COVID-19 created increased awareness of cleanliness and hygiene amongst consumers, with wipes offering a convenient solution against the backdrop of strong retail spending in New Zealand in 2021. With consumers spending more time at home in 2021 due to increasing levels of flexible working and a lockdown which extended for almost three months across the Auckland region, this created increased demand for general purpose wipes, with many brands positioning themselves based on antimicrobial claims and product efficacy against COVID-19.
Sustainable sourcing, recyclability and plastic-free solutions are increasingly influencing retail tissue and hygiene in New Zealand, with the build-up of plastic waste a major concern for consumers in New Zealand. While the use of plastic in baby wipes has traditionally been favoured, as this is cheap and durable, the use of natural materials such as wood pulp and bamboo is increasingly finding favour, due to these fibres being sourced from renewable sources.
While wipes are viewed as a convenient and hygienic cleaning solution by many consumers, particularly in personal wipes, the environmental impact of excessive use of the products in this category is expected to influence its performance over the forecast period. The appropriateness of “flushable wipes” being labelled as such started to receive media attention and scrutiny by local government bodies such as Watercare, due to concerns over the impact wipes have on municipal sanitation systems – even those marketed as being “flushable”.
COVID-19 is expected to leave a lasting impact on New Zealanders over the forecast period, with heightened awareness of hygiene and cleanliness set to continue. This, combined with the convenience aspect of wipes, is expected to drive continued growth in demand for wipes.
The increased focus on hygiene and cleanliness benefited sales of wipes over the review period, including in 2021. However, as sales have increased for wipes, so too has the detrimental impact that their use is having on the environment and on the local infrastructure.
During the review period, the birth rate in New Zealand dropped to a historical low due to a range of factors, such as the increasing cost of living and other societal changes. The COVID-19 shutdown initially seemed to lead to a pause on pregnancy and the birth rate, as indicated by the continued decline in the birth rate in 2021.
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This is the aggregation of personal wipes and household cleaning wipesSee All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Wipes research and analysis database.
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