In 2020, early stockpiling and extended at-home child care nudged nappies/diapers/pants sales growth higher from the previous year although gains were limited as the grim economic outlook in the US dented consumers’ buying power. The modest growth of nappies/diapers compared to higher growth of pants stemmed from their better functionality and many parents’ shift towards earlier potty training during extended home seclusion.
Consumers’ heightened price sensitivity and continued focus on product functionality presented a new sweet spot, urging companies to rethink their value propositions. Euromonitor’s 2020 Health and Nutrition Survey indicates that leak protection, value for money and low price are top product characteristics favoured by US nappies/diapers/pants shoppers.
The nappies/diapers/pants category witnessed unprecedented growth in e-commerce sales in 2020, increasing this channel’s category share. With e-commerce expansion, customers’ expectation for a more convenient, personalised, authentic and socially conscious retail experience also evolved.
In the immediate future, pandemic-induced economic and health uncertainty, coupled with fewer immigrants coming to the US, will continue to dampen the already declining population growth rate, leaving limited room for per capita diaper consumption growth. Given the unclear timetable for vaccine adoption and economic recovery, Euromonitor International does not expect the broad childbearing sentiment to significantly improve in the immediate future.
COVID-19 has broadened the sustainability conversation, reflecting not only environmental care but also ethical consumerism, social responsibility and personal wellbeing, which will continue to ring true to American ears. However, sustainability alone is not enough to sustain loyalty or incentivise spending in the long run.
COVID-19 has reinforced many consumers’ reliance on the internet for nappies/diapers/pants, making direct-to-consumer a more integral component of the omnichannel strategy. As the economy enters the recovery mode and consumers resume in-store shopping, brands will continue using digital platforms not just for customer interaction but also for the greater good, such as celebrating milestones in children’s lives, supporting parenting through virtual activities, building digital communities for product discovery, advice, and sharing, as well as communicating sustainability initiatives.
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This report originates from Passport, our Nappies/Diapers/Pants research and analysis database.
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