India’s Booming Diaper Sales Create Sustained Opportunities for Global Manufacturers
Demand for baby diaper in India is mainly driven by rapidly expanding infant population and increased awareness of personal hygiene. According to a UN forecast, India's population is projected to surpass that of China's around 2024, and could touch 1.5 billion in 2030. Sales are also complemented by other macro-factors, including growing participation of women in the workforce, increasing disposable incomes, and increasing purchasing power.
The article is part of the comprehensive report on Baby Diapers Market. A sample of the report is available upon request.
With awareness, the customers are switching from the cloth nappies to baby diapers now. Also, they are ready to spend more on better baby diapering solutions. The evolving consumer demand has induced innovation among diaper manufacturers, with skin-friendly, ultra-thin, convenient to wear and extremely absorbent diapers gaining ground.
Indian Diaper Market Remains Highly Consolidated
Procter & Gamble, Unicharm Corporation, and Kimberly-Clark Corporation—these three players hold the lion’s share in Indian diaper market. Procter & Gamble has been one of the market leaders, but currently, it is facing challenges associated with innovation and product differentiation. Considering the consolidated nature of the Indian diaper market, small players continue to face challenges in terms of scale and expansion.
India’s vast and diverse market offers significant opportunities to diaper manufacturers to innovate and cater to niche and newfound demand. In some markets, Kimberly-Clark has introduced a new line of diapers under its Huggies brand specially designed for premature babies. Pampers brand Procter & Gamble, has come up with innovative flat diaper to cater to the needs of pre-term babies, whose skin is too delicate for a traditional diaper.
Innovation – The Road Ahead for Diaper Manufacturers
The leading diaper brands in Indian baby diaper market are constantly innovating to offer gentle protection to babies. The innovative leak lock system locks in leaks for around 12 hours of protection. Key focus area for manufacturers include offering diapers with umbilical cord cutout, wetness indicator, gentle absorb liner, pocketed back waistband, double grip strips, sure fit design, to name a few.
There are many variants of diapers available in India; broadly, these include baby disposable, baby training, baby cloth, baby swim pants, baby biodegradable, adult pad type, adult flat type and adult pant type diapers. Demand for baby disposable diapers has remained significant, and this product category continues to account for the bulk of sales currently.
Leaders leveraging Indian Advantage to Boost Diaper Market
India’s high population and healthy birth rates continue to create opportunities to diaper manufacturers. As per the WHO, India has a birth rate of 25 million every year. With millions of births a year and a high number of ageing population, India is a large and fast growing market of diapers. Sensing the opportunities in the Indian diaper market, Kimberly-Clark is focusing on the right advertising and marketing to stay ahead in the game.
Use of Diaper Pants on the Rise in India
Diaper pants popularity is on the rise. While traditional taped diapers are the largest segment and experienced strong growth in recent times, sales of slide-on diaper pants has been driven by their convenience, comfort and competitive prices. Diaper pants are extremely easy to use, airier and more comfortable than regular diapers which need to be taped and are thus tighter than pants. To tap into the Indian market, Kimberly-Clark has introduced products in both diaper and the feminine pad segments catering to consumers’ everyday needs.
Information Dissemination through Consumer Education: A Key Marketing Strategy
Leading players in the Indian diaper market are significantly contributing to consumer education and support various programs across India to communicate to consumers and pediatricians the benefits of ‘dry and healthy skin’ ensured by usage of diapers. They are engaging in supporting activities educating the consumers and addressing the concerns of mothers. For example, the Indian diaper market leader Kimberly-Clark’s brand Huggies came up with ‘Huggies® Happy Baby’ book. The book addresses the concerns of young mothers and provides guidelines for day-to-day baby care. Another Huggies campaign ‘No Baby Unhugged’ was aimed at ensuring babies get the hugs they need to help them thrive.
Sustainability Gaining Ground Among Diaper Manufacturers
Leading players are investing in biodegradable diapers to ensure their businesses are in sync with the rapidly growing sustainability trend. As a significant percentage of diapers sold in India are disposables, safe and efficient waste management has become a priority for diaper manufacturers. The disposable diapers’ convenience, and easy-to-wear layout makes them the best pick for usage when travelling or when a child needs greater freedom to play.
The diaper market in India is in a state of ascendancy – while growing urbanization trend has led to increased demand for premium diapers, growing awareness in rural areas has also contributed to a surge in sales. Considering the heterogeneity in India, diaper manufacturers need to know that one-size-fits-all approach rarely works in the country. Instead, minute focus to local preferences and buying motivations is paramount to appeal to Indian consumers.