The pandemic has served as a double-edged sword for the global nappies/diapers/pants industry. On the one hand, greater price sensitivity has weakened spending power and birth rates, while on the other, increased health and eco awareness has popularised value-added product features with ethical and “clean” origins. These competing forces inevitably raise the questions of how to reach the “sweet spot” where quality and value meet, and how to maintain the balance in the post-pandemic world.
Developing countries are the main engine driving growth in nappies/diapers/pants, with the disposable pant format seeing the strongest momentum and most vibrant industry innovations, while the dominant nappies/diapers category navigates a more nuanced global battlefield. Though still a marginal segment, the cloth format continues imposing competitive pressure, given its eco-friendly and affordability advantages.
As financial uncertainty and price inflation drive consumers to seek value-centric products without compromising on quality, companies looking to address the mass audience are expected to reassess the supply chain for cost reductions and further articulate functionality-centric value propositions that resonate well with millennial and generation Z parents, a key audience of nappies/diapers/pants.
As COVID-19 has elevated parents’ concerns about their babies’ health, their expectations for conscience, transparency and care to be executed in a more precise way are growing. In response, companies vying for value growth are increasingly banking on a greener supply chain, more diversified portfolios, smart technologies, as well as claims and social campaigns that align with consumers’ priorities and values.
With the pandemic driving e-commerce’s growth at an unprecedented rate, a robust digital strategy has become a vital element in a brand’s retail success. As millennial and generation Z parents look online for a hassle-free shopping experience, and hope to form a deeper connection with brands, companies are striving for a balance between customisability and inclusivity.
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