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UK Feminine Hygiene and Sanitary Protection Products market report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Feminine Hygiene and Sanitary Protection Products market, its consumers and the major players who make up the market.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

  • What are the key challenges facing the industry?
  • Who is the consumer and what do they want?
  • Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Market

Point of sale market data

In conjunction with IRi, extensive point of sale data shows you what consumers are spending their money on

Market Size

How big is the market today and what is our 5 year forecast? Includes both best & worst case scenarios

Market Segmentation

What are the different segments within the market and how are those individual segments performing?

Consumer

Consumer behaviors

What are consumers looking for, what drives their buying habits and what are their main purchase influencers?

Demographic breakdown

From iGen & Millennials to Baby Boomers & beyond. Who is spending money and what are they spending it on?

Representative sample

We gather our data from real-world consumers, selected to accurately reflect precise global demographics

Players

Company strategy

What are the key players doing, what has been successful for them and what was their marketing spend?

Product innovation

Using data from our Global New Product Database, what products were launched and how well were they perceived?

Opportunities

What happens next, which areas are likely to experience growth and what opportunities exist within the market?

Covered in this report

For the purposes of this report, Mintel has used the following definitions:

  • Panty liners, as they can be used with tampons or throughout the month to protect underwear
  • Tampons, including both applicator and non-applicator tampons
  • Sanitary towels, including versions with or without wings
  • Reusable menstrual cups, such as Mooncup

Excluded: Ancillary products such as disposal bags and tampon containers, or wallets and belts.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Hera Crossan, a leading analyst in the Beauty & Personal Care sector, her extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

The UK’s ageing population has helped to create a fast-growing incontinence products market. That rosy picture doesn’t extend to the sanitary protection and feminine hygiene categories, however. The former is contending with a long-term fall in sales, while the latter is struggling to really convince consumers as to what benefits they can offer. Hera Crossan
Beauty & Personal Care Specialist

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Products covered in this Report
        • Feminine hygiene products
          • Adult incontinence
            • Excluded
            • Executive Summary

                • The market
                  • Incontinence category props up overall growth
                    • Figure 1: Best- and worst-case forecast of UK value sales of feminine hygiene, sanitary protection and adult incontinence products, 2013-23
                  • Companies and brands
                    • Refresh for Femfresh pays dividends
                      • Figure 2: Retail value sales of feminine hygiene products, by brand, year ending October 2018
                    • Value sales fall across sanitary protection category
                      • Figure 3: Retail value sales of sanitary protection products, by brand, year ending October 2018
                    • Tena continues to dominate incontinence category
                      • Figure 4: Retail value sales of adult incontinence products, by brand, year ending October 2018
                    • The consumer
                      • Percentage of women menstruating rises across most age groups
                        • Figure 5: Menstruation status in the last 12 months, by age, 2017 and 2018
                      • Popularity gap widens between pads and tampons
                        • Figure 6: Sanitary protection product usage, 2017 and 2018
                      • Young women buy branded, while mothers go for own-label
                        • Figure 7: Types of sanitary protection products purchased, branded vs own-label, October 2018
                      • Sanitary protection buyers keenly price-focused
                        • Figure 8: Behaviours around buying sanitary protection products, October 2018
                      • Feminine hygiene products still not seen as essential
                        • Figure 9: Usage of feminine hygiene products in the last 12 months, 2017 and 2018
                      • Younger consumers see greater use for feminine hygiene products
                        • Figure 10: Correspondence analysis of perceptions of feminine hygiene products, October 2018
                      • Incontinence affects all age groups
                        • Figure 11: Frequency of experiencing incontinence, by age, October 2018
                      • Women experience incontinence more than men
                        • Men less likely to use incontinence products
                          • Figure 12: Usage of incontinence products, by gender, October 2018
                        • Panty liners used as all-purpose products
                          • Stigma towards incontinence not yet removed
                            • Figure 13: Attitudes towards incontinence, October 2018
                          • What we think
                          • Issues and Insights

                            • Ageing consumers will power incontinence category for years to come
                              • The facts
                                • The implications
                                  • Feminine hygiene brands could reinvigorate their approach to re-engage consumers
                                    • The facts
                                      • The implications
                                      • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                        • Incontinence category props up overall growth
                                          • Fall in sanitary protection sales weighs on market
                                            • Recovery for feminine hygiene category
                                              • Tampon Tax price cuts affect value sales growth in supermarkets
                                                • Ageing population pushes sanitary protection down, incontinence up
                                                  • Period poverty issue makes its mark in sanitary protection
                                                    • Brands need to be aware of risks of environmental taxes
                                                    • Market Size and Forecast

                                                      • Incontinence category props up overall growth
                                                        • Figure 14: UK retail value sales of feminine hygiene, sanitary protection and adult incontinence products, at current and constant prices, 2013-23
                                                      • Market growth set to continue
                                                        • Figure 15: Best- and worst-case forecast of UK value sales of feminine hygiene, sanitary protection and adult incontinence products, 2013-23
                                                      • Forecast methodology
                                                      • Market Segmentation

                                                        • Incontinence product sales growing
                                                          • Figure 16: UK retail value sales of feminine hygiene, sanitary protection and adult incontinence products, 2016-18
                                                        • Fall in sanitary protection sales weighs on market
                                                          • Recovery for feminine hygiene category
                                                          • Channels to Market

                                                            • ‘Tampon Tax’ price cuts affect value sales growth in supermarkets
                                                              • Figure 17: UK retail value sales of feminine hygiene, sanitary protection and adult incontinence products, by outlet type, 2016-18
                                                          • Market Drivers

                                                            • Ageing population pushes sanitary protection down, incontinence up
                                                              • Figure 18: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, by gender, 2013-23
                                                            • Declining birth rate could buoy sanitary protection…
                                                              • …but detract from incontinence segment
                                                                • Figure 19: Trends in number of live births (thousands) and mean age of mothers at the birth of their child, England and Wales, 2006-17
                                                              • Obesity rates could fall, impacting incontinence
                                                                • Figure 20: Trends in BMI, England, 1995-2016
                                                              • Usage of oral contraception falling
                                                                • Figure 21: Contraceptive prescription items dispensed in the community (England), 2011-17
                                                              • Brexit and QE unwinding are dark clouds gathering
                                                                • Figure 22: Trends in current financial situation compared to a year ago, July 2011-October 2018
                                                              • Period poverty issue makes its mark in sanitary protection
                                                                • Figure 23: Tampon Taxi initiative by Project Period, November 2018
                                                              • Brands need to be aware of risks of environmental taxes
                                                              • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                                                • Refresh for Femfresh pays dividends
                                                                  • Tena continues to dominate incontinence category
                                                                    • Incontinence NPD is a growing focus
                                                                      • Ethical challenger brands active in NPD
                                                                        • P&G’s adspend cut weighs on category overall
                                                                          • TV now almost completely dominant
                                                                            • Femfresh highly recommended
                                                                            • Market Share

                                                                              • Refresh for Femfresh pays dividends
                                                                                • Figure 24: Retail value sales of feminine hygiene products, by brand, years ending October 2016-18
                                                                              • Value sales fall across sanitary protection category
                                                                                • Figure 25: Retail value sales of sanitary protection products, by brand, years ending October 2016-18
                                                                              • Tena continues to dominate incontinence category
                                                                                • Figure 26: Retail value sales of adult incontinence products, by brand, years ending October 2016-18
                                                                            • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                              • Incontinence NPD is a growing focus
                                                                                • Figure 27: New product development in the UK feminine hygiene, sanitary protection and adult incontinence market, by product segment, January 2015-October 2018
                                                                              • Male incontinence begins growing as NPD focus
                                                                                • Figure 28: Examples of men’s product launches in the adult incontinence protection market, 2018
                                                                              • NPD increasingly targets ethical concerns
                                                                                • Figure 29: New product development in the UK feminine hygiene, sanitary protection and adult incontinence market, by launch type, 2017
                                                                              • Essity grows its incontinence lines
                                                                                • Figure 30: New product development in the UK feminine hygiene, sanitary protection and adult incontinence products market, by ultimate company, January 2017-October 2018
                                                                              • Feminine hygiene products
                                                                                • Femfresh extends, while Vagisan adspends
                                                                                  • Figure 31: NPD in the feminine hygiene market, 2017-18
                                                                                • Own-label NPD fluctuates
                                                                                  • Figure 32: New product development in the UK female hygiene market, branded versus own-label, January 2015-October 2018
                                                                                  • Figure 33: Examples of own-label product launches in the feminine hygiene market, 2017-18
                                                                                • More odour-neutralising claims in feminine hygiene
                                                                                  • Figure 34: Top five claims in the UK feminine hygiene market (based on 2017), 2016 vs 2017
                                                                                  • Figure 35: Examples of products with skin and odour-neutralising claims in the feminine hygiene market, 2017-18
                                                                                  • Figure 36: YES organic intimate product range, 2018
                                                                                • Sanitary protection products
                                                                                  • Ethical challenger brands active in NPD
                                                                                    • Figure 37: Examples of new packaging launches in the sanitary protection market, 2018
                                                                                  • Brands use on-pack promotions
                                                                                    • Figure 38: Examples of products with on-pack promotions in the sanitary protection market, 2017-18
                                                                                  • Own-label NPD trends upwards
                                                                                    • Figure 39: New product development in the UK sanitary protection market, branded versus own-label, January 2015-October 2018
                                                                                    • Figure 40: Own-label panty liner NPD in the sanitary protection market, 2017-18
                                                                                  • Environmental claims rise in importance
                                                                                    • Figure 41: Top five claims in the UK sanitary protection market (based on 2017), 2016 vs 2017
                                                                                    • Figure 42: Examples of ethically focused NPD in the sanitary protection market, 2018
                                                                                  • Sanitary protection innovation picks up
                                                                                    • Figure 43: Lily Cup by Intimina collapsible, 2018
                                                                                    • Figure 44: D. by Dame starter pack, 2018
                                                                                    • Figure 45: Flex disc by The Flex Company, 2018
                                                                                    • Figure 46: Tampliner by Callaly, 2018
                                                                                  • Adult incontinence products
                                                                                    • NPD targets convenience
                                                                                      • Figure 47: Examples of new product and new formulation launches in the adult incontinence product market, 2017-18
                                                                                    • Own-label NPD stays active
                                                                                      • Figure 48: New product development in the UK adult incontinence market, branded versus own-label, January 2015-October 2018
                                                                                      • Figure 49: Examples of new product and new formulation own-label launches in the adult incontinence product market, 2017-18
                                                                                    • Time/speed claims respond to needs of older consumers
                                                                                      • Figure 50: Top five claims in the UK adult incontinence protection market (based on 2017), 2016-17
                                                                                      • Figure 51: Examples of new product and new formulation launches with time/speed claim in the adult incontinence product market, 2017-18
                                                                                    • Brands helping consumers to make lifestyle changes
                                                                                      • Figure 52: Elvie Trainer, 2018
                                                                                      • Figure 53: Light’s by Tena’s My Pelvic Floor Fitness app, January 2018
                                                                                  • Advertising and Marketing Activity

                                                                                    • Incontinence segment drives category adspend
                                                                                      • Figure 54: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on sanitary protection, feminine hygiene and adult incontinence products, by category, January 2015-October 2018
                                                                                    • P&G adspend cut weighs on category overall
                                                                                      • Figure 55: Recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail total advertising expenditure on feminine hygiene, sanitary protection and incontinence products, by leading companies (based on 2018), January 2015-October 2018
                                                                                    • TV now almost completely dominant
                                                                                      • Figure 56: Recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail total advertising expenditure on the feminine hygiene, sanitary protection and adult incontinence market, by media type, January 2015-October 2018
                                                                                    • Tena targets newer demographics
                                                                                      • Figure 57: Tena Lady Discreet advert, March 2018
                                                                                    • Lights by Tena aims at active women
                                                                                      • Figure 58: Lights by Tena trampoline class TV advert, July 2018
                                                                                    • 2018 saw more ethical campaigns
                                                                                      • Figure 59: Always #EndPeriodPoverty participation campaign, November 2018
                                                                                    • Femfresh joins the ethical advertising trend
                                                                                      • Figure 60: Femfresh #SheTalks campaign, April 2018
                                                                                    • Vagisan also talks openly
                                                                                      • Figure 61: Jenny Eclair in Vagisan commercial, 2018
                                                                                    • Nielsen Ad Intel coverage
                                                                                    • Brand Research

                                                                                        • Brand map
                                                                                          • Figure 62: Attitudes towards and usage of selected brands, November 2018
                                                                                        • Key brand metrics
                                                                                          • Figure 63: Key metrics for selected brands, November 2018
                                                                                        • Bodyform seen as offering good value
                                                                                          • Figure 64: Attitudes, by brand, November 2018
                                                                                        • Femfresh regarded as ethical
                                                                                          • Figure 65: Brand personality – macro image, November 2018
                                                                                        • Tena risks alienating younger crowd
                                                                                          • Figure 66: Brand personality – micro image, November 2018
                                                                                        • Brand analysis
                                                                                          • Consumers proud to be associated with Always
                                                                                            • Figure 67: User profile of Always, November 2018
                                                                                          • Bodyform reaches younger and lower-income consumers
                                                                                            • Figure 68: User profile of Bodyform, November 2018
                                                                                          • Femfresh comes highly recommended
                                                                                            • Figure 69: User profile of Femfresh, November 2018
                                                                                          • Tena nears household name status
                                                                                            • Figure 70: User profile of Tena, November 2018
                                                                                          • Vagisil seen as caring about health and wellbeing
                                                                                            • Figure 71: User profile of Vagisil, November 2018
                                                                                          • Attends well positioned for growth
                                                                                            • Figure 72: User profile of Attends, November 2018
                                                                                        • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                          • Percentage of women menstruating rises across most age groups
                                                                                            • Popularity gap widens between pads and tampons
                                                                                              • Young women buy branded, while mothers go for own-label
                                                                                                • Sanitary protection buyers keenly price-focused
                                                                                                  • Feminine hygiene products still not an essential
                                                                                                    • Younger consumers see greater use for feminine hygiene products
                                                                                                      • Incontinence affects all age groups
                                                                                                        • Women experience incontinence more than men
                                                                                                          • Men less likely to use incontinence products
                                                                                                            • Panty liners used as ‘all-purpose’ products
                                                                                                              • Stigma towards incontinence not yet removed
                                                                                                              • Menstruation Status

                                                                                                                • Percentage of women menstruating rises across most age groups
                                                                                                                  • Figure 73: Menstruation status in the last 12 months, by age, 2017 and 2018
                                                                                                              • Usage of Sanitary Protection Products

                                                                                                                • Popularity gap widens between pads and tampons
                                                                                                                  • Figure 74: Usage of sanitary protection products, 2017 and 2018
                                                                                                                • Reusables yet to dent lead of disposable products
                                                                                                                • Types of Sanitary Protection Products Purchased

                                                                                                                  • Young women buy branded, while mothers go for own-label
                                                                                                                    • Figure 75: Types of sanitary protection products purchased, branded vs own-label, October 2018
                                                                                                                    • Figure 76: Types of sanitary protection products purchased, branded vs own-label, by age, October 2018
                                                                                                                • Behaviours around Buying Sanitary Protection Products

                                                                                                                  • Sanitary protection buyers keenly price-focused
                                                                                                                    • Figure 77: Behaviours around buying sanitary protection products, October 2018
                                                                                                                  • Online sales have little penetration as yet
                                                                                                                    • Figure 78: Freda period care subscription, 2018
                                                                                                                • Usage of Feminine Hygiene Products

                                                                                                                  • Feminine hygiene products still not an essential
                                                                                                                    • Figure 79: Usage of feminine hygiene products in the last 12 months, 2017 and 2018
                                                                                                                  • Brands must re-engage consumers in feminine hygiene
                                                                                                                    • Figure 80: Usage of feminine hygiene products in the last 12 months, by age, October 2018
                                                                                                                • Perception of Feminine Hygiene Products

                                                                                                                  • A need to shake off the unnecessary tag
                                                                                                                    • Figure 81: Correspondence analysis of perceptions of feminine hygiene products, October 2018
                                                                                                                  • Intimate wipes viewed more positively among young people
                                                                                                                    • Figure 82: Perceptions associated with feminine hygiene products, October 2018
                                                                                                                  • Threats could come from outside the category
                                                                                                                    • Figure 83: Body Hero shower oil by Glossier, 2018
                                                                                                                • Adult Incontinence Status

                                                                                                                  • Incontinence affects all age groups
                                                                                                                    • Figure 84: Frequency of experiencing incontinence, by age, October 2018
                                                                                                                  • Women experience incontinence more than men
                                                                                                                    • Figure 85: Women’s frequency of experiencing incontinence, by age, October 2018
                                                                                                                    • Figure 86: Men’s frequency of experiencing incontinence, by age, October 2018
                                                                                                                • Usage of Adult Incontinence Products

                                                                                                                  • Men less likely to use incontinence products
                                                                                                                    • Figure 87: Usage of incontinence products, by gender, October 2018
                                                                                                                  • Panty liners used as all-purpose products
                                                                                                                    • Figure 88: Age breakdown of incontinence sufferers who do not use incontinence products, October 2018
                                                                                                                • Attitudes towards Adult Incontinence

                                                                                                                  • Stigma towards incontinence not yet removed
                                                                                                                    • Figure 89: Attitudes towards adult incontinence, October 2018
                                                                                                                    • Figure 90: Agreement that there is a stigma around discussing incontinence, by age, October 2018
                                                                                                                  • Brands help consumers help themselves
                                                                                                                    • Perceptions of incontinence change with experience
                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                        • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                          • Consumer research methodology
                                                                                                                            • Forecast methodology
                                                                                                                              • Correspondence analysis methodology
                                                                                                                              • Appendix – The Market

                                                                                                                                  • Figure 91: Best- and worst-case forecast of UK value sales of feminine hygiene products, 2013-23
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 92: Best- and worst-case forecast of UK value sales of sanitary protection products, 2013-23
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 93: Best- and worst-case forecast of UK value sales of adult incontinence products, 2013-23
                                                                                                                              • Appendix – Companies and Brands

                                                                                                                                  • Figure 94: New product development in the UK feminine hygiene market, by launch type, January 2015-October 2018
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 95: New product development in the UK sanitary protection market, by launch type, January 2015-October 2018
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 96: New product development in the UK adult incontinence market, by launch type, January 2015-October 2018
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 97: Recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail total advertising expenditure on feminine hygiene market, by media type, January 2015-October 2018
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 98: Recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail total advertising expenditure on sanitary protection market, by media type, January 2015-October 2018
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 99: Recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail total advertising expenditure on adult incontinence market, by media type, January 2015-October 2018