Ten Key Words for China's Diaper Market

By Echo

21:09:00, Mar. 25, 2020

Based on the crisis and opportunities, we summarized ten key words of the Chinese diaper industry in 2019

The market is changing rapidly, while crisis and opportunity co-exist. Based on the crisis and opportunities, we summarized ten key words of the Chinese diaper industry in 2019.

1. Cross-border business

All brands are doing cross-border business in 2019.

A large number of companies started to make diapers, such as industry of medicine, washing, post-natal care and children's clothing. 

There is cross-border cooperation between brands. For example, Huggies and Chando launched a joint limited-edition mask.

There is also cooperation between Brand and IP. Many diaper brands cooperate with popular IPs such as Pikachu and Ugly Dolls.

2. Emerge of Chinese brands

In “Double 11” (November 11), sales of Chinese brands were over 100 million, accounting for nearly 60% of all in 2019. With the promotion of policies and changes of consumption conceptions, a large number of domestic diaper brands have emerged.

From research to production, many Chinese brands are paying more attention to quality, and Chinese diaper brands have continued to increase their market share.

3. Layout of multiple categories 

Founded in 2014, Babycare has attracted the attention of countless people in the maternal and infant industry in 2019, and has laid out multiple categories.

From simple and exquisite products to cross-categories, more and more maternal and infant companies have begun to march towards the one-stop shopping platform. Baby diapers, baby wipes, care products, baby bottles, toys, strollers, trolleys, baby bed, baby pajamas and so on. 

4. High quality

From price to value, the industry needs high standards. In 2019, giants of diaper brands continued to develop products with high quality and high prices.

Pampers' first-tier products has been their main goods since it was introduced to China in 2017. In April 2019, Pampers partnered with JD.com to create first-tire diapers. In July, Pampers launched a new product-Pure, which helped the brand have its debut at the Expo in November. This greatly illustrated the importance of high quality. 

Among the various series of GOO.N’s baby diapers, the light feather series focuses on air permeability and the angel series focuses on soft touch. Each series tries to meet the different needs of consumers.

Diapers’ profit of Kao in the first half of 2019 fell by 60%, and its sales bottomed. From June, Kao in China has launched high-quality baby diapers imported from Japan to consolidate its market dominance.

In the new era, young parents are willing to raise their baby at high cost. High-quality and high-price diapers are welcomed by consumers.

5. Specialized and segmented diaper products show potential

With the development of diaper products, the safety and comfort are far from meeting the needs of users, and consumers need more specialized and segmented products.

There are diapers for different gender and different age. Besides, based on different situations, there are daily and night diapers, summer diapers, baby swimming diapers and so on.

6. Easy-up pants became super needed products

From 2013 to 2018, the market share of easy-up pants increased from 8.7% to 27.2%. In the e-commerce channel, the proportion of easy-up pants in the entire baby diaper rose to 38.1%.

Pampers has a great advantage in the field of pull-up pants. Five major foreign brands and many Chinese diaper players have already laid out this category.

7. Implementation of new e-commerce law: procurement service meets challenges

On January 1, 2019, the E-commerce Law of the People's Republic of China was officially implemented.

The introduction of the new e-commerce law has an impact on the Chinese e-commerce market. Merchants selling fake products will become increasingly hard in the market, and unqualified companies will be merged into companies with standardized operations.

The new e-commerce law is conducive to regulating the cross-border business of e-commerce platforms. Many foreign brands have begun to increase cooperation with Netease Koala to tailor long-term e-commerce solutions. Foreign investors such as Huggies, Goo.N, and Kao have further deepened their cooperation with cross-border e-commerce.

8. Exploring markets in less developed cities and towns

After years of operation by major foreign brands, the diaper market in China ’s first and second-tier cities has long been saturated. Hence, new markets must be found.

Official data shows that in 2001, the penetration rate of diaper users in China was only 2.1%, and in 2018 it reached 70.8%. However, there is still a lot of room for improvement. In addition, the gap of diaper penetration in China's cities and rural areas is large. The penetration rate of diapers in urban areas is as high as 92%, but less than 10% in rural areas.

In the future, the markets of less developed cities and towns will be the primary market for the main consumers of maternal and infants, and would be also the new opportunity for diaper brands.

9. Channel integration

It is reported that diapers accounted for more than 60% of e-commerce channels in 2019, an increase of 5% compared to 2018, and is still growing.

Offline maternal and infant stores are still favored by consumers due to the professional services and comprehensive product advantages. Pampers have cooperated with Hipic, a B2B2C platform, to launch the customized products for maternal to infant users in remote cities and towns. Huggies has cooperated with Buy Together to enter the less explored market.

10. Many diaper brands closed down for fierce competition

Although there are many opportunities for growth of diapers, we still have to face the cruel reality.

In 2019, the number of newborns decreased and the demographic dividend will gradually disappear. However, the number of baby diaper brands in China continues to increase. At present, there are about 2000 to 2500 diaper brands. Market competition has accelerated the reshuffle of the industry and has reshaped the overall industry structure.

Some diaper practitioners have said that "if there is no one billion volume, the diaper brand would not get the sense of security." Taking 1 billion as a benchmark to measure the safety of a diaper company is a bit too high, because in the Chinese diaper market, few brands can reach the standard. Many brands actually are in hard situations. 


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