The COVID-19 crisis had no significant effect on sales of new born and standard nappies. Even amidst the economic and social challenges presented by measures imposed to curb the spread of the disease, parents continued to prioritise the health and comfort of their new born babies and to seek high-quality products.
Home seclusion, restricted outdoor activities and the closure of nurseries led to lower demand for junior nappies/diapers and pants, as such products were used for longer without replacement and there was more opportunity for potty training. As the threat from COVID-19 was perceived to diminish, restrictions were eased and children returned to outdoor activities and nurseries, junior products saw demand rise again.
Even as COVID-19 related restrictions were eased, nappies/diapers/pants continued to see growing sales through e-commerce, either through third party platforms such as Amazon or the e-commerce shops of hypermarkets such as Carrefour. The fact that e-commerce allows consumers to have access to discounts and offers that are usually available only at big hypermarkets has encouraged consumers to use the channel over store-based options such as supermarkets.
Ongoing urbanisation, improved standards of living and rising hygiene-awareness are set to contribute to the continued to expansion of the nappies/diapers/pants category over the forecast period. The use of reusable, washable nappies is diminishing in rural areas and amongst low-income urban households.
The strong e-commerce sales of nappies/diapers/pants witnessed during the COVID-19 crisis are expected to continue in the upcoming years, even as consumers return to normal lifestyles and store-based retailing operates without pandemic-related restrictions. From the producers’ side, most brands have established an online presence with attractive offers not available in most physical stores.
Intense price wars between the leading brands, Pampers, Molfix and Babyjoy, is exerting a downward pressure on prices at the same time as the cost of raw materials, energy and transportation are having the opposite effect. The leading brands’ competitive pricing presents a strong barrier against the entry of new players and limits the growth of smaller local brands.
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