Disposable Baby Products - US - April 2015
After several years of effectively flat sales growth, the disposable baby products market has posted gains in 2014, with birth and fertility rates beginning to stabilize and rising consumer confidence. Looking forward, Mintel’s research suggests that key opportunities for new product introductions and innovations include more natural and customizable products, and others that focus on relaxation or help babies sleep. Research also shows that many parents associate powerful emotions such as joy, pride, stress, guilt and uncertainty with baby care products, suggesting many inroads for connecting with consumers.
Mintel defines the US disposable baby products market as consisting of the following product categories:
Diapers and training pants
- Disposable diapers
- Disposable training pants
Wipes and moist towelettes
- Disposable baby wipes
- Moist towelettes
Baby care needs
- Baby soaps
- Baby ointments/creams
- Baby powder
- Baby lotions
- Baby shampoo
- Baby oil
- Petroleum jelly
Birth/fertility rates are beginning to stabilize and consumer confidence has risen, which are positive signs for the disposable baby product market in 2015. The strongest segments in recent years have been baby wipes and baby care products, which have a longer potential lifespan with use by older children and adults. Strong interest in natural products and innovative offerings in diapers (biodegradable, customizable or with lotion) may also shape and drive future sales. Effective outreach to young parents, who are internet savvy and increasingly ethnically diverse, will be central to driving sales and shaping brand allegiance.
Tying disposable baby product sales to strong parental desires to bond with babies, have them look their best, address their needs, and give them top-quality products can also motivate some parents to invest in higher end, branded products. However, the availability of functional, lower cost private-label products, including many touting natural ingredients or sensitive skin formulations, will continue to make the market highly competitive.
Online information, mobile apps and social media all offer opportunities to connect with younger parents, who will also likely drive the growing presence of online retailers in the disposable baby care market. Amazon.com stands out as a key retail player, with the potential to shake up the market, if it can manage a successful re-introduction of its Elements disposable diapers line (introduced in 2014, but pulled in 2015, post lukewarm consumer reviews), and tie this to its Amazon Mom and Amazon Prime subscriber services.
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