Markets for baby diapers in most countries across East Africa are consolidated, with companies such as Procter and Gamble, Kimberly Clark, and Unicharm Corporation accounting for a large share in the markets’ revenues, states TMR in a new report. In Kenya, the largest contributor to the East Africa baby diapers market in terms of revenues, Procter and Gamble, held a share of 22% in 2015. Product cost being a key determinant of growth in the East Africa baby diapers market, with most countries falling in the developing category, companies have adopted strategies that can help cut down the final selling price of products.
Favoring employment of their own distribution agents against the normal strategy of selling products through third party distribution channels is one such strategy that has worked for companies in East Africa. Market players are also focusing on the development of products with biodegradable materials to appeal to the environmentally conscious parents and innovative designs capable of tackling issues concerning effects of diapers on the health of infants. Among the other key vendors in the East Africa baby diapers market are Indevco Group, SCA Hygiene, Johnson and Johnson, Interconsumer Products Ltd., and Mega Soft (Fujian) Hygiene Products Co. Ltd.
Concerns about Potential Health Issues Make Parents Wary of Baby Diapers
Owing to the superior absorption capabilities of baby diapers, a tendency to change diapers after long gaps is rampant among parents. The extreme saturation in the diapers owing to longer in-between changing times causes rashes and other skin troubles to the delicate skins of infants. Some studies have also estimated that baby diapers, especially the disposable ones, lead to infertility as well as testicular cancer in males. Scientists believe that the high amount of heat created in soiled diapers can play a key role in developing such risks. These concerns among parents are restraining the overall development of the East Africa baby diapers market to a certain extent.
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Nevertheless, the vast untapped opportunities in the East Africa baby diaper market will provide sustainable growth prospects to market vendors in the next few years. Of the key product varieties available in the market, the segment of disposable diapers is the leading segment in terms of both revenue and volume share in the overall market, accounting for a share of over 80% of the East Africa market’s overall revenues in 2015. Kenya is the leading market in terms of geography. The country accounted for over 42% share in the market’s revenues in 2015.
Rising Awareness about Personal Hygiene and Decline in Infant Mortality Rate Fuel Demand for Diapers in East Africa
In the past few years, awareness regarding the need for diapers as a personal hygiene measure for infants and babies has significantly increased among the urban dwelling population in East African countries. Active efforts undertaken by government and non-government organizations to educate the rural population about the need for maintaining hygiene to prevent the outbreak and contracting of infectious diseases has also significantly increased the usage of baby diapers across many countries in East Africa.
Rise in disposable incomes and a notable decline in infant mortality rate have also emerged as key factors stimulating the demand for baby diapers in East African countries in the past few years. In developing countries, such as Kenya and Uganda, especially, infant mortality rates have substantially reduced in the past few years. In Kenya and Uganda over the period between 2013 and 2015, infant mortality rates have gone down from 38 to 35.5 and from 41.6 to 37.7 per 1,000 births, respectively. Birth rates are also rising considerably in other East African countries such as Tanzania, Rwanda, and Burundi.
The factor of declining infant mortality rates and rising birth rates is expected to have a strong impact on the market for baby diapers in East Africa in the near future. However, the factor will have a moderate impact on the market’s growth in the long-term scenario owing to rising awareness about population control in East African countries.