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US sanitary protection market volume sales decline -2% in 2012

Press Release   •   Jul 12, 2013 16:46 BST

Volume sales within the US sanitary protection market decreased by 2% in 2012, whilst value sales saw an increase of 1%.

The primary target market for sanitary protection, females aged 10-54 years, saw its growth high point in 2006 (of 1%), but the demographic group witnessed only 1% growth in the subsequent years leading up to 2012.

According to a new report 'Sanitary Protection in the US' found on companiesandmarkets.com, sanitary protection continued to witness new launches of colourful feminine hygiene product packaging, thereby furthering the premium and personalisation trends. In May 2012, Procter & Gamble launched a full line-up of premium products under the Radiant Collection.

These premium products featured designer packaging and wrappers and were created with an aim to stand out on the shelf. According to a company news release, the new packaging and wrappers are intended to make these products must-have accessories for women. Procter & Gamble has taken the packaging changes to the next level by describing them as accessories.

Overall, the average unit price of sanitary protection (excluding intimate wipes) increased by 3% in 2012, following a unit price hike across all of its categories including pantyliners (3%), tampons (3%), standard towels (2%) and ultra-thin towels (3%). The personalisation efforts of the industry have paid off and premium products created as a result, namely Kimberly-Clark's U by Kotex brand and Procter & Gamble's Tampax Pearl, continued their popularity.

Penetration of sanitary protection in the US is 200 units per woman aged 10-54 as of 2012. This is nearly equal to penetration in the US‟s cultural counterpart Canada. The US penetration rate is higher than those of countries in Latin America and lower than those of Western Europe. Economic conditions in Latin America are a factor in the lower penetration there.

In 2012, the Procter & Gamble Co continued to maintain its strong lead in sanitary protection (excluding intimate wipes) with a 47% value share, more than twice the share of Kimberly-Clark, its biggest competitor.

In pantyliners and towels, Procter & Gamble's Always brand maintained its market leader position with value shares of 32% and 55%, respectively. In tampons, Tampax Pearl led with a 30% value share whilst the Tampax brand maintained its third position but dropped a share point to 15% in 2012.

Aside from the slow growth in the target female population, a decline in the market through to 2017 could be heightened by competition from cheaper private label products and rising raw material and energy costs in the construction of nonwoven materials. Consumers have become accustomed to cheaper private label products during the recession and might stick to the same products.

For more information on the US sanitary protection market, see the latest research: Sanitary Protection Market

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