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A world of wonders.

private label trade show held in Chicago; absorbent product manufacturers display their wares

The world may have more than seven wonders after all. At least this was the theme of the 17th annual Private Label Manufacturers Association 1996 "Wonders of the World" private label trade show, which was held November 17-20 in Chicago, IL. Among the heaps of private label wares - including food, beverages, health and beauty products and household and kitchen goods - were various absorbent products such as baby diapers and adult incontinence products, training pants, cleaning, medical and wet wipes, cosmetic pads and feminine hygiene products.

Touted as the largest private label U.S. exhibition ever, the show included more than 20,000 different products; more than 1500 booths filled two of the enormous exhibit halls at Chicago's Rosemont Convention Center. While show officials claimed record registrations and ah overall attendance (including exhibitors) in excess of 5000, most exhibitors felt that the show was actually less busy than last year, particularly on the second and third days. That said, many manufacturers of absorbent products were pleased with the quality of visitors and were particularly happy with the show's ability to draw an international crowd. Latin American and Asian countries were reportedly well represented among show attendees.

Will Wonders Never Cease?

In the baby diaper arena, Confab, King of Prussia, PA, attracted attention at the show with the launch of its new baby diaper line into the private label sector. The company is offering a three-tiered program, which includes an ultra thin baby diaper product in five stages and assorted package sizes as well as a line of basic and supreme diapers. Confab is currently not offering a training pant product and, according to a company spokesperson, has no plans to do so in the near future. Also being highlighted at the show were standard feminine hygiene products such as ultra thin maxi pads and tampons in super absorbency, super plus and applicator-free versions.

Paragon Trade Brands, Federal Way, WA, also drew interest at the show, particularly in light of the company's acquisition last December of Pope & Talbot's diaper line. The company, which is reportedly very pleased with customer response to the takeover, was highlighting a line of ultra soft stretch baby diapers. Having made its debut in August, the new diaper features a breathable backsheet and stretchable side panels. In addition to its array of feminine hygiene offerings, other baby diaper products in the spotlight from Paragon were gender specific ultra diapers with a cloth-like cover in various sizes, a unisex supreme diaper and the "Undeez" gender specific training pants line.

Baby diaper manufacturer Drypers, Houston, TX, used the show to promote its existing line of products as well as the recent availability of baking soda in its private label offerings. The company reports a positive consumer reaction in the branded market to its baking soda feature - which was introduced into this market in May - as well as increased credibility in the private label sector. Drypers continues to sell both gender specific and unisex training pants and basic and ultra thin diapers to both markets.

With both baby diaper and feminine hygiene product offerings, Arquest, Cranbury, NJ, was highlighting its "Supreme" diaper line, to which the company plans to introduce a clothlike backsheet and breathability in the future. The product is an extension of the company's existing portfolio, which includes ultra thin and basic disposable diapers as well as "When Ever" super maxi pads.

Making its debut at the show was a generic line of disposable diapers from Bentley Manufacturing, New York, NY. Currently available in large and medium sizes, the diaper line will also be offered in extra large and small sizes in the future. Other standard product offerings included its "Jordache Baby's" and "Napeez" baby diaper lines in various sizes and counts as well as a variety of feminine hygiene products. In other company news, Bentley Manufacturing plans to enter the baby wipe market in the next couple of months and has already purchased the necessary production equipment.

Feminine Hygiene And Adult Incontinence Product News

Highlights from feminine hygiene and adult incontinence product manufacturers were also among the show's wonders. Inbrand, Marietta, GA, was busy inaugurating its recently launched "Slip On" adult brief into the private label market. Featuring a one piece design, the new universal sized product is available in 16 or 26 count packs and is reportedly the first product of its kind in North America. On the feminine hygiene side, Inbrand has introduced a next generation line of sanitary napkins featuring a contoured design and perforated poly film. As an upgrade to Inbrand's standard feminine hygiene offerings under the "Fresh 'N Dry" label, the new product provides a more modern look.

In the spotlight from first year exhibitor Industria Del Panal, SA de C.V., Xalostoc, Edo. de Mexico, was a new brochure detailing the company's latest offerings in the area of feminine hygiene, adult incontinence and baby diapers. The company is in the process of developing a fitted brief for adults that will complement its existing line of wing fold products and bed pads for adult incontinence. In other recent developments at Industria Del Panal, a U.S. office was recently opened in San Diego, CA.

Feminine hygiene product manufacturer First Quality Products, Great Neck, NY, used the show as a forum for introducing several products. An applicator-free tampon - positioned to compete against Johnson & Johnson's "OB" - made its debut, in addition to the "Gentle Touch" line of flushable tampons with rounded tip applicator. In the area of adult incontinence, First Quality unveiled "Prevail," which is an overnight brief in three different package sizes featuring an inner pad leg cuff.

Hospital Specialty, Cleveland, OH, introduced a flushable ultrathin sanitary napkin in regular, long and panty liner versions in addition to perforated films on winged (primarily full and ultra thin) products. In the adult incontinence arena, the company highlighted a bladder control product featuring "Fiberdri" superabsorbent fibers supplied by Camelot, Charlotte, NC. Pre-moistened baby wipes also made their debut at the show as did a new resealable package for pre-moistened adult wipes.

The Wonder of Wipes

Speaking of wipes, Dexter's "Hydraspun" technology was in the spotlight from Nice-Pak Products, Orangeburg, NY. Being offered as an upgrade to the company's standard air laid products, the wipes are manufactured through a hydroentangled process, are glue- and binder-free and offer better cleanability, strength and softness. The company showcased wet wipes in various counts, pop-up baby wipes and a resealable travel pack in addition to a tub top design and a new dispenser with a stay open feature and a 90[degrees] positive latching angle.

Atlantic Mills, Lakewood, NJ, was another manufacturer at the show with an emphasis on wipes. In addition to reusable rayon wipes in packs of five and a lens cleaning towelette, the company was promoting "Microbe Guard," an antimicrobial towel for food service applications. Featuring "Aegis" microbe shield protection, the wipe is designed to control the growth of microorganisms including fungi, yeasts, mold, mildew and bacteria.

Baby wipe manufacturer Rock-Line Industries, Sheboygan, WI, continued its emphasis on innovations in packaging at this year's show. In addition to its "Pop-Ups" line of wipes, Rock-Line also sells wipes in conventional tubs, refills and travel packs. While the company's focus is the baby wipe market, it does sell industrial and medical wipes on a contract basis.

Medical and baby wipes were the focus for private label converter Codi International, Veenendaal, The Netherlands, which has manufacturing facilities in Peabody, MA. The company featured sterile and non-sterile nonwoven dressings for medical applications in addition to nonwoven sponges, swabs, drapes and face masks. Also showcased were wipes with creme incorporated into them, moist toilet paper and nonwoven wash mittens.
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Title Annotation:17th annual Private Label Manufacturers Association trade show
Author:Wuagneux, Ellen Lees
Publication:Nonwovens Industry
Date:Jan 1, 1997
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