Demand for tissue and hygiene products has increased across all type of retail outlets, including online. In some categories, like adult incontinence, retail growth has been strongly influenced by the reduction of budgets in away-from-home and RX/reimbursement schemes, leading to consumers looking for products to be paid for themselves.
Drugstores, together with discounters, have been proving to be strong players in tissue and hygiene distribution in Italy in recent years. Thanks to the steady opening of new outlets, they have been able to raise their profile and increase brand recognition, particularly among consumers looking for higher quality or a more diversified offer compared to the private label ranges available at large grocery retailers.
Fater SpA remains the clear leader in Italy in the production of hygiene products, which it distributes under the main brands Lines Specialist in adult incontinence, Lines and Tampax in sanitary protection, and Pampers in baby nappies/diapers. The company has opened a revolutionary facility in Treviso in Northern Italy, in collaboration with Contarina SpA, that specialises in collecting and recycling urban refuse.
During 2018, the Italian economy did not show signs of improvement, owing to political instability, resulting in stagnation in retails. Store-based retailers are suffering from the fact that consumers are spending less compared to the pre-recession period, while a potentially more serious long-term threat is the growth of the online channel.
Over the forecast period, retail tissue and hygiene will continue to grow in current value terms, while away-from-home tissue and hygiene is forecast to decline. The AFH channel will be negatively impacted by a reduction in purchases for public offices and schools, as well as hospitals and healthcare facilities like nursing homes.
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