For long, hygiene products for women were pretty much just soaps, haircare and facewash products. But over the past few years, the sector has witnessed massive transformation, thanks to the many new innovative products being launched in the personal hygiene segment. The market is now ripe with products like intimate-care wipes, sweat patches, stand-and-pee products for women and much more. Not just that, even bath and body products such as soaps and shampoos now have waterless versions, which are expanding the market and offering a plethora of options to the consumers.
Demand for feminine hygiene products rises
This transformation is not without reason, as manufacturers realise the immense potential of the sector. Now talking about the global feminine hygiene products market, it is expected to expand at a CAGR of 6.8%, and will reach a value of USD 52 Bn by 2023. Increasing awareness about intimate hygiene among women, combined with preference for sanitary products, creates a huge demand for feminine hygiene products. This is especially significant for the Asia-Pacific region, especially in countries like India, where 88% women still rely on cloth, rags, hay, ash, wood shavings, newspapers, dried leaves and even plastic during menstruation. Owing to such a situation, it is obvious that some entrepreneurs have taken note of this and are working actively to provide solutions.
Growing popularity of feminine hygiene products
Currently, we are now living in a time when people are more aware of the issues faced by women with respect to menstruation and personal hygiene. Not surprisingly, menstrual hygiene is one of the segments that is getting considerable traction from manufacturers. Plastic-based sanitary napkins are currently getting replaced by biodegradable and natural variants made from corn starch and bamboo. Not just that, sanitary napkins in general are being replaced by menstrual cups and tampons, as many players in the segment are striving for a pad-free world.
Sanitary pads are increasingly becoming a problem, and not a solution to menstrual hygiene. There are three basic problems with a traditional sanitary pad. One being the issue of rashes. Two, pads need to be bought every month. And three, they are damaging to the environment. Market research reports suggests that almost 42% of women in the US are using tampons and over 7,000-10,000 women are embracing tampons every month.
However, the idea of completely eliminating sanitary pads from the segment is a little too ambitious. After all, sanitary pads had the highest market share (55.1%) in 2018. Sanitary pads are the most common sanitary protection product across all the geographies and are available in a variety of sizes, shapes, and absorption levels. In countries like India, China, Kenya, Australia, Ireland, Canada and New Zealand, sanitary pads are preferred over other menstrual hygiene products. Lack of good washroom facilities and grossly unhygienic condition of the washroom pose challenges for women to wash and change cups. In such a scenario, pads are easier to change and dispose. That’s why, it’s essential for market players to develop alternatives that women are comfortable with and which also don’t pollute the environment.