Wipes Market on the Up and Up

By Karen McIntyre, editor | September 15, 2011

WOW presenters agree on one thing: Wipes remain strong across a number of regions.

Among the highlights of the World of Wipes (WOW) conference, held in June in Atlanta, GA was a breakdown of wipes market growth, opportunities and challenges in several key regions. These presentations, given by experts on their respective regions, showed how wipes are faring in North America, South America, China and Asia. What experts agree on is that wipes continue to be strong, although it is emerging areas that seem to have the most room for growth.

North America
As the wipes market surpasses the $4 billion mark in North America, manufacturers continue to uncover new ways to get consumers to buy wipes. In fact, the consumer market has outpaced industrial sales in the wipes market during the past 15 years.

“Wipes volume quadrupled in 15 years,” INDA president Rory Holmes says. “Shares rose from 8.9% to 18.5% of total nonwovens by 2010.”

Consumer wipes keeps increasing its share, expecting to represent 79% of total sales by 2015, compared to 65% in 1995. This increase can be attributed to strong growth across the three major categories of wipes—personal, household and baby—which comprised $4 billion in 2010 compared to $1.6 billion in 2000. Growth is expected to continue, reaching $5.1 billion by 2015.

Within the consumer segment, the breakdown between the three major categories has changed significantly between 1995 and 2010. In 1995, household applications comprised only 4% of consumer wipes, a figure that increased to 45% by 2010 on the strength of floor cleaning cloths, antibacterial wipes and other applications. Personal care wipes, meanwhile, upped its share from 8% to 26%, while baby care applications shrank their marketshare but still grew larger as the entire category increased more the five-fold to $4 billion.
As the consumer wipes market continues to adjust to its diversification farther and farther beyond baby wipes, some of the key issues it is facing are private label competition, raw material price stability and the difference between spunlace and airlaid technology, Holmes adds.

Last year, 52% of wipes made in the U.S. used spunlace while 24% used airlaid. A small percentage used spunlaid, wetlaid, carded or needlepunch.

South America
Presenting a look at the South American wipes market was Rick Jezzi, of R.D. Jezzi Associates, LLC in Atlanta, GA. While this population is characterized by low birth rates, opportunities abound because of the region’s low penetration, particularly in baby wipes. Currently only about half of diaper buyers buy baby wipes and this market is dominated largely by global players like Procter & Gamble or Kimberly-Clark.

About 55-60% of the volume here is carded or spunmelt while the rest is spunlace. Jezzi estimated that penetration was about 20% last year and will reach 26% by 2015. This is significantly behind penetration in other disposable areas.

A snapshot of a grocery store shelf shows wipes are creeping into the mainstream in Brazil.

According to Jezzi, growth in wipes—and other nonwovens categories—are being driven by a number of factors. These include increased participation of women in the labor force; a cultural emphasis on personal and aesthetic treatments and a general increase in purchasing power among the population.

Growth is being lead by pre-moistened baby wipes but personal care and cosmetic wipes are strong as well, growing 15% between 2008-2011. Having a harder time in the region are household wipes due to a cultural mindset regarding household chores.

Meanwhile, in China wipes growth is being brought on by the rapid rate of investment in spunlace technologies. According to C.K. Wong who was presenting information compiled by CNTA, there are no fewer than 160 spunlace lines operating in China; 37 of these were supplied by more sophisticated European suppliers Andritz Perfojet and Fleissner Trützschler. A number of these lines make over 5000 tons of spunlace per year and total capacity is estimated at 325,000 tons.

Of course, not all of this is serving wipes but numbers in this segment are impressive. According to Wong, sales in this market grew from $68 million to $157 million between 2003 and 2008 and are expected to reach $230 million by 2013. Personal care applications, including baby care wipes, comprise the bulk of this market, comprising $155.9 million worth of sales.

Heidi Beatty of Nice-Pak/PDI shared her take on the European wipes market, which is recovering slowly, Key opportunities are the aging population, Eastern European growth and unforeseen events like the Swine Flu; challenges include commodity prices, mounting regulatory pressures and brand positioning versus private label.

The UK continues to be the largest market, with a €569 million value expected by 2014. Meanwhile, France and Germany are both in the €350 million range and Spain and Eastern Europe are slightly below €300 million.

Beatty believes growth opportunities will be strongest in Eastern European countries where birth rates are rising at the same time as disposable incomes.

Meanwhile, in the highly developed UK market, brands are increasing the sale of multipacks and other branded multi promotions to help increase growth.
blog comments powered by Disqus
  • Coming Clean on a Host of Issues

    October 17, 2016
    Cleaning Products Conference is set for Nov. 9-11, 2016 in Washington DC.

  • Let the Magic Begin!

    Let the Magic Begin!

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||October 10, 2016
    IFSCC Congress gets underway at Walt Disney World this month.

  • Ogee Opens for Business

    Ogee Opens for Business

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||October 10, 2016
    Banking on the power of jojoba oil, a Vermont-based start-up is the newest player in organic luxury skin care.

  • 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.

  • Change Is in the Air

    Change Is in the Air

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

  • Back to School

    Back to School

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||September 1, 2016
    It may be September, but class was in session this summer during the Private Label Manufacturers Association’s Executive Educ

  • What

    What's In Your Formula?

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||September 1, 2016
    A look at the ingredients beauty brands are using to fuel their formulations and capture consumers’ attention.

  • How Green Is Your Surfactant?

    How Green Is Your Surfactant?

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director ||September 1, 2016
    Suppliers offer a range of solutions to help household and personal care product formulators develop formulas

  • Special Effects

    Special Effects

    Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor||August 1, 2016
    Fall 2016 color cosmetics reflect light and offer a focus on elements like pigment, slip and wear.

  • Silent Partners

    Silent Partners

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||August 1, 2016
    From research & development to logistics to confidentiality, savvy distributors help finished formulators achieve their goals

  • Sustainability is Omnipresent

    Sustainability is Omnipresent

    Christine Esposito , Associate Editor||July 1, 2016
    Industry stakeholders convene in New York City for Organic Monitor’s annual event

  • Perceived Perfection

    Perceived Perfection

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||July 1, 2016
    From primers to pressed powders, facial cosmetics help create the illusion of a flawless complexion.

  • Preserve & Serve

    Preserve & Serve

    Melissa Meisel , Associate Editor||July 1, 2016
    Suppliers with innovative preservatives provide staying power for formulations.

  • Quaternized Guar Is a Natural Solution

    Quaternized Guar Is a Natural Solution

    Tom Schoenberg, Schoenberg Consulting||July 1, 2016
    The polymer has applications in a range of skin and hair care formulas that does not build up on hair with repeated use

  • Take Notice

    Take Notice

    Melissa Meisel , Associate Editor||June 1, 2016
    Packaging trends revolve around trendy artwork, eco-conscious materials—and portability is a plus too!

  • Virtual Reality

    Virtual Reality

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||June 1, 2016
    An update on nature-identical ingredients for cosmetics and personal care products.

  • Shiseido Advances in the US

    Shiseido Advances in the US

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||June 1, 2016
    New facility in Windsor, NJ demonstrates its dedication to the US and other markets outside Japan.

  • Get Smart About Your Big Data

    Get Smart About Your Big Data

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||June 1, 2016
    Experts at the IRI Growth Summit explain how to make personal connections with customers.

  • For the Love of Lipids

    For the Love of Lipids

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||June 1, 2016
    AOCS and SCC to deliver a program geared to cosmetic chemists of the important role that fats and oils play in a healthy skin

  • April in Paris

    April in Paris

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||June 1, 2016
    In-Cosmetics sets attendance record in its return to the City of Light.

  • Salon Selectives

    Salon Selectives

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||June 1, 2016
    The inside story about what stylists think about the state of the industry and the state of your products and ingredients.

  • Wacker Builds on Its Success

    Wacker Builds on Its Success

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director ||May 2, 2016
    The silicone maker had a good 2015 and expects the gains to continue in 2016, driven, in part, by success in the Americas and

  • I Want It All

    I Want It All

    Melissa Meisel , Associate Editor||May 2, 2016
    Skin care moves beyond the basics with pampering formulations with unique components and novel functions.

  • Bite Now

    Bite Now

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||May 2, 2016
    Is the time finally right for beauty-from-within to move into the mainstream?

  • Boxed Out?

    Boxed Out?

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||May 2, 2016
    Salon sales outpace mass-market results in the highly competitive, highly fashionable and yes, highly-colorful hair color cat

  • That’s Awesome!

    That’s Awesome!

    May 2, 2016
    Extracts & Ingredients highlights the newest ideas in efficacious oils for the personal care market.

  • The Essence of Individuality

    The Essence of Individuality

    Melissa Meisel , Associate Editor||April 1, 2016
    Fragrance sales are fueled by unique facets.