Nappies/Diapers/Pants in Asia Pacific

May 2021

Although there was a slight slowdown in growth of nappies/diapers/pants sales in Asia Pacific in 2020, Coronavirus (COVID-19) did not have as big an impact on these products as many others in the region. Given they are seen as essential products by many parents, they were reluctant, if possible, to stop buying them, albeit perhaps trading down to lower-priced products given the economic impact of the pandemic. Strong annual growth rates are expected from 2021.

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Key findings

Strong historic period growth

Asia Pacific, driven by the dominant Chinese market, had been recording strong growth rates for nappies/diapers/pants in the first three years of the 2015-2020 period. This was in spite of falling birth rates in many countries in the region, which was resulting in declining sales in Japan and South Korea, and, in 2019, was even starting to slow the growth rates in China.

Slowdown in growth in 2020

A number of countries saw a slowdown in their growth rates or even declining sales during 2020, with the region impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, where possible, parents continued to use disposable nappies/diapers/pants, even if perhaps trading down to cheaper brands or lines. Consumers have come to appreciate the convenience and functionality of such products and increasingly view them as essential products, helping to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on sales, with the economic consequences of the restrictions introduced to contain the spread of the virus affecting the nappies/diapers/pants performance more than the measures themselves.

Pandemic further boosts the e-commerce share

E-commerce was already the main distribution channel in Asia Pacific, with the pandemic only serving to further drive sales via internet retailing. Online sales account for just under half of retail value sales of nappies/diapers/pants in China, with just over three quarters of sales being made through e-commerce in South Korea.

Strong growth expected over the forecast period

Nappies/diapers/pants are expected to see strong growth in Asia Pacific over the forecast period, with disposable pants driving sales. Disposable pants are considered easier to use than nappies/diapers by many parents, who value their convenience and practicality.


Key findings

Regional Overview

Asia Pacific continues to account for more than a third of global sales
Strong rebound expected in 2021
China drives growth in the 2015-2020 period
Disposable pants dominate new sales in 2015-2020
Standard nappies/diapers struggling in recent years
Most consumers continue buying nappies/diapers in 2020
Further strong growth for leading channel e-commerce in 2020
Store-based retailers continue losing share during the pandemic

Leading Companies and Brands

Declining concentration in the Chinese market
Kao Corp continues losing share in 2020
China the main market for the top 10 players
Bobby continues moving up the regional rankings

Forecast Projections

Indonesia will be the most dynamic market over 2020-2025
Disposable pants will account for most of the new forecast period sales
Rising incomes and expanding populations should help drive growth

Country Snapshots

China: Market Context
China: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Hong Kong, China: Market Context
Hong Kong, China: Competitive and Retail Landscape
India: Market Context
India: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Indonesia: Market Context
Indonesia: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Japan: Market Context
Japan: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Malaysia: Market Context
Malaysia: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Philippines: Market Context
Philippines: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Singapore: Market Context
Singapore: Competitive and Retail Landscape
South Korea: Market Context
South Korea: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Taiwan: Market Context
Taiwan: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Thailand: Market Context
Thailand: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Vietnam: Market Context
Vietnam: Competitive and Retail Landscape


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