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The global feminine hygiene products market size was USD 39.73 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 51.13 billion by 2027, exhibiting a CAGR of 4.6% during the forecast period.
Today, the technological advancement and availability of quality education are leading women to a better understanding of things related to their body such as the menstruation cycle. Poor sanitation of genital areas can lead to temporary infections as well as certain severe conditions such as infertility. Therefore, healthcare professionals are continuously recommending the use of menstrual care products to prevent the occurrence of such conditions. This factor, therefore, will support global market growth in the near future.
Limited Availability and Increasing Prices of Products amid COVID-19 may Affect Growth
Panic buying of grocery items has resulted in high sales of the products through retail stores that have favored key players to perform better in the first quarter of the year. For instance, Ontex Group experienced LFL sales growth of 5.3% for feminine care products in H1 2020. However, demand gradually decreased as the people started using stockpiled products.
COVID-19 outbreak has badly hit income levels of people across the globe that in turn has impacted purchasing decisions. Period products are usually considered of high cost which has impacted buying of these products. For instance, the report Periods in a Pandemic - Menstrual hygiene management in the time of COVID-19, published in May 2020 by Plan International, revealed that 73% of surveyed individuals experienced restricted access to the products of feminine hygiene due to shortages and disrupted supply chains, wherein 58% said to experience increase in product prices during the pandemic.
Several non-profit organizations, as well as players operating in the largest market, have taken efforts to help people deal with hygiene requirements during the crisis. For instance, in May 2020, P&G India donated feminine hygiene products such as sanitary pads to help needy individuals in economic downtime in response to COVID-19 under the ‘P&G Suraksha India’ program. As the lockdown gets lifted in the majority of the countries, economic conditions are likely to improve which will further aid in positive market conditions in the future.
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Waste Reduction Efforts to Bode Well for Market Growth
Reusable and alternative green feminine hygiene products are being promoted to reduce the burden of waste generation due to single-time use pads & tampons, and disposable deodorizing wipes. For instance, as per the report, Single‐use plastics: Unflushables, published in August 2018 by London Assembly, menstrual hygiene products are made from 90% of the plastic, wherein, the product, along with its packaging, create about 200,000 tons of waste every year in the UK which is difficult to degrade.
Therefore, reusable menstrual cups and reusable period underwear and pads are a few of the solutions that are gaining traction for minimizing waste generation.
The use of safer & less toxic fragrance additives in deodorizing products, biodegradable wipes, and recyclable packaging is being largely endorsed. For instance, Bodywise (UK) Limited offers natracare product range of tampons, panty liners, wipes, as well as pads. These products are made with 100% organic cotton, sustainably sourced wood pulp, and compostable bioplastic that are free from synthetic dyes and certified vegan.
Rising Menstrual Literacy Rate to Propel Market Growth
Feminine hygiene products make it easier for the woman to control blood leakage while going through the menstrual phase. An increase in education levels, rising female workforce, and better menstrual literacy in teenage girls is largely supporting the market expansion. For instance, as per National Geographic’s data reported in September 2019, about 5.8 billion tampons were bought in the US in 2018, whereas, it was also stated that a single menstruating woman needs to use about 5 to 15 thousand pads and tampons throughout her life.
The global market is driven by the rising number of diseases such as infection to the lower reproductive tract owing to poor hygiene maintenance of genital areas. The increasing awareness regarding hygiene maintenance during menstruation as well as the growing need to get rid of the odor is resulting in the increasing popularity of the product.
Growing Hygiene-related Initiatives to Increase Product Sales
Several initiatives such as Menstrual Hygiene Day (May 28th), initiated by a German non-profit WASH United, is likely to increase hygiene awareness by removing several related taboos and, thereby, expected to increase the demand for these products.
Similarly, menstrual health and hygiene (MHH) activities are considered among one of the five core priorities for adolescent girls in UNICEF’s Gender Action Plan (2018-2021), where it is planning to provide basic knowledge as well as improve access to menstrual care materials and facilities. For instance, through the new agreement made between Essity and UNICEF in August 2019, 4,000 pupils and 500 teachers will receive education regarding good menstrual hygiene practices in Mexico City and Chihuahua in Mexico.
Therefore, rising efforts by global healthcare organizations, as well as players operating in the global feminine hygiene products market on educating girls and women, are likely to increase the adoption of menstrual products.
Low Penetration in Under-Developed Areas to Limit Market Growth
Less sensitized population towards personal hygiene and several misconceptions regarding menstrual care products have resulted in lower demand for the products of feminine hygiene from less-developed countries as well as rural areas. Price constraints, lower product accessibility, and lower overall penetration of the products in these areas are further limiting the market growth.
Menstrual Care Products Segment to Hold a Major Share Due to Higher Usage Need
Based on product type, the market is segmented into menstrual care products, and cleaning and deodorizing products.
Menstrual care products held the highest share owing to the necessary adoption of the feminine hygiene products by women every month across the globe. Additionally, the growing government initiatives for promoting awareness and access to period products will aid in market expansion. For instance, in June 2020, the government of New Zealand announced to invest about US$ 1.7 million where it will provide free sanitary products to school girls to eliminate ‘period poverty’ in the country.
The increasing focus on getting rid of bad odor has become an important factor among teenagers as well as working women that is likely to increase the adoption of deodorizing feminine hygiene products. The deodorizing products are majorly explored by high-income groups for further hygiene maintenance. For instance, in Canada, about 42% surveyed respondents used external vaginal wipes, whereas 11.2% said to use vaginal washes/cleaners and 5.4% said to use vaginal powders, as reported by ‘Vaginal health and hygiene practices and product use in Canada: A national cross-sectional survey’ published in march 2018 by Journal of BMC Women's Health.
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Hypermarket/Supermarket Segment to Remain Dominant due to Bulk Purchasing Options
Distribution channels include hypermarkets/supermarket, convenience stores, drug stores, and others. The hypermarkets/supermarkets segment is expected to dominate, as women prefer to buy feminine hygiene products in bulk packages at these stores. These stores often give discounts on bulk purchases, attracting consumers to buy products such as tampons and pads that are usually highly-priced and not affordable to low-income groups. Hypermarkets are a one-stop destination for females for purchasing several required grocery items where various brands can be compared before making the final decision. Drug stores usually offer limited product range, however, the segment held a significant market share owing to the availability of trusted brands, easy access to stores, and easy payment options.
Asia Pacific Feminine Hygiene Products Market Size, 2016-2027 (USD Billion)
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North America and Europe are matured markets owing to an overall higher standard of living, better sanitation practices, and greater income levels of the women. Therefore, these factors have resulted in the regions holding a significant market share. For instance, according to the data published by Essity in 2019, the highest usage of these products was experienced across Western Europe followed by North America and Eastern Europe in 2019. As per the same source, women in Western Europe who are aged from 10 to 54 use more than 350 units of feminine hygiene products per year.
Asia Pacific is expected to dominate the global market and grow at a significant rate due to growing hygiene awareness, as well as growing urbanization in China, India, and other Southeast Asian nations. The growing number of working women in these countries has resulted in higher disposable income that enables women to spend more on their own health & body. The development of reusable products is further likely to foster the market growth in the region. It provides a cost-effective solution against purchasing new disposable products every time for the next use. For instance, as per the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 2017, published in June 2018 by UNICEF DPRK, about 55.4% of surveyed married women in DPR Korea used reusable materials for menstruation management.
Favorable government initiatives in South America and the Middle East and Africa will further increase the demand for these products. For instance, in May 2020, the Ministry of Health of Kenya launched the country’s first Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) Policy and Strategy, with support from Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC). Few key strategies in the policy include mainstreaming MHM development of Water sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) infrastructure and strengthening MHM education and awareness among others.
Major Companies Focus on Product Development to Consolidate their Market Positions
The global market is characterized by the presence of prominent players such as Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Kimberly Clark, etc., as well as several local and startup companies. Manufacturers are primarily focusing on developing safer and easy to use feminine hygiene products. Designing products with softer material to minimize the occurrence of allergic reactions and rashes, as well as developing sustainable products, are important aspects of new product development for key market players.
Manufacturers are constantly focusing on geographic expansions, as well as product optimization, based on consumer feedback to cater to their changing preferences. For instance, in 2017, OrganiCup, a Denmark-based menstrual cups brand, launched its products in the Netherlands and Belgium. Furthermore, in 2020, OrganiCup launched Mini-sized menstrual cups for teenagers.
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The feminine hygiene products market research report provides a detailed analysis of the market and focuses on key aspects such as competitive landscape, distribution channels, and leading product types. Besides this, the report offers insights into the market trends and highlights key industry developments.
In addition to the aforementioned factors, the report encompasses several factors that have contributed to the growth of the market in recent years.
An Infographic Representation of Feminine Hygiene Products Market
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Value (USD Billion)
By Product Type, Distribution Channel, and Geography
By Product Type
By Distribution Channel
Fortune Business Insights says that the global feminine hygiene products market size was USD 39.73 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 51.13 billion by 2027.
In 2019, the Asia Pacific market value stood at USD 12.80 billion.
Growing at a CAGR of 4.6%, the market will exhibit a steady growth rate during the forecast period (2020-2027).
Menstrual care product is expected to be the leading segment in this market during the forecast period among product types.
Rising hygiene awareness, increasing menstrual literacy, and growing government initiatives are major factors driving the growth of the market.
Procter & Gamble, Unicharm, and Essity are a few major players in the global market.
Asia Pacific dominated the market share in 2019.
Greener, reusable, and products made from sustainably sourced natural materials are expected to drive the adoption in the global market.
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