The pandemic-accelerated decline in the birth rate ate away some growth momentum in nappies/diapers/pants, particularly in new-born nappies/diapers. However, a rising desire to meet children’s comfort and activity needs across life stages supported the adoption of disposable pants, which improved in recent years not only in terms of quality but also in terms of variety across price tiers.
As broad awareness about human health and the health of the environment mounts, demand for clean and ethical product features is growing, with the pre-condition that sustainable features do not interfere with performance. Ingredient sourcing is a key area for sustainability innovations, as exemplified by a slew of new releases in 2021, from Believe Diapers’s bamboo-based nappies/diapers to The Honest Company’s Clean Conscious Diaper, made with sustainably harvested tree fluff and packed in 100% recyclable cardboard.
Although efficacy features such as leak protection, softness and skin friendliness still rank high on parents’ shopping priority list, consumers nowadays appear less willing to pay more for these must-have properties, but are more than willing to punish if they are lacking. On top of consumers’ reluctance to pay up, pandemic-led inflation, the childcare crisis (which prevents many parents, especially mothers, from returning to work), and the lack of federal aid for working and job-seeking parents worsened already-strained family budgets, bringing value reckoning further to the fore.
Disposable pants, despite already accounting for nearly a quarter of overall retail value sales of nappies/diapers/pants in 2021, are still rapidly gaining popularity. By the end of 2026, disposable pants is expected to account for far more than a quarter of retail value sales, despite its retail volume share being less than a fifth.
The direct-to-consumer model will attract further attraction in the coming years, as parents seek a more simplified, customisable and predictable approach to baby care. For companies, this model creates a virtuous feedback loop, where user-generated usage data helps inform product and service improvements, marketing campaigns, and potential adjacent growth areas.
As sustainability gains momentum, so will the level of collaboration across the supply chain required to achieve this. Consumers, especially eco-conscious parents, will demand more transparency and participation in that process.
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This is the aggregation of nappies, diapers and pantsSee All of Our Definitions
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