Growth is forecast to rise at an average yearly rate of 5.1 per cent in the years up to 2016 to reach a market value of $2.5bn (€1.9bn), according to the latest market report from the Freedonia Group, a Cleveland-based market research company.
Continued innovation in the category is leading to greater disposability, portability and reduced risk of cross-contamination, which are the major driving forces to attract consumers to this category.
Recession and environmental issues forge a new path for wipes
However, in the past few years, the category has had to evolve significantly, in answer to two significant factors, firstly the recession of 2007 – 2009, which saw a lot of consumers swap to more economical private label wipes, and secondly growing concerns for environmental issues.
The disposability of this type of product has in the past been a significant selling point, but increased environmental awareness amongst consumers is forcing consumers to question the purchase of this type of product, which has in turn forced manufacturers to tune into this point.
This has led many manufacturers to rebrand their wipes and position them with better environmental credentials by underlining recyclability and the fact that raw materials are derived from sustainable or environmentally friendly sources.
Personal hygiene wipes set for significant growth
Looking ahead, Freedonia believes that personal hygiene and general purpose household cleaning wipes are projected to register the fastest gains.
Within the personal hygiene segment, wipes are likely to enjoy better penetration on the back of wet bathroom wipes, which are said to be gaining acceptance as part of a regular bathroom routine, enhanced by the fact that they are marketed as being flushable and dispersible.
The large baby wipes segment is likely to make gains from the fact that infant population rates are continuing to rise in ethnic communities in the US, further enhanced by the fact that as the economy pulls out of the recession, consumers are returning to wipes for non-diaper applications as part of their baby care routine.