Eye On The National Brands


diapers training pants private labelsKimberly-Clark and Procter & Gamble continue to dominate the disposable baby products category, with 35.4 percent and 33.4 percent, respectively, of all category sales in 2010, according to a March 2011 report from Mintel International Group, Ltd.

Huggies’ maker Kimberly-Clark’s sales declined 6 percent to $1.2 billion from 2009 to 2010. Procter & Gamble, which makes Pampers, dropped 1.4 percent to $1.1 billion from 2009 to 2010.

In contrast, Johnson & Johnson — driven by sales of Aveeno Baby, Johnson’s Head to Toe, and Desitin — rose 3.8 percent to $250 million in sales. And the more economical Luv’s diaper brand rose 90.4 percent.

Mintel’s report shows Procter & Gamble added 19 new products in 2010, Johnson & Johnson added 16, and Kimberly-Clark introduced nine. The largest number of new products were diapers, and those most commonly claimed hypoallergenic or botanical/herbal benefits, with “natural” ingredients and/or for sensitive skin.

Among the products catching people’s attention has been Pampers Cruisers Dry Max Diapers, which posted $152 million in sales in 2010, Mintel said. The diapers were designed partially by fashion designer Cynthia Rowley.

Some private label brands, such as Toys “R” Us, have emulated this fashion-conscious trend, says Chris Ferdock, vice president of marketing for AHP, LLC, which has offered such designs to its own retail customers. “During the last year, diaper prints that have appeared on store shelves include blue jeans, polka dots, argyle, camouflage and even Santa Claus,” he says.

Huggies Supreme Little Movers Diapers, with an all-new contoured shape designed to stay in place during active play, also did quite well in 2010. And Huggies Pure & Natural Diapers appealed to those looking for eco-friendly options, with less ink, aloe, and vitamin E than other diapers and no use of fragrances, Mintel reported.

On the training pants side, Kimberly-Clark introduced a new line of Huggies Pull-Ups called Learning Designs. The graphics fade when the pants become wet, which prompts toddlers to realize it’s time to “go potty.” Pampers EasyUps Training Pants do the same thing, which Mintel noted private label brands might want to emulate.

More recently, Kimberly-Clark has extended its GoodNites training pants brand a step further to provide bed-wetting protection with GoodNites bed mats. These absorbent, cloth-like, disposable mats adhere to a child’s sheet and were scheduled to be available both online and in stores by April.

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