This shift dates back to 2011 when actress Jessica Alba started the Honest Company to provide the market with safe, effective products. Included in this new company was a line of baby diapers and wipes. True to its commitment to be “honest” with its customers about using safe and natural ingredients in all of its products, Honest became the first diaper manufacturer to identify the ingredients in its diaper and also to disclose where they were sourced. At the time, this level of transparency was groundbreaking but today it has become an important part of many new companies’ sales strategies.
This month, well-known diaper industry consultant Pricie Hanna discusses some of these new diaper brands in depth (see page 64), uncovering how the millennial parent, and their approach to both brand selection and parenting, has made a significant impact on the diaper market.
Brands like Honest, Made Of, ABBY+FINN, Parasol and Poof have been able to take advantage of contract manufacturing services, internet marketing and subscription services to enter a market where once the barrier to entry was nearly impossible. Where once only large corporations with retail contacts, marketing strategies and production knowledge could enter the market, whereas today the diaper market has much more of an entrepreneurial spirit, attracting new companies and brands regularly. These brands each take their own personalized approach to the diaper market, from the ingredients they choose right down to the marketing message they use to attract consumers.
And, while none of these brands has taken significant share from the industry giants—Procter & Gamble and Kimberly-Clark—they have certainly left their impression. Earlier this year, P&G launched its Pampers Pure line of baby diapers, which are reportedly free of fragrance, lotion and chlorine and allow only natural fibers to touch baby’s skin. This product has already been a success for P&G with sales reaching $34 million between its January launch and November (according to Information Resources, Inc.). While this is just a small blip in P&G’s mammoth near $2 billion diapers business, it does represent a nice pocket of innovation and growth for this large diaper maker and it helps position it against a new crop of baby diaper brands that seem to understand the millennial parent. We’ll see how the scrappy, smaller guys react.