Sanitary Protection in Asia Pacific

July 2019

Sanitary protection in Asia Pacific has been growing the fastest globally due to rising disposable incomes, better product access and product innovation. The segment is expected to continue to grow given the substantial unmet growth potential in markets such as India, China and Vietnam. The potential hurdles that limit this growth include slow tampon and pantyliner adoption rates, ageing populations and slow but growing demand for reusable sanitary alternatives.

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Key findings

Asia Pacific is the most promising region globally for sanitary protection

As of 2018, Asia Pacific has the highest unmet potential for growth compared to other regions globally. Over 2013-2018, the region recorded the highest CAGR of 7%. Along with high consumption in mature markets such as South Korea, demand is expected to continue growing in developing markets such as India and Vietnam, where per capita consumption is still very low. Rising female workforce participation rate will outweigh the ageing population in the region which will spur growth.

Towels remain the most preferred format but there is growing acceptance for tampons

While towels continue to be the preferred format purchased by consumers, tampons is witnessing the most dynamic growth in the region, especially in East Asian markets such as China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and South Korea. The segment grew the highest in China due to growing acceptance for tampons and more availability from domestic brands.

Reusable options are still niche but their presence points to consumers demanding more sustainable options

There is a small but growing number of players selling reusable sanitary protection products such as the Diva cup; there are also local players such as Freedom Cups based in Singapore entering the space. While they are unlikely to erode market share from incumbent players such as Procter & Gamble, their entry is welcomed by consumers who demand more sustainable and environmentally-friendly products. Manufacturers must innovate their product portfolios to include more biodegradable options.

E-commerce retailing for sanitary protection is on the rise in East Asia and Southeast Asia

Partnerships between leading sanitary protection players and retailers, and the establishment of flagship online stores on B2C platforms such as have resulted in the expansion of e-commerce retailing in East Asian markets such as China. In Southeast Asia, Lazada’s acquisition of Redmart has intensified competition with Shopee resulting in frequent promotions for consumers.


Key findings

Regional Overview

Asia Pacific leads at the global level
Southeast Asia and South Asia expected to stabilise growth
Premiumisation trend takes off strongly in China
Southeast Asian markets witness strong growth of towels
Tampons and pantyliners outperforms towels
Strong growth for towels in China and India
Health scares affect demand for towels differently in top markets
Retail distribution breakdown in Asia Pacific
Non-store retailing is on the rise in East Asia and Southeast Asia

Leading Companies and Brands

Consumers prefer established brands
Global players lose out to regional and domestic players
Room for expansion for top 10 companies by sales in Asia Pacific
Top five brands largely retain their rankings

Forecast Projections

Demand in South Asia and Southeast Asia will drive growth
Rising income levels and consumer education will boost demand
Habit persistence and soft drivers strongly impact India’s future growth
India has significant unmet volume growth potential…
…while China has significant unmet value growth potential
Soft drivers are important for industry players to boost consumption

Country Snapshots

Azerbaijan: market context
Azerbaijan: competitive and retail landscape
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
Kazakhstan: market context
Kazakhstan: competitive and retail landscape
Malaysia: market context
Malaysia: competitive and retail landscape
Pakistan: market context
Pakistan: 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
Uzbekistan: market context
Uzbekistan: competitive and retail landscape
Vietnam: market context
Vietnam: competitive and retail landscape


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