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:

blog comments powered by Disqus
  • Shin-Etsu Updates Sunscreen Toolbox

    October 6, 2011
    Shin-Etsu Updates Sunscreen Toolbox

  • Witch

    Witch's Brew: Dickinson's celebrates milestone in 2016

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||February 1, 2016
    Dickinson’s celebrates 150 years of witch hazel skin care with the biggest line expansion in the company’s history.

  • From Research to Retail

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||February 1, 2016
    What began as research on skin disorders led a dermatologist and his father to create their own skin care formulas.

  • 5 Things I Learned

    5 Things I Learned

    January 15, 2016
    The Avon & Women’s Dermatologic Society Mentorship Program. Dr. Sabrina Fabi (left) and Dr. Kimberly Jerdan.

  • Testing for Sustainable Preservatives

    Adam P. Byrne, William Michael Hart-Cooper, Kaj Johnson, Larry H. Stanker, Dominic W. S. Wong, William J. Orts||January 4, 2016
    A rapid, inexpensive and qualitative protocol for determining microbial growth inhibition.

  • Burgeoning Beauty

    Burgeoning Beauty

    Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor||January 4, 2016
    A look at trailblazers for 2016 and beyond.

  • It’s All About Teamwork

    It’s All About Teamwork

    Melissa Meisel , Associate Editor||January 4, 2016
    Collaboration was the theme of the Consumer Specialty Products Association 2015 annual meeting.

  • Making Sense of Smells

    Making Sense of Smells

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||January 1, 2016
    Household product perfumery is more complex than ever, with a variety of notes obtained from many different sources.

  • Pod Nation

    Pod Nation

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||January 1, 2016
    Laundry detergent sales remain steady, but where consumers are spending their money and how they’re cleaning clothes is chan

  • In-Cosmetics Paris Has Sights on US

    In-Cosmetics Paris Has Sights on US

    Imogen Matthews , In-Cosmetics||December 2, 2015
    Market focus is on the USA.

  • Silent Partners

    Silent Partners

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||December 2, 2015
    I&I suppliers are behind-the-scenes, but critical partners that help keep businesses running and consumers safe.

  • Cleansing Conditioners

    Cleansing Conditioners

    Denise Costrini and Christophe Toumit , Croda Personal Care North America||December 2, 2015
    Relying on consumer data, Croda researchers detail the drivers behind these successful formulas.

  • Just Wild About Harry’s Cosmeticology

    Just Wild About Harry’s Cosmeticology

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||November 2, 2015
    The ninth edition, edited by Meyer Rosen, has been expanded and improved with an emphasis on the future of the industry.

  • Lush Is Flush with Novel Ideas

    Lush Is Flush with Novel Ideas

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||November 2, 2015
    New products are the lifeblood of every company. Lush will launch more than 200 of them.

  • Davids and Goliaths

    Davids and Goliaths

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||November 2, 2015
    Big brands dominate the oral care category, but a cadre of smaller players vie for customers looking for alternatives.

  • What Do You Mean by Clean?

    What Do You Mean by Clean?

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||November 2, 2015
    Household cleaning has undergone many changes over the years and more are on the way, as suppliers develop novel ingredients.

  • A Fresh Take

    A Fresh Take

    Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor||November 2, 2015
    Today’s soaps and shower products do more than just cleanse—they solve skin quandaries, are portable or even look whimsical!

  • Contract Manufacturing/Private Label Directory

    Contract Manufacturing/Private Label Directory

    October 1, 2015
    Our directory is your source to find a manufacturer to get your product to market.

  • Winner Unmasked

    Winner Unmasked

    October 1, 2015
    Laneige’s Water Sleeping Mask takes home top honors as Happi’s first Anti-Aging Product of the Year.

  • A Design for Living

    A Design for Living

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||October 1, 2015
    Cornell McBride Sr. has had a range of successes during his 40-plus years in the hair care business.

  • An Arduous Task?

    An Arduous Task?

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||October 1, 2015
    Elizabeth Arden's JuE Wong is confident that the way to right the company’s ship is by tapping into its rich heritage.

  • Slow Burn

    Slow Burn

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||October 1, 2015
    No news from the FDA is bad news for the sun care industry.

  • Tried & True

    Tried & True

    Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor||October 1, 2015
    Test providers strive to prove a product’s efficacy for consumer confidence.

  • Market Your Cosmetics In Europe with Safety

    Market Your Cosmetics In Europe with Safety

    Pascal Yvon, IDEA TESTS Group||October 1, 2015
    Compliance to European safety regulations for cosmetic products, final formulations and ingredients.

  • Talking Point

    Talking Point

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||October 1, 2015
    For its inaugural Sustainability Dialog in Frankfurt, Clariant gathered stakeholders that included a mix of customers, third

  • A Consumer Revolution

    A Consumer Revolution

    Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor||June 1, 2015
    IRI’s 2015 Summit celebrates the progression of information.

  • Interior Design

    Interior Design

    Melissa Meisel , Associate Editor||May 1, 2015
    Nutritional products can improve and beautify skin from the inside out.

  • KodaDome

    KodaDome

    Tom Branna , Editorial Director||May 1, 2015
    Hair color isn’t all about hiding grays—it’s about selecting shades that reflect individuality, too.

  • Face Valued

    Face Valued

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||May 1, 2015
    Skin care formulations that promise to protect a prized possession—one’s appearance—are always in demand.