The increasing need for premium personal hygiene products is leading to innovative solutions.
Americans are getting older—about 10,000 Baby Boomers turn 65 every single day according to the Pew Research Center. And these seniors are far more physically active than their sedentary counterparts from previous generations. For retailers, this means two things: a potential increase in sales of adult incontinence products and a need for products that better meet the needs (more comfortable, less bulky, breathable, and more absorbent) of today’s on-the-go older adults. The market is growing and the need for innovation is growing as well, offering private label brands and name brands the opportunity to expand their incontinence/pad/liner/underwear product segment.
When it comes to consumer choice in this segment, price is not usually the deciding factor. Nor is there huge brand recognition or loyalty driving sales. It’s all about the quality. “More often, consumers are educating themselves with the assistance of the Internet through blogs as well as websites, and consumers are readily sharing both positive and negative experiences. The consumer experience is critical to the success of a new product into the market regardless of its category,” explains Patricia Sargeant, vice president sales and marketing, Glatfelter, Advanced Airlaid Materials Business Unit.
If you Google “incontinence products reviews,” nearly 3 million links are available. To earn top reviews and lead in this category, private labels are increasingly looking to their suppliers to help them innovate and develop customized premium products that offer a better customer experience. They are meeting—and often exceeding—the quality of name brand products in this growth market. Suppliers’ experienced, knowledgeable R&D departments tasked with innovating in this market are using their expertise to develop and deliver premium products that consumers may prefer over more established brands.
One of the reasons is better materials. The materials cost per unit for new innovative products may exceed the materials cost of traditional brands, but the costs in other areas such as advertising are not significant when compared to major brands, Sargeant explains. “This gives private labels an edge.”