The initial response to the COVID-19 pandemic involved a hard lockdown in March/April 2020, followed by a gradual easing of restrictions, that ultimately resulted in New Zealanders enjoying few restrictions over the second half of 2020 and the first half of 2021, and a quarantine-free travel bubble with Australia. However, the emergence of the Delta strain of COVID-19 resulted in the entire country going back into a hard lockdown in August 2021, with Auckland remaining under some of the harshest trading and movement restrictions in the world over nearly the entirety of the fourth quarter of 2021.
In response to rising production costs due to its local manufacturing base, Asaleo Care wrapped up its nappy/diaper operations in New Zealand and closed down its Treasures brand. However, the brand was relaunched under new ownership, with the former professional basketballer Kirk Penney acquiring the rights to the brand and relaunching it through the company Treasures Ltd.
Kimberly-Clark’s Huggies brand continued to be dominant within nappies/diapers in value terms in 2021. However, the competition in the category continues to grow, which is generating price competition and innovation.
During the review period, the birth rate in New Zealand dropped to a historical low. This was due to a range of factors, such as the increasing cost of living and other societal changes.
Nappies/diapers/pants already has a stronger presence in e-commerce than other categories within tissue and hygiene, owing to parents being younger and more digitally-savvy, with a number of pure-play retailers already operating in the space. Nonetheless, convenience meant that supermarkets remained the dominant distribution channel over the review period, with parents usually purchasing these products as part of their weekly shop.
Sustainability and the use of environmentally-friendly materials are expected to become of increasing importance to consumers in New Zealand over the forecast period. These factors will be of importance to the demographic of new parents, who are more interested in the impact of their everyday lives on the environment.
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