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Private label adult incontinence products post 12% growth.

Sales of private label adult incontinence products increased 12.1% last year, above and beyond the overall adult incontinence category as a whole, which increased only 7.2%. According to a Private Label magazine survey, private label products also hit their all time high in terms of market share, increasing from 32% to 35.3% of the overall $479 million category. In the U.S. currently about 13 million people are incontinent to some degree, according to Private Label. Of this figure, 75% are women, 15% are men and 10% are children past the age of toilet training. People over 50 represent the largest percentage of the group, as well as the fastest growing segment.

In the overall adult incontinence market, undergarments held the largest share of the market, with 36. 1% (belted, 30.8%, beltless, 5.3%), followed by briefs with 23.2%, guards with 15.7%, underpads with 14.8% and shields with 9.7%. In the private label category, however, underpads hold the top spot in unit sales, with 30.8% of sales. This is followed by undergarments at 25.6% (belted, 16.4%, beltless, 9.2%), briefs, 21.7% and shields/guards, 20.3%.

Branded market leader "Depend," manufactured by Kimberly-Clark, did not fare too well last year, losing 3.1% market share to give it 35.9% of the market. Johnson & Johnson's "Serenity" product, on the other hand, climbed 7.6% to a 14.9% share and P&G's "Attends" climbed 26.5% to 9% of the market. Private labels have capitalized on a poor economy and eroding brand loyalty to draw within one percentage point of market leader Depend. Private labels also have the added advantage of higher profit margins for retailers; stores tend to make 10-15% more on private label products, while consumers can save 10-20%.

According to PL, geographically across the U.S., most private label adult incontinence product sales occur in the South Central portion of the country (42.7%). Second is the Southeast, with 40.5%, while next in line are California, 40.4%, Great Lakes, 39%, West, 38.6%, Northeast, 37.1%, Mid-South, 33.5% and Plains, 31.4%.

In the new product arena, one private label producer has introduced a belted undergarment product that is softer, cooler and quieter than other offerings. The product features more high quality "bells and whistles" and also includes compression packaging. Private label producers are also introducing new products that cater to light to moderate incontinence segments, linking the use of guards and shields with incontinent panties, a previously untapped market opportunity. The new private label panties feature DuPont's "Comforspan" fabric for increased stretchability, softness and breathability, absorption and durability.
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Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Nonnan, Ellen
Publication:Nonwovens Industry
Date:Sep 1, 1993
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