nappiesThe market for nappies and wipes grew by 16% between 2005 and 2010 to reach £640 million. Growth has been helped by a rise in the birth rate over this period, with 8% more babies (57,000) expected to be born in 2010 than in 2005.

Within this total, the market for nappies grew by 14% over the same 5 year period to reach £433 million, while the spending on wipes grew by 19% to reach £207 million.

The end of the first decade of the millennium saw a small baby boom; 8% (57,000) more babies are expected to be born in 2010 than in 2005. This helped to fuel volume growth in the market for nappies and wipes between 2005 and 2010.

Market growth has also been helped by a considerable amount of new product development and range extension by the major brands in nappies and wipes. This has helped to shore up loyalty to the brands, particularly in nappies, and maintain strong demand for branded products.

But the birth rate has levelled off, with the number of births per year expected to remain roughly constant from 2010-15. At the same time, consumer confidence is waning and other indicators suggest that many consumers will be more careful about how they spend their household budgets in the coming five-year period.

According to exclusive research, eco concerns, are yet to influence the nappy market. Some 36% of parents of 0-4s admit they know disposables are bad for the environment but still use them, with only 5% using washable or reusable nappies and 4% using eco or organic disposables. The perceived extra expense of eco lines plays a significant role in this inertia, with 20% of consumers citing price as a main reason for not buying them.

For many consumers, the onset of recession has changed their greener intentions. Although there had been a movement towards less wasteful products and more environmentally-friendly alternatives, the recession has made some people reassess their priorities and look for even better value.

The research also finds, over one in three adults (36%) with 0-4s who use nappies are brand loyal and always stick to the same brand of nappies. The under-25s (39%) are a little more brand loyal than average.

In terms of distribution, Multiple grocers (including Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Morrisons and Waitrose) dominate retail distribution of nappies and together account for more than £7 in every £10 spent on disposables.

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