The character of the Japanese tissue and hygiene market is being heavily impacted by demographic developments. A falling birth rate and a rapidly ageing population are leading to a contracting consumer base in nappies/diapers/pants and sanitary protection, while significantly bolstering demand in adult incontinence.
Increasing female participation in paid employment, promoted by government policies to deal with labour shortages and stimulate economic growth, is changing women’s lifestyles and increasing their purchasing power. As a result, there are opportunities for the development of higher-value products that provide convenience and/or discretion across a wide range of categories, including sanitary protection, personal wipes and nappies/diapers/pants.
The Japanese retail tissue and hygiene market saw a continued trend of consolidation in the final year of the review period, as the top three players, Unicharm, Kao and Daio Paper, all made share gains. The limitations on volume growth resulting from population decline are encouraging these players to place a growing emphasis on value-adding innovation targeting evolving demand trends.
Health and beauty specialists remained the largest distribution channel for retail tissue and hygiene in 2018. While the channel saw a slight erosion of its share of value sales over the review period, it benefited from an upmarket shift in demand across several categories, as it offers a broad choice of brands and products.
Unfavourable demographic developments are militating against volume growth in most categories of tissue and hygiene during the forecast period. Nappies/diapers/pants and sanitary protection are both set to see retail volumes fall significantly as a result of contracting consumer bases.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Tissue and Hygiene market research database.