Having controlled by three major players Pampers, Huggies and Mamy Poko pants, other players are taking exist from diaper industry in the country due to unprofitable situation in last few years.
The need for diapers was present since the ancient times. However, earlier when the baby diapers were not available, Indian parents used cloth or other materials for infants. With development in technology and design, the present day diapers came into existence. Awareness is increasing through the media campaigns about the different diaper brands and the benefits of using disposable diapers over cloth versions. Even in smaller towns and cities, parents are now willing to spend money on disposable diapers when the baby is taken out of the home, for added convenience. In India, P&G’s Pampers dominates the diaper industry. The brand remained popular due to its long presence in country and promotional campaigns but the company’s gamble on premium products seems to have backfired now.
According to report on 'India Diaper (Baby & Adult) Market Outlook, 2023' published by Bonafide Research, total diaper market has grown with more than 20% CAGR in past five years starting from 2011-12 to 2016-17. It is made up of baby diaper and adult diaper; last being niche market in the country. Baby diaper market had volume around 82.97 crore in the year 2011-12. Urban market dominates the market with more than 80% share in the year 2016-17. Among disposable diaper, modern cloth nappy, training pants, swim pants and biodegradable diaper, disposable holds major share due to its popularity. During forecast period, biodegradable diaper will grow at highest CAGR in comparison to other. Major players include P&G, Kimberly Clark and Unicharm etc. Adult diaper volume is expected to grow more than 25% during forecast period.
The market has also undergone a transition in the last decade with pant-style diapers replacing the traditional open and tie approach as there was need for something that would be quick and convenient. The two biggest players in the market include Procter & Gamble (P&G), with the brand Pampers, and Japanese company Unicharm, which has the Mamy Poko, the first to introduce pant-style diapers in the country. Other companies are not showing good signs in recent years therefore they have either stopped or divest their share from some joint venture.
In September 2017, Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL), India’s largest consumer packaged goods company, has sold its 50% stake in its joint venture to partner Kimberly-Clark Corp. The joint venture, Kimberly Clark Lever Pvt. Ltd (KCL), sold Huggies diapers and Kotex sanitary napkins in India. HUL set up the venture in 1995 with the US personal care multinational that sells iconic tissue brand Kleenex in the US along with Kotex and Huggies. HUL has divested its stake as it wants to focus on its core business only. Swedish company SCA, makers of the Libero brand, on the other hand, exited the market in early 2017, four years after entering it, saying it was unable to achieve profitability here. In the past it had forged a JV with the Godrej Group, and subsequently, quit the JV to float its own subsidiary and had also set up a manufacturing base in Pune with an investment of ?110 crore. Recently, in July 2018, Godrej Consumer (GCPL) exited the market by selling its popular Snuggy brand to Mumbai-based Nobel Hygiene which already operates in adult and baby diaper.
All these due to the failure of players to put a higher price tag, even as investment in research and development is noteworthy. In the last 20 years, the price of baby diapers has fallen by half — from Rs 15-18 per piece to Rs 7-9 now, depending on the brand. Players must be forceful as far as marketing, concocting pack sizes that are reasonable to buyers, since penetration of diaper is far below in the country.
Major companies that operate into Indian Diaper market are Johnson & Johnson Private Limited, Procter & Gamble Hygiene and Health Care Limited, Kimberly-Clark Lever Pvt. Ltd., Unicharm India Private Limited, Nobel Hygiene Pvt. Ltd., BellaPremier Happy HygieneCare Pvt. Ltd., Wipro Enterprises (P) Limited, Patanjali Ayurved Limited, The Himalaya Drug Company
Report: India Diaper (Baby & Adult) Market Outlook, 2023
Base Year: 2016-17, Estimated Year: 2017-18, Forecast Year: 2022-23
Pages: 110, Figures: 32, Tables: 24.