Wednesday 30 June 2010

INDA World of Wipes Symposium: Chicago - June 21st -23rd 2010

Market Statistics

Rory Holmes, INDA’s President provided the latest statistics.  Of the 1.45 million tonne US nonwoven market, wipes now had 13%, up from 8% in 1997.  Unlike wipes in the EU, the US consumption continued to grow with total retail sales reaching $5.14 billion in 2009,  and expected to reach $5.8 billion in 2013, with 75% of this being consumer and 25% industrial.  Within the consumer category, average annual growth since 2000 had been 10%, most of this coming from household wipes and personal care wipes; least from baby wipes. 
The baby wipes share of the consumer category had dropped from 88% in 1997 to 29% in 2009; Household growing from 4% to 45% and Personal Care from 8% to 26% over the same period.  By tonnage however the lower cost baby wipes still held over 50% of the production.  By volume in 2009, Private Label baby wipes had 39%, Huggies 27% and Pampers 19% with small brands at 15%. 
For the Household category, Swiffer led with 30%, Chlorox Spinlace (25%), PL (21%), Small Brands (17%) and Pledge (7%).  The last decade’s growth had been driven by the development of electrostatic wipes, disinfecting wipes, furniture polishes and automotive interior wipes.
In Personal Care, K-C’s Cottonelle led with 44% share of volume, while PL had 26%, Playtex had 12%, P&G had 11%, and Small Brands had 7%.  The last decade had seen new products in Femcare (Always and Fresh’n up), Facial care ( Biore, Oil of Olay, Neutrogena and Dove), and wet toilet tissue (Cottonelle, Charmin, Wet-Ones and Fresh’n up).
Spunlaced nonwoven was the leading substrate production technology in 2009 with 38% of the 238,000 tonne total (which included 18% of double recrepe tissue which is not a nonwoven).  Air laid pulp wipes accounted for 27%, Coform and wet laid for 12%, and spunlaid, card-thermal and card-resinbond for the remaining 4%.
$2.5 billion of nonwovens, rags and reusables were sold into the industrial and institutional wipes sector, Industrials wipes, rags and reusables accounting for 63% , Medical 16%, Food Service 15% and Speciality 6%.  The EPA still requires used nonwoven industrial wipes to be disposed of in the hazardous waste stream while the laundries that wash the reusable rags incur no penalty.  Studies are now showing nonwovens are more environmentally sound than rags and the EPA are being lobbied to pass a new rule opening up the market to nonwovens.
With regard to flushable wipes, the California Bill AB2256 will ban flushable wipes if passed.

Thursday 17 June 2010

Edana Nonwovens Symposium – Baveno: 9th -10th June 2010


The 2009 statistics were released at EDANA’s AGM which coincided with this conference. Nonwovens production in Greater Europe declined by 6.3% in 2009 compared with 1.2% growth in 2008 and 7.4% growth in 2007.  Spunmelt production declined for the second year running, losing 39,000 tonnes this year, and 12 years of phenomenal growth in spunlace came to an end with a 13.8% decline in production in 2009.  Opening the conference, Pierre Wiertz, EDANA’s General Manager, said this recession had shown that the nonwovens industry was not as recession proof as previously thought, adding that this conference had been planned to focus on product and process development with a sustainability theme.

Keynote: The Race to the Bottom

Jim Hanson of MTS Kalamazoo USA provided a personal view of the industry’s problems.  The 70’s and 80’s saw excellent growth, with prices increasing by about 3% annually and R and D expenditures at ~7% of gross profit.  Now there was decline, no price increases, very little profit, and less than 1% of gross profit being spent on R and D.  Since 1983, diaper pack prices had about halved due to the “Walmart Effect”, and this race to the bottom had ruined the nonwovens industry. 
In the 80’s the big consumer products companies set the trends, now it was the retailers racing for zero price and driving the nonwovens to zero basis weight!  Under pressure from the retailers, the big CPCs now analysed suppliers businesses in detail and appeared to control their profit margins.  Where has it all gone wrong?