Features

Emerging Markets: Ripe for baby wipes

By Beyhan Tamer,, Sales and Market Development, Mogul | September 16, 2011

Emerging markets represent four out of the top six markets in the world for diapers, by value, but none of the top six markets for baby wipes, according to the latest retail data. It is a telling disparity that exposes the fundamental weakness of baby wipes outside the world’s richest nations.

Baby wipes are omnipresent in the retail sectors of Western Europe and North America, and this goes hand in hand with a growing culture of convenience consumption. Today, most parents are as discerning about baby wipes as they are about diapers. And, to boot, there is fierce competition between Procter & Gamble, Kimberly-Clark and Johnson & Johnson, as each bids to entice parents to their brands. To this end, Pampers recently revamped its baby wipes portfolio with new packaging and new names. The focus was on clearer segmentation, for example, between thick and thin sheets. Indeed, the depth and dynamism of segmentation in baby wipes is itself indicative of a FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) category in tune with its consumer base.

In emerging markets, the value of turning baby wipes from dispensable into indispensable would be hugely significant, not least because the category's highest value-developed markets are aging, with slow birth rates. It is relevant to consider, for example, that of the top 20 forecast growth markets for diapers – in absolute terms (meaning actual additional value) – these markets should be ripe terrain for new baby wipes business.

Quite simply, both the demographics and the economics are more favorable in Latin America, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East/Africa than in either Europe or North America. And these macro variables are made all the more compelling by the category’s actual value opportunity. The disparity between the UK and Mexico bears this out. Specifically, provisional data for 2010 shows that the baby wipes category is worth around $340 million in the UK, some 17 times higher than in Mexico. Yet, Mexico's baby population (aged 0-4 years) is more than two and a half times larger.


On-shelf competition is fierce in the baby wipes market.
Given the growing global homogeneity of FMCG consumption culture (and this is especially visible between the US and Mexico), it is reasonable to assume that the perception of baby wipes will be subject to revision in Mexico, and other emerging markets too. There is already evidence of this happening in Brazil, which has a similar economic and demographic profile to Mexico. Strikingly, absolute growth of baby wipes in Brazil, to 2014, is forecast to be the second biggest in the world, after the US. Turkey and China also look promising, yet the wider picture still puts baby wipes among the tissue and hygiene industry’s low impact emerging market categories.

Globally, the baby wipes retail market is worth about $3.7 billion a year, compared with more than of $31 billion for diapers. That gap needs to be narrower. For example, if the diapers and baby wipes categories in the US are used as a benchmark, the global baby wipes market should be worth something closer to $6 billion. The current shortfall is almost certainly arising from underperformance in emerging markets. As 2011 takes shape, there has, arguably, never been a better opportunity to do something about it. The dominant diapers players have formidable emerging market momentum on their side, but surely it is time to develop a more effective, revamped strategic approach for their baby wipes.

Related End-User Markets:

Related Raw Materials:

  • Fit for Fitness

    Fit for Fitness

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||February 21, 2017
    Kinx Active is a new brand targeting women who want beauty products that can stand up to their fitness routines.

  • Catch These Rising Stars of Beauty

    Catch These Rising Stars of Beauty

    Nancy Jeffries, Contributing Editor||February 6, 2017
    Who won what at Fashion Group International's Rising Star awards show

  • Erasa

    Erasa's New Evangelist(a)

    January 9, 2017
    Impressed by the performance of its hero SKU, supermodel Linda Evangelista joins the company in a hand's on role.

  • What the Halal  Is Going On?

    What the Halal Is Going On?

    Imogen Matthews , In-Cosmetics||February 2, 2017
    Demand for these beauty products is surging thanks to a fastgrowing Muslim population.

  • Relief for Sensitive Scalps

    Relief for Sensitive Scalps

    Guadalupe Pellon and Annette Mehling , BASF||February 2, 2017
    BASF researchers detail the attributes of the company’s highly effective hair care system focusing on scalp sensitivity.

  • Defining Clean Skin

    Defining Clean Skin

    Nava Dayan PhD, Dr. Nava Dayan LLC||February 1, 2017
    A look at the issues, research and history surrounding this controversial topic.

  • Linked In

    Linked In

    Christine Esposito , Associate Editor||February 1, 2017
    Through virtual reality, apps and connected devices, beauty and personal care brands can strengthen their customer relations

  • Hitting the Right Notes

    Hitting the Right Notes

    January 6, 2017
    Agilex Fragrances is the leader in the middle market fragrance category.

  • The Smell of Clean in 2017

    The Smell of Clean in 2017

    January 6, 2017
    Changing consumer lifestyles and demographics are impacting the scents found in the household cleaning category.

  • On the Edge

    On the Edge

    January 6, 2017
    Expanding beauty brands to watch in 2017

  • A New Contender?

    A New Contender?

    January 6, 2017
    Detergent sales are up, innovation continues and Henkel is determined to make it a dogfight in the segment.

  • Engagement 2016

    Engagement 2016

    January 6, 2017
    CSPA convenes in Fort Lauderdale for annual meeting.

  • Slow & Steady

    Slow & Steady

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||December 1, 2016
    In a tumultuous environment, steady gains posted in the industrial and institutional cleaning sector are welcomed.

  • The World Comes to Orlando

    The World Comes to Orlando

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||December 1, 2016
    More than 1,600 chemists traveled to Florida for the IFSCC Congress

  • The Plex Phenomenon

    The Plex Phenomenon

    Denise Costrini, Croda North America||December 1, 2016
    Croda details the hair-protecting qualities of bond multipliers and the company’s new bond-building formulation system.

  • New Hair Care Ingredients

    December 1, 2016
    Check out the latest releases from suppliers.

  • Hair & Now

    Hair & Now

    Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor ||December 1, 2016
    The shampoo and conditioner category is expanding with modern takes on these classic formulations.

  • Perform or Perish

    Perform or Perish

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||December 1, 2016
    Success in today’s skin care sector begins with active ingredients, formulated in products that address modern-day issues.

  • Aromas Revealed: Fragrance Disclosure

    Aromas Revealed: Fragrance Disclosure

    Daniel Greenberg, Agilex Fragrances||November 2, 2016
    Fragrance disclosure is a potentially dangerous issue.

  • New and Noteworthy:  Fine Fragrance Roundup  for Fall 2016

    New and Noteworthy: Fine Fragrance Roundup for Fall 2016

    Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor||November 2, 2016
    Check out the latest launches in fragrance this season.

  • Soap Opera

    Soap Opera

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||November 2, 2016
    FDA’s recent antibacterial ruling has soap sector stakeholders scrambling to keep some ingredients in their formulation kit.

  • New Ingredients for  Household Cleaners

    New Ingredients for Household Cleaners

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||November 2, 2016
    Here are ingredients introduced by suppliers during the past 12 months.

  • A-Okay!

    A-Okay!

    Imogen Matthews, For In-Cosmetics||November 2, 2016
    K-Beauty influences cosmetic development around the world.

  • Shine On

    Shine On

    Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor||November 2, 2016
    Oral care products are rising to the task with innovative components.

  • Next Gen  Antiseptics

    Next Gen Antiseptics

    Emily Kalal and Katherine S. Maka, RITA Corporation||November 2, 2016
    RITA researchers detail the benefits of 0.75% chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) antiseptic handwash

  • Change Is in the Air

    Change Is in the Air

    Doreen Wang, BrandZ ||October 3, 2016
    Technology is changing the personal care market

  • Skin Care of One’s Own

    Skin Care of One’s Own

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||October 3, 2016
    Nu Skin’s ageLOC Me—which melds the worlds of smart-phone technology, efficacious ingredients and personalization

  • Proof Positive

    Proof Positive

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||October 3, 2016
    Testing service providers enable companies to back up their claims and stay in compliance with regulations.