The market for diapers, sanitary pads and underwear for bedwetting grows with great strides in Brazil and already moves R $ 1 billion. Only in 2011, sales grew 17% in volume and 20% in value, according to Nielsen. The competition between the Brazilian and multinational manufacturers increases. The Swedish SCA has just hit the market with an aggressive plan to its brand Tena. Hypermarcas is a leader, with the Bigfral brand, followed by American Kimberly-Clark, with Plenitud. The Ever Green, São Bernardo do Campo (SP), is also in the race.
In spite of high rates of expansion, the sector has strong growth prospects. Second Ahmdi, Manager of adult care of Kimberly-Clark, only 2% of the market demand is met today, taking into account the volume of products sold. The increase of income and the population of the elderly, in addition to increasing access to information, have in favor of the industry. The industry, for its part, invests in technology and diversification of the portfolio, communication and organization of category at retail.
The manufacturers don't like the term "geriatric diaper". "It's not just the diaper and not only geriatric," says Julio Ribas, President of SCA. It is true that the elderly are the biggest consumers, but the universe is bigger. Ten million Brazilians have some degree of urinary incontinence. A third of women above 40 years of age suffers from the disorder, according to the World Health Organization (who). "Before this woman wore feminine absorbent, but the product is not suitable," says Gabriela Garcia, planning Director Hypermarcas.
The manufacturers invest to develop the market and offer different formats, such as absorbents and a kind of undergarment (similar to underwear or panties). Each type of search product meet a specific audience, with varying degrees of incontinence. "Most of the industries only had diapers before. Now there is a strong movement to provide new formats, "says Ahmed. According to him, Kimberly-Clark's sales grow 54% in value this year.
The diapers represent 63% of the sales volume of the sector. The absorbents are responsible for 33% of the market. The undergarment still has a timid presence, with 4% of the total volume, but doubles in size every year. Of the four companies mentioned, only the Ever Green-owner of the brands Geriamax, Master Natural and Naturally-not yet operates in underwear. "We are at this very moment preparing to launch this product," says the Director General of the company, Ryan Hong.
This niche, whose products are about 30% more expensive than diapers, is one of the main stakes of the SCA. World market leader of incontinence with the brand Tena, SCA arrived in the country a year ago, with the Brazilian acquisition Pro protection mask disposable, owner of the Biofral brand. Starting this month, SCA will broaden the distribution of its products, which began in March. The portfolio is imported from Holland. The expectiva de Ribas is finished with 20% 2013 and win market leadership in 2015.
American Kimberly-Clark, which operates in Brazil under the brand Plenitud since 2003, brought the undergarment to the market in 2008 and in September this year launched a new version, also imported. The Affective, Hypermarcas brand for people with active lifestyles, also has in its portfolio a line of this thread. The brand came with the purchase of Mabesa, in 2010.
Hypermarcas has 31% of total market sales. The main brand is the Bigfral, which gained new packaging this year and became umbrella for products in the category. Now the brand has the stamp of Affective Bigfral. The company prepares release for 2013, in addition to strengthening the relationship with the doctors and communication to consumers. According to Glenford, sales "have been growing double digits".
Last year, the market lost Hypermarcas Euromonitor. According to the Director of planning, the company was preparing for the relaunch of a few lines, which occurred in 2012. In addition, "more people have looked at this market."
Industries unite to retail to organize the categories and treat the taboo that still surrounds the thread. There is a thread on the product display shelves, which used to be near the children's diapers. Many manufacturers say that the best would be in the perfumery or amenities, close to the absorbent feminine. The market is still very concentrated in pharmacies, which are responsible for 80% of sales of the products.
According to Euromonitor, the aging of the Brazilian population has contributed to break the taboo that existed in the market. "As a result, continence products have gained visibility in the retail business, which contributed to a strong performance," according to a report from consulting firm.