Women and Global Hygiene: Adapting Strategies to the Changing Consumer

Women are the key target audience of the disposable hygiene industry. However, the lifestyles and status of women across the world have been changing. The report looks at the diversity of modern women’s needs, with case studies across developed and developing regions, and analyses strategies in innovation and marketing to respond to the changing female consumer. The report also looks at alternative solutions in low-cost products, which represent a challenge and opportunity for the leading brands.

Quality, comfort and discretion for modern women in developed markets
Wealthy Baby Boomers and single professionals without children are the two broad categories of female consumer in the developed world. Quality, comfort and discretion meet the needs of their busy lifestyles and allow for value-added product development.

Socially and physically active women signal need for more innovation in discretion
With significant levels of social and physical activity across age groups, discretion is an important factor behind product choice. New product formats, such as Poise Impressa, are a response to modern active women’s needs.

Immigration and labour mobility add complexity to female consumption trends in developed markets
With growing immigration and labour mobility in developed markets, it is also important to look beyond the broad female consumer types. Immigrant women have higher birth rates but lower incomes, thereby shaping the demand for nappies/diapers. Their preferences in sanitary protection can also be impacted by the country of origin and differ from native-born women.
Product marketing must be in touch with modern women’s perceptions and attitudes
Product marketing must be in tune with modern women’s status and attitudes. Some of the marketing mistakes include stereotyping gender roles, “sugar-coating” the realities of menstruation, and old-fashioned image of older women.

Significant need for access to affordable products in developing markets
The battleground for market penetration in developing markets is gradually shifting outside the major urban areas and middle-class households, raising the question of product access and affordability.

Alternative solutions to leading brands fill the need for low-cost hygiene products
With poor access to leading brands, coupled with their high prices, in small towns and rural areas in developing markets, the need for low-cost products is being increasingly filled by start-ups such as Jayaashree Industries and NGOs working with local communities to install Jayaashree machines.

Source: Euromonitor

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