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The global feminine hygiene products market size was USD 37.20 billion in 2020. The global impact of COVID-19 has been unprecedented and staggering, with feminine hygiene products witnessing a negative impact on demand across all regions amid the pandemic. Based on our analysis, the market exhibited a lower growth of 2.65% in 2020 as compared to the average year-on-year growth during 2017-2020. The market is projected to grow from USD 38.18 billion in 2021 to USD 54.52 billion in 2028 at a CAGR of 5.22% during the forecast period, 2021-2028. The rise in CAGR is attributable to this market’s demand and growth, returning to pre-pandemic levels once the pandemic is over.
Today, the technological advancement and availability of quality education lead women to better understand things related to their bodies, such as the menstruation cycle. Poor sanitation of genital areas can lead to temporary infections and certain severe conditions such as infertility. Therefore, healthcare professionals are continuously recommending menstrual care products to prevent the occurrence of such conditions. This factor, therefore, will support market growth in the near future.
Scarce Availability and Increasing Prices of Products amid COVID-19 May Affect Growth
Panic buying of grocery items has resulted in high sales 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 people started using stockpiled products.
COVID-19 outbreak has badly hit income levels of people across the globe, which 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 period products due to shortages and disrupted supply chains, wherein 58% said to experience increase in product prices during the pandemic.
Several non-profit organizations and players operating in the market have taken efforts to help people deal with hygiene requirements during the crisis. For instance, in May 2020, P&G India donated 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 improving market conditions in the future.
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Waste Reduction Efforts to Bode Well for Market Growth
Reusable and alternative green products are being promoted to reduce the burden of waste generation due to single-time use pads & tampons and disposable deodorizing wipes. According to the article ‘Making Menstrual Products Eco-friendly,’ published by Plastic Oceans International in February 2021, worldwide, nearly 45 billion menstrual products are being used every year, and on average, 4,125 plastic bags are being used by a pad user over a lifetime. Therefore, reusable menstrual cups and reusable period underwear and pads are a few of the solutions that are gaining traction in the feminine hygiene products segment for minimizing waste generation.
The use of safer & less toxic fragrance additives in deodorizing products, biodegradable wipes, and recyclable packaging is largely endorsed. For instance, Bodywise (U.K.) Limited offers a Natracare product range of tampons, panty liners, wipes, and 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
Increased education levels, a rising female workforce, and better menstrual literacy in teenage girls largely support the market expansion. According to the article ‘Periods Shouldn’t be a financial burden, Here’s How One Retailer is Helping’ published by the World Economic Forum, U.S. spending for menstrual products in 2020 reached USD 2 billion.
The market is driven by the increasing number of diseases such as infection to the lower reproductive tract owing to poor hygiene maintenance of genital areas. The growing awareness regarding hygiene maintenance during menstruation and 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 organization, WASH United, are likely to increase hygiene awareness by removing several related taboos and, thereby, expected to increase the demand for female products.
Similarly, Menstrual Health and Hygiene (MHH) activities are considered among the five core priorities for adolescent girls in UNICEF’s Gender Action Plan (2018-2021), where it is planning to provide basic knowledge and 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 and players operating in the market on educating girls and women are likely to increase the adoption of feminine hygiene products.
Low Penetration in Under-developed Areas to Limit Market Growth
A less sensitized population towards personal hygiene and several misconceptions regarding menstrual care products have resulted in lower demand from less-developed countries and rural areas. Price constraints, lower product accessibility, and lower overall product penetration further limit 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 internal cleansers and deodorizing products. Menstrual care products held the highest share owing to the necessary adoption of feminine hygiene products by women every month across the globe.
Additionally, the growing government initiatives for increasing awareness and access to period products will aid market expansion. For instance, in June 2020, the government of New Zealand announced to invest about USD 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 smells has become an important factor among teenagers and working women that is likely to increase the adoption of deodorizing products. High-income groups majorly explore deodorizing products 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/supermarkets, convenience stores, drug stores, and others. Hypermarkets/supermarkets are 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 tampons and pads that usually are 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. Pharmacies and drug stores usually offer a limited product range. However, the segment held a significant market share due to trusted brands, easy access to stores, and easy payment options.
Asia Pacific Feminine Hygiene Products Market Size, 2020 (USD Billion)
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North America and Europe are mature 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 feminine hygiene products market share. For instance, according to the annual & sustainability report published by Essity AB, a leading hygiene products maker, in 2020, the highest usage of feminine hygiene products was witnessed in Western Europe, followed by North America and Eastern Europe in 2020. As per the same source, women in Western Europe aged 10 to 54 use more than 380 units of feminine hygiene products per year.
The Asia Pacific market stood at USD 11.96 billion in 2020. Asia Pacific is expected to dominate the global feminine hygiene market and grow significantly due to growing hygiene awareness and urbanization in India and China. The growing number of working women in these countries has resulted in higher disposable income that enables women to spend more on their health & body. The development of reusable products is further likely to foster 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 survey conducted by the Scotland Government in May 2020, 42% of the Scotland population use disposable menstrual items.
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Favorable government initiatives in South America, the Middle East, and Africa will further increase demand for feminine hygiene 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 the 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.
Major Companies Focus on Product Development to Consolidate their Market Positions
The market is characterized by the presence of prominent players such as Procter & Gamble, Unilever, and Kimberly Clark, as well as several local and startup companies. Manufacturers are primarily focusing on developing safer and easy-to-use hygiene products. Designing products with softer material to minimize allergic reactions and rashes and developing sustainable products are important aspects of new product development for players in the market.
Manufacturers constantly focus on geographic expansions and 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.
An Infographic Representation of Feminine Hygiene Products Market
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The global 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 factors mentioned above, the report encompasses several factors that have contributed to the growth of the market in recent years.
Value (USD Billion)
By Product Type
By Distribution Channel
North America (By Product Type, Distribution Channel and by Country)
Europe (By Product Type, Distribution Channel and by Country)
Asia Pacific (By Product Type, Distribution Channel and by Country)
South America (By Product Type, Distribution Channel and by Country)
The Middle East and Africa (By Product Type, Distribution Channel and by Country)
Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 37.20 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 54.52 billion by 2028.
In 2020, the Asia Pacific market value stood at USD 11.96 billion.
Growing at a CAGR of 5.22%, the market will exhibit a steady growth rate during the forecast period (2021-2028).
The menstrual care product segment is expected to lead this market during the forecast period.
The rising hygiene awareness, increasing menstrual literacy, and surging government initiatives are major factors driving the market.
Procter & Gamble, Unicharm Corporation, Kimberly Clark Corporation, and Essity are the major players in the global market.
Asia Pacific dominated the market in terms of share in 2020.
Greener, reusable, and products made from sustainably sourced natural materials are expected to drive the adoption of these products.
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