World market for adult diapers reaches $9 billion

The market for adult diapers, disposable underwear, and absorbent pads is growing fast, up 9% last year to $9 billion, having doubled in the last decade, according to Euromonitor.

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The time may not be far off when more adults need diapers than babies as the population grows older, potentially a huge opportunity for manufacturers of incontinence products – if they can lift the stigma that has long constrained sales.The market for adult diapers, disposable underwear, and absorbent pads is growing fast, up 9% last year to $9 billion, having doubled in the last decade, according to Euromonitor.

But manufacturers like market leaders Essity and Kimberly-Clark Corp reckon only half of the more than 400 million adults likely to be affected by weak bladders, are buying the right products, because they are too embarrassed.Companies are trying various methods to change attitudes, including making products more discreet, avoiding terms like diapers or nappies, and placing items in the personal care aisle, next to deodorants and menstrual pads, rather than in the baby products section.They are also trying to normalise discussions around the subject through advertising.

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