US wipe sales rose 3% in 2014 to reach $3.6 billion, according to the 2015 Euromonitor report “Wipes in the US.” Facial cleansing wipes saw the highest value growth in 2014 of over 4%, said the report. Procter & Gamble is leading in wipes with a 28% value share in 2014—double the share of the nearest competitor, Kimberly-Clark. Also the report noted that wipes are a relatively cheap purchase, with personal wipes averaging $0.05 per sheet, and this average remaining fairly consistent over the past decade.
Wipes also made headlines recently over flushability and environmental impact. Under a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Nice-Pak Products, Inc. agreed to stop advertising moist toilet tissue as flushable unless it can substantiate that the product is safe to flush. Nice-Pak agreed to not claim that its moist toilet tissue is safe for sewer and septic tanks unless it has substantiation for those claims. In addition, FTC says Nice-Pak will stop providing trade customers, such as retailers, with information to make such unsubstantiated claims. Costco, CVS, Target and BJ’s Wholesale Club were Nice-Pak customers that sold the formulation of the company’s moist toilet tissue that was the subject of the complaint under their own private labels.
Biodegradability will become a bigger issue in 2016. Wipes manufacturers will be looking to comply with biodegradability standards like the EPA’s Design for Environment (DfE),” said Jessica Berger, senior customer marketing manager, Kimberly-Clark Professional Partnership Products, Roswell, GA. “Some customers, especially Millennials and Generation Z, are looking at ethical considerations when purchasing wipes. This can mean a company or brand with trusted and ethical manufacturing and business practices, a product with a reduced environmental footprint, or a locally-made product.”
New and Improved
Natural ingredients in wipes are the biggest trend for Summer 2015—as seen in rollouts from mass to prestige. Some of the products are even sustainable.
Male grooming brand Anthony recently added glycolic exfoliating & resurfacing wipes to its collection, which is sold at Sephora. According to the company, these alcohol-free, glycolic/AHA wipes deliver maximum impact by swiping away dirt and grime, gently exfoliating to remove dead skin cells, minimizing pores, evening skin tone and leaving skin feeling hydrated and smooth. The uniquely-textured wipes resurface and smooth skin in one step, too. The easy-to-open pouch is touted for home use or on the go. The formulation is packed with aloe barbadensis leaf extract to soothe and menthol to cool skin. Chamomile, cucumber, white tea leaf and green tea leaf extracts also moisturize. Witch hazel extract—a natural astringent—tones and refines.
“There are many wipes on the market and a lot of ‘me too’ products. First and foremost, shoppers want a quality product,” Anthony Sosnick, founder of Anthony Brands, New York, told Happi. “They want something that they know will give them an added benefit while being very convenient in the application. They want to know that not only is the wipe made from a quality material that is safe and gentle to use on the skin, but the formula surrounding the wipe is effective and actually provides the claimed benefit.”
While many wipes are used for simple cleansing purposes, the industry is seeing a trend with products ranging from anti-aging, deep cleaning and exfoliating to hydrating, added Sosnick.
For example, Derma E, which is a top seller at outposts like Whole Foods, recently debuted Hydrating Facial Wipes. Each freshly scented pre-moistened wipe is infused with ultra-moisturizing hyaluronic acid that helps condition, soften and smooth skin, leaving it fresh and dewy. Fortified with superfruit extracts grape seed and maqui berry, these easy, one-step wipes offer antioxidant protection while keeping skin clean and refreshed, according to the company. Plus, each wipe is 100% compostable and all outer packaging is 100% recyclable.
Meanwhile, Aura Cacia, a leader in essential oils, has launched Revive Body Cloths. Offering aromatherapy on the go, the wipes are formulated with the brand’s high-quality essential oils, not fragrance oils. Derived from botanical and mineral ingredients, Revive Body Cloths are alcohol-free, biodegradable and Forest Stewardship Council and Rainforest Alliance certified.
“Consumers told us that they were looking for a dual purpose body cloth—one that not only refreshes but provides true aromatherapy benefits,” said Shannon Ousley, director of marketing, Aura Cacia. “Our new Aura Cacia Revive Body Cloths do just that with the help of pure botanical and mineral ingredients.”
Revive Body Cloths are available in three blends: Calm, featuring an aromatic mix of floral lavender essential oils and skin-soothing oat and aloe; Balance, a blend of mild mint essential oils and oat and aloe; and Focus, an amalgam of rosemary mint essential oils and oat and aloe.
Fellow natural brand Pacifica is expanding its repertoire at both Ulta and Target stores this season. At Ulta, it debuted both Pacifica Underarm Deodorant Wipes and Essential Makeup Removing Wipes. The deo wipe features an innovative formula utilizing natural ingredients with effective odor control and protection that can last for hours. A distinctive blend of natural essential oils and coconut milk, these odor-neutralizing, aluminum-free wipes keep you feeling fresh and fabulous all day long. The Essential Makeup Removing Wipes pack contains 30 natural biodegradable towelettes infused with a bevy of natural ingredients like coconut milk, jojoba, calendula, chamomile and jasmine.
At Target, the 30-count Pacifica Coco Pure Makeup Removing Wipes Facial Towelettes pack is infused with coconut milk. Jojoba oil and aloe vera make these wipes great for sensitive and dry skin too.
A Delicate Issue
In fact, consumers with delicate skin will find more and more wipes in the marketplace that cater to their needs. For example, Lumene’s rich, protective formulations are infused with Arctic linen seed to defend skin against damage. Meanwhile, the new Sensitive Touch range of cleansers and daily skin care treatments include wipes, of course. With a simple swipe, they remove makeup, dirt, oil and other impurities—no water required. These ultra-soft wipes calm skin while thoroughly cleansing and won’t leave behind a greasy residue or irritate eyes when removing makeup, said the company.
Another company, Skyn Iceland, sold at the California-based Beauty Collection stores and online, is rolling out Glacial Cleansing Cloths. Infused with Icelandic glacial waters and beneficial natural extracts, the wipes sweep away makeup, dirt, oil and other impurities while refreshing and soothing stressed skin with a clean scent, said the company.
Indie brands are getting a boost this season in wipes sales. For example, Lauren Napier Cosmetics in New York launched Cleanse by Lauren Napier in 2014, and since then has “grown leaps and bounds,” according to its founder. Water, cucumber, aloe, German chamomile, South African marshmallow root and Finnish oat extracts are the main ingredients tied into a lush cotton fabric to gently and effectively remove makeup and impurities from the skin’s surface.
Napier told Happi, “There has been such a demand for Cleanse by Lauren Napier that we expanded our brand offerings to a stylish, purse-sized bag and a glossy 50-count bag to meet the demands of skin care enthusiasts and professional makeup artist community.”
For Fall 2015, patrons will see new collaborations with breast cancer charities with “Let’s Wipe Out Cancer” is the goal. Lauren Napier Cosmetics will donate 10% of all October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month sales of Cleanse by Lauren Napier to women and families.
A Bright Outlook
The wipes sector is expected to grow by 2% in constant value terms over the forecast period, according to Euromonitor.
“In general, consumers want a good experience with the wipe they choose: how it dispenses, how it smells, and how it feels in the hand,” said Berger of Kimberly-Clark. “One of the hottest trends we’re seeing is new and improved textures in wipe base sheets. Wipes makers and retailers are realizing that they can differentiate themselves through texture. It’s the first thing a customer sees and feels when he or she uses the wipe. We envision 3-D textures making a big impact in the marketplace.”
Berger added that the industry should also expect more crossover in wipes applications.
“For example, consumers will want to use the same wipe to clean the glass in their car as they do for the glass in their home. Both applications have the need for lint-free performance, but currently wipes for different applications are sold in different retail aisles. Not only does this affect retail strategy, it also means that the wipes’ cleaning chemistries must be approved for different applications,” she told Happi.
Sosnick of Anthony Brands predicted that, due to sanitary and convenience factors, nearly every kind of product now in use will be in the form of a wipe. That includes anything from shaving products to anti-aging, while exfoliating and hydrating products will certainly be in the mix as well.
“More and more people want convenience,” Sosnick explained. “This is achieved by adding a quality formula to something that can be applied once while still maintaining the efficacy and the ability to use a fresh application each time.”
As he told Happi, the category will certainly be more compelling as the range of choices increases going forward.