In 2020, sanitary protection posted a slight decline in retail value growth as well as in volume terms, continuing the trend observed over the review period due to the declining female population of menstrual age in Germany and already high product penetration. The COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on sanitary protection was minimal as the product is very much need-driven – these products are considered essential to women, and the prices are considered to be affordable in Germany with the result that substitution to reusable products in times of economic difficulty hold little appeal.
Within sanitary protection, slim/thin/ultra-thin towels with wings continued to be the best performing category due to its high absorbency properties and the comfort they offer to women, thus encouraging a switch to this format. Beyond convenience and comfort, a more prominent trend is that of natural and sustainable products.
Although still niche, there is rising awareness and availability of reusable alternatives such as menstrual cups in mainstream retailers, for example the Merula brand. The product is an alternative to disposable products such as tampons, towels, and panty liners.
Sanitary protection is expected to continue its overall declining trend from the review period due to an ageing population and declining female population of menstrual age. Adding to this negative forecast, demand for sanitary protection products is also expected to decline as an increased number of female consumers are likely to become more open to trying out reusable products – excluded from Euromonitor International’s product scope of sanitary protection – such as the menstrual cup or menstrual sponges which is expensive for a one-time purchase, but its reusability translates to lower long-term spending.
With a declining market in sanitary protection expected for the upcoming years, manufacturers will have to focus on new product development to recapture consumers that have been slowly shifting to reusable products. In addition to driving retail value sales growth through higher margins, product innovation also allows manufacturers to gain value share and consolidate their existing consumer base.
While the demand for sanitary protection itself was not affected by the pandemic in 2020, the general channel shift to e-commerce away from drugstores is likely to be sustained, while the shift to grocery retailers is expected to be more short-lived. After 2020 consumers are likely to continue being cautious and health conscious and after having had the experience of purchasing products online – including sanitary protection – more consumers are likely to increase their frequency of online purchases in the short and medium term.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Sanitary Protection industry in Germany with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
Key trends are clearly and succinctly summarised alongside the most current research data available. Understand and assess competitive threats and plan corporate strategy with our qualitative analysis, insight and confident growth projections.
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This report originates from Passport, our Sanitary Protection research and analysis database.
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