2020 saw sales of nappies/diapers drop sharply in both volume and value terms as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This was partly due to the economic impact of the pandemic, with lower income households in particular hit by recession and seeking out lower priced products.
The category is led by Zaimella del Ecuador SA, with its Panolini brand; the company enjoys preferential distribution agreements across all channels and has always offered highly competitive prices, and as a result generated around a third of value sales in 2021. The company has significantly improved its fortunes over the review period; historically, its products have been perceived as low quality, but Zaimella has focused on improving the credibility of the brand.
One of the effects of the pandemic has been a second wind for the traditional grocery retail channel, popular markets and other small neighbourhood stores that have lost value share to modern grocery retailers over the review period. The fact that consumers were staying at home meant that local outlets like this have become important again, as many consumers are reluctant to travel to make this kind of purchase.
Nappies/diapers/pants have seen a return to positive growth in 2021, and are expected to see volume sales fully recover by 2022. The category is forecast steady growth, although in common with other countries in the region, the slowing of birth rates is set to inhibit a better performance.
Disposable pants saw a sharp drop in sales in 2020 due to COVID-19 because it is a product with limited penetration that is perceived as non-essential by most consumers, and because it has higher unit prices than the rest of the diaper category. One effect of the pandemic has been the contraction of the middle class, the cohort that would have bought more specialised (and expensive) products like this.
Sporadically, the category has seen the emergence of alternative nappies/diapers options, featuring either biodegradable or reusable materials. These products have typically failed to make much impact, either because they are often less effective, and always more expensive.
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This is the aggregation of nappies, diapers and pantsSee All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Nappies/Diapers/Pants research and analysis database.
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