The Rise in Premium Organic Sanitary Protection Brands in the US

September 2017

Recent years have seen new brands in the US sanitary protection market that are positioned as organic, sustainable, and part of a lifestyle – all at a premium price. While the share of these brands is still minimal, they have tapped into current consumer sentiments and trends, and have the power to instill change in the industry. This report looks at the trends that led to the rise of premium organic brands, as well as their challenges and impact on the overall sanitary protection market.

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Growth in number of premium organic products entering the market in recent years

The US sanitary protection market has seen numerous brands come on the market recently offering sanitary protection products made with organic ingredients. While Seventh Generation has been in the organic feminine care space for over a decade, smaller start-ups have been popping up in the past few years, aiming to disrupt the feminine care market.

Recent consumer trends enabling and driving development

The rise of premium organic sanitary protection companies has been influenced and aided by several consumer trends that are present in other industries, such as transparency in ingredients, convenience, customisation, and social impact. Companies in the premium organic sanitary protection space have responded by developing products with 100% organic cotton and listing ingredients on the box, utilising at-home delivery through a personalised subscription service, and partnering with charitable organisations.

Offering premium products at a premium price

The value-added benefits of these premium products all come with a higher price tag. Most premium organic sanitary protection products have a unit price that is double or even three times as high as conventional brands. This limits the consumer base and the possibility of expansion into other markets with smaller populations of high-income women.

Far from impacting sales of mainstream brands, but may impact legislation

Although company revenues are growing as products gain awareness and recognition, it is important to note that this is from a small base. Revenues are still relatively insignificant compared to those of sanitary protection giants such as Procter & Gamble and Kimberly-Clark. While the smaller start-ups are unlikely to take significant share from mainstream brands, they have brought certain issues to the forefront which could impact bigger brands. For example, a legislative bill, if passed, could require all sanitary protection manufacturers to list ingredients on their packaging.

Key findings
Sanitary protection is a USD3 billion market in the US
Recent influx of market entrants focus on premium and organic
Consumer trends contributing to rise of premium organic companies
Consumer trend: Transparency in ingredients
Consumer trend: Direct-to-consumer/subscription model
Consumer trend: Social responsibility
Target audience: Niche group of high-income consumers
Market performance and activity
A threat to mainstream brands?
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