Japan has the oldest population in the world, with a median age of 47.8 in 2018, and is continuing to age as a result of a falling birth rate and increasing longevity.
Manufacturers have put significant effort into educating female consumers to use light adult incontinence instead of sanitary protection for the problem of incontinence, leading to a rise in the number of women using adult incontinence products. Major manufacturers, Unicharm and Kao, target such consumers with the Charm Nap and Laurier brands, respectively.
Adult incontinence is the second largest retail tissue and hygiene category in terms of sales through e-commerce, behind nappies/diapers/pants. Sales of nappies/diapers/pants are supported by the volumes required and the regularity of demand.
Unicharm increased its share of adult incontinence value sales over the review period, bolstering an already dominant position. The company’s portfolio includes both the well-known Lifree brand in moderate/heavy adult incontinence products and Charm Nap in light adult incontinence.
The top three players in adult incontinence, Unicharm, Daio Paper and Kao, all increased their share of category value both in 2018 and over the review period as a whole. This process of consolidation is being driven by a number of factors.
As in other areas of retail hygiene, the private label segment has failed to establish a significant presence in adult incontinence. Japanese consumers value qualities such as comfort, absorbency, efficacy and discretion in adult incontinence, reducing the intensity of pricing competition and undermining a key strength of private label products.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Tissue and Hygiene market research database.