Sanitary Protection in North America

June 2018

With high per capita consumption, the sanitary protection market in North America has little room for further growth. Low growth rates in the target user base and changes in consumer trends and preferences have led to recent market declines. However, opportunities still exist to expand consumption, particularly in pantyliners. Meanwhile, the rise of re-usable alternatives and the growth of smaller players through e-commerce provide a challenge for major industry players.

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North American sanitary protection market challenged by unfavourable demographics and consumer trends

North America was one of the slowest growing regions in terms of sanitary protection value sales over 2012-2017. Slow growth in the female population aged 12-54 years is a major driver of recent declines. Consumer lifestyles in North America are also changing, such as the usage of contraceptives that minimise or eliminate a period, and the trend toward more sustainable products,which hinders consumption of disposable sanitary protection products.

Largest opportunity exists in pantyliners

Pantyliners is the least saturated category of sanitary protection in North America,and offers the most opportunity for growth, with an unmet potential of over 4million units (USD3 million). Opportunities exist due to the ability for pantyliners to be used as adult incontinence products. The products can also be marketed as a hygiene habit for women to introduce into their daily routines to increase per capita consumption, which is relatively low compared to towels and tampons.

Historically concentrated market begins to see the growth of private label

The North American sanitary protection market is dominated by the top three US-based players: Procter & Gamble, Kimberly-Clark and Edgewell. Competition is fierce between the industry leaders, which have invested significantly in launching new products and in advertising campaigns. Private label has started to become more of a threat in recent years, with higher quality products.

Value-added innovation needed to fend off competition

Although volume growth in sanitary protection is expected to remain positive in the forecast period, value sales are expected to be static, as pricing promotions and the growth of private label drive down prices. Innovations that convince consumers to pay more for premium products are needed to offset the value declines.

Introduction

Scope
Key findings

Regional Overview

North America in context
Historically sluggish growth is expected to continue
Towels are a key product format in the region
Pantyliners witness the best performance in both Canada and the US
Tampons record most significant declines in value sales
Health-conscious consumers abandon tampons due to safety concerns
Dynamic growth through internet retailing
Product selection, convenience and privacy drive online sales

Leading Companies and Brands

Top players dominate the market, but private label presence is growing
Competition is fierce at the top
U by Kotex climbs the ranks

Forecast Projections

Growth in Canada balances decline in the US
Innovations providing value-added benefits are necessary for growth
Unmet potential in pantyliners
Pantyliners less impacted by demographics

Country Snapshots

US: m arket context
US: competitive and retail l andscape
Canada: market context
Canada: competitive and retail l andscape

Appendix: Competitor Analytics

Competitor Analytics tool
Overview
Competitors
Market Overlap
Treemap
Overlap Matrices

Appendix: Industry Forecast Model

About Euromonitor International’s Industry Forecast Model
Soft drivers and the Industry Forecast Model
Growth decomposition explained
Significance and applications for growth decomposition
Key applications for Industry Forecast Models
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