Nappies/diapers/pants performed well in retail volume terms in 2018 despite sluggish economic growth, largely due to strong price competition instigated by the Molfix brand which meant that average unit price increases were below inflation. Price competition negatively impacted premium prices, with Procter & Gamble Nigeria forced to close a nappies/diapers and sanitary protection factory which only opened in 2017, due to the challenging environment.
Penetration rates of nappies/diapers remains low in Nigeria in 2018. The category thus has strong potential to grow as growth of the baby population is expected to be strong over the forecast period.
Price considerations mean that disposable pants remains a niche category in Nigeria, attracting interest mostly from upper-income consumers (including expatriates). Nevertheless, the introduction of pant diapers (different from training pants) in 2018 by Procter & Gamble, which was supported by advertising, is likely to generate greater interest than the more expensive disposable pants, due to their greater convenience and affordability.
Although the Molfix brand from Hayat Kimya Nigeria took the lead in retail volume terms in 2017, Procter and Gamble still led in value terms. However, 2018 will be remembered as the year Molfix increased its volume share and subsequently also overtook pampers in retail value terms.
With local production challenges, companies which import products also face obstacles in being able to import regularly and to ensure a stable supply of their products. The weak local currency and high import tariffs mean imports are expensive.
The surge in sales of Molfix products, taking over the lead from Pampers, caused a stir at the lower end of the category. Huggies, for example, received complaints that its size three nappies/diapers are smaller than other normal size three nappies/diapers.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Tissue and Hygiene market research database.