
The staying power of powerhouse products like Swiffer or Clorox wipes is not surprising to me. Not only are these products convenient and easy to use, they work better than traditional cleaning methods. What does surprise me however, is the constant and steady stream of new products appearing on store shelves. Just take a look at the new products section on page 32. With products ranging from a deodorant wipe for “The girl on the go,” a baby wipe with olive oil for baby’s delicate skin to Kimberly-Clark’s latest product, a wet wipe sold under its Kleenex tissue brand, the category continues to innovate reaching new customers and new market areas. In fact, K-C executives recently told investors that the K-C wet wipe product was quickly becoming one of its most successful product introductions to date.
Surely we will continue to see more wipes introductions from big brands like Kleenex as well as from smaller entrepreneurial companies that will keep the wipes market booming for years to come.