Friday 12 April 2013

The Adult Incontinence Market in North America

Rory Holmes, Past-President of INDA said AI in NA was now worth $4.3bn and the market now consumed 11 billion pads per annum.  For comparison the figures for femcare and diapers are $5.39bn/46.9bn units and $7.36bn/29.4bn units respectively.  AI is now consuming 87,000 tonnes of nonwovens compared with 47,000 tonnes in femcare and 236,000 tonnes in diapers.  Of the body-worn AI nonwoven tonnage, 44,300 went through retail and 15,500 through hospitals and care homes.  23,500 tonnes went into underpads and 3,800 tonnes went to all AI products in Mexico. 

By 2017, 13bn units of AI products would be sold in NA, and this represented a growth rate of 3.5%, compared with 1.5% for diapers and 2.1% for femcare.  In tonnage terms the AI nonwoven use would be 103,500 tonnes compared with 52,000 of femcare and 261,000 tonnes for diapers.

The main growth driver is the increasing availability of well designed disposable light incontinence garments which are much thinner (i.e. use composite cores) and more like normal underwear.  They are stretchable, breathable and can incorporate odour control and wetness indicators for institutional use.

With 16% of the NA population expected to be over 65 by 2020, and the government encouraging home-care of the elderly, the home-care use of AI products is accelerating.  State agencies and retail organisations are therefore developing performance standards for AI.

Asked about the low growth of diaper sales, Dr Holmes thought the recession could be to blame.  What proportion of over 65’s has an incontinence problem? About 1/3rd, but the proportion rises to about 70% for the over 80’s.  Incontinence in middle aged men due to prostate problems and in middle aged women after childbirth is also on the increase. There is as yet no surgical cure for the problem.

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