Why are diaper sales dropping and diaper-rash ointment sales increasing ?

A Wall Street Journal article (Oct 4, 2011) describes sales decreases of 4 % for Kimberley Clark’s Huggies diapers and 2.5 % for Proctor and Gamble’s Pampers, and a 0.5 % drop in generic diapers. At the same time diaper-rash ointment sales are up 8% and a pediatrician is quoted as saying that cases of diaper rash are up 5-10 %.  Are parents changing diapers less frequently due to the economy and does that explain the phenomenon ? Are decreasing birth rates the reason for the drop in diaper sales ? Are new diapers with “wetness indicators” permitting parents to be proactive in changing diapers and thus decreasing volumes ? Or are parents potty training children earlier to save the estimated $ 1500 per year to keep a child diapered ?

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About aviyer2010

Professor
This entry was posted in Operations Management, Supply Chain Issues and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Why are diaper sales dropping and diaper-rash ointment sales increasing ?

  1. As a diaper consumer (for my son!), I wish it were that easy to potty train early. I think we have to look at birth rates first to see if more or less babies are being born. If there is no decrease, then I would presume cloth diapers are making a measurable comeback. There is a perception that they are greener than disposable diapers, but they take so much water to clean that it is a debatable point.
    Another possible reason is that they are making more absorbent diapers. Parents are less likely to change the diaper because it holds more, hence the increased diaper rash.

  2. Alma Subasic Gonzalez says:

    Interesting article questioning the reason for the drop in diapers and increase in ointment cream. P&G has changed the quality of it’s product calling it “new and Improved”, and lowering the number of diapers per box and raising the price of the box at the same time. For them it’s triple the savings and for the consumer three times the loss. We have switched to the new reusable diapers like many other parents because it’s more economical and earth friendly. The quality is better than the “new and improved” diapers made by P&G and K.C. I don’t believe we change diapers less often, but take extra precuation to prevent the diaper rash. Have sales of reusable diapers increased?

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