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What's going on in sanitary protection?

What's Going On In Sanitary Protection

During the past year the activity in the sanitary napkin field was not nearly as exciting as in the baby diaper market (see Mr. Bouda's article on the Baby Diaper Market in the January, 1990 issue of Nonwovens Industry) or as reported in the article on adult incontinence in this issue.

Procter & Gamble retained a substantial share of the market with its "Always" brand, adding the "Always Plus Night Super" to its "Double Plus" and "Dry Weave" brands and, as recently as the first quarter of 1990, introducing "Always Sheer Confidence" in Grand Junction, CO.

Kimberly-Clark attracted attention with its "peach strip" identification on its "New Freedom" pad.

Johnson & Johnson modified its "Sure 'N Natural" to include the unique superabsorbent core and a specially designed and patented dry cover, while at the same time keeping its "Assure & Natural" pantyliner on the market with a breathable backsheet.

Toward the end of the year, J&J's "Stayfree" brand appeared in some markets with the "compressed composite" absorbent core. This is the development that it kept for itself for the sanitary napkin field but sold to Weyerhaeuser for use in the baby diaper products (which Weyerhaeuser now markets selectively as "Giggles" in Ohio and "UltraSofts" in New York).

I.C.D., the manufacturing division of the Pearlstein/Confab organization, brought back onto the market for a very short period its "Night Plus" and "Maxi Plus Fresh Days" napkin with the "wings." After a limited sales period the pad was withdrawn while Procter & Gamble and I.C.D. try to resolve the conflict that P&G maintains exists regarding the patented "wings" features of its Always napkin. A similar product that J&J offered for a short term in Eau Claire, WI has not, as of this writing, reappeared, but it is quite likely that a reintroduction of that product is in the foreseeable future.

All of the manufacturers offer, in one form or another, the individually wrapped and tri-folded pads.

Among the smaller players, Universal Health Care Products, Point Claire, Canada, offered its maxi-pad with a patented "Everdri" covering. Hospital Specialty purchased from IPCO the two machines and the technology that had been previously been licensed by Molnlycke to WPM, jointly owned by Molnlycke and Whitestone (a branch of IPCO). Universal Converters has its "Refresh" brand on sale in the midwest.

Among new products, the "Fresh 'n Fit" padettes of the Xtramedica, Inc., Deerfield, IL, have been advertised as a unique advance in a sanitary protection device that is neither a tampon or a pad. Aplex Corp., San Mateo, CA, continues to sell its "Le Funelle" device to help women urinate while in a standing position.

In the tampon field, the market shares remain fairly constant, even though the volume of tampon sales has increased. The Japanese appear to lead the field in the development of modifications to this type of product, although the compact form of the Playtex "Portables" drew attention because it involves the cooperation of the woman to insert a stick into the applicator prior to the insertion of the tampon.

In Spain, Ausonia, a company owned by Fater of Italy, introduced a multi-ply perforated coverstock that functions in a manner similar to the P&G conulated coverstock.

The conulated plastic coverstock still is unique to Procter & Gamble on its Always napkin in the U.S., but similar material has appeared in Japan, where a turn-key operation was recently provided by Fameccanica of Italy and is operated by Lion Co.

The future of sanitary napkins, their design and utility, may very well be related to the increased understanding of adult incontinence. The recognition that incontinence is not a disease but a symptom of a medical problem or of the aging process, the good work that Kimberly-Clark has been doing to promote the awareness of the matter and the offering of products to handle incontinence in the retail market in the same manner as baby diapers and menstrual care products will all work to bring about a total new comprehension of sanitary protection products.
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Title Annotation:feminine hygiene protection
Author:Bouda, Francis
Publication:Nonwovens Industry
Date:Apr 1, 1990
Previous Article:Adult incontinence products.
Next Article:The U.K. adult incontinence market.

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