The German sanitary protection market declined by a negligible amount in current value terms in 2012, to reach €622 million, which seems to indicate a general trend for this category.
For the third year in a row sanitary protection faces negative growth, not expecting the situation to improve much in the future. Demographic changes, such as declining birth rates, led to a reduction in the number of women of childbearing age.
Regulating medications, hormonal and surgical treatments and stronger medical contraceptives becoming more common every year and being taken at an earlier age expedite and intensify the impact of this development, thus reducing the amount of potential customers.
A possible reason for the slightly improved growth rate compared to previous years might be the misuse of sanitary protection as incontinence products, since the latter still has not reached a level of good acceptance among most people - about 79% of female customers suffering from incontinence are said to use female hygiene products instead of incontinence products.
All categories within the German sanitary protection market, except tampons, remained fairly stagnant in their development in 2012 with marginal growth between zero and 1% in terms of retail value sales. Tampons were the only category which did not benefit from demographic and market changes, but only suffers the consequences by experiencing negative growth of almost 2%.
The leading companies in sanitary protection in Germany in 2012 remained Johnson & Johnson, with a retail value share of 41% and Procter & Gamble, with a share of 21%. Their brands Carefree, o b (Johnson & Johnson) and Always and Alldays (Procter & Gamble) are well known in the German market and benefit from a great reputation amongst their customers.
Both of these companies were able to stabilise and also improve their market position slightly in Germany in 2012, whereas less established multinational players and private label producers faced declining or at least static value sales shares. Only a few private label manufacturers actually benefited from Schlecker's bankruptcy by inheriting parts of its value sales share in 2012.
For more information on the German sanitary protection market, see the latest research: German Sanitary Protection Market
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