Year in Review: Top News in Chinese Disposable Hygiene Products Industry in 2014
China National Household Paper Industry Association
I In 2014, Chinese disposable hygiene products industry kept growth, while the trend to transform and upgrade was obvious. The market competition became ficerer. The brand value of the big companies had more obvious advantage in the competition. The middle scale companies had more rational and proper market orientation. They fully utilized their brand advantage in the regional market and looked for market space. The small enterprises were under bigger pressure from the market. The companies beyond disposable hygiene products industry still showed interest in this market and entered.
1. International renowned disposable hygiene products companies continued to invest in China
· Unicharm speeded up the project in Yangzhou developing zone in Jiangsu Province. The first phase project for producing baby diapers has been put into production. The second phase project for producing sanitary napkins is expected to put into production in the end of 2015. The third phase project for producing adult diapers is planned to start in the end of 2015.
· The Japanese Daio Paper started up the baby diaper line in Nantong factory in Jiangsu in March 2014. In December 2014, it announced that it would increase USD 30 million registered capital and continue to expand production scale.
· K-C planned to establish diaper production base in Tianjin.
2. The domestic companies actively invested in expansion, at the same time, they speeded up the upgrading and transforming. The other companies beyond disposable hygiene products industry entered the market through acquisition, cooperation, etc.
· Dongshun Group constructed an adult diaper factory in the location of its Zhaodong company, and cooperated with Zhejiang Eagle Group to build East Jiexin Sanitary Products.
· Orient Champion Group Suzhou Guanjie Hygiene Products Co., Ltd. started to construct the second stage of sanitary napkin project in the end of 2014.
· Daddybaby Corporation’s second pull-up diaper line from Zuiko had been started up. Its new industrial park was under busy construction.
· Guangdong Winsun’s new factory was finished and put into production. It mainly housed the imported production lines.
· C&S Paper Co., Ltd. cooperated with Disposable Soft Goods（Zhongshan）for exclusively selling its diapers, and became a brand agent.
· Yunnan Baiyao Group acquired Qingyitang and entered the personal care products industry.
· Behug (China) Co., Ltd. invested in a disposable hygiene materials park in Nan Cheng County, Fuzhou City, Jiangxi Province, and planned to build a diaper and wet wipe production base.
· Chongqing Treasure Hygiene Products Co., Ltd. signed an agreement with Chongqing Tongliang District for RMB 300 million investment to install 80 wet wipes production lines and 3 baby diapers production lines in Tongliang Industry Zone.
· Hangzhou Qianzhiya signed a strategic agreement with Aptamil to share the resources and complement each other in diaper industry chain, and to carry on strategic upgrade and sustainable development together.
· Shandong Sun Paper announced a “4-3-3”plan. It planned to increase the profit share of FMCG, such as tissue paper, wet wipes and diapers to 30%.
· Jilin Aodong Medicine Industry Group announced that it would invest RMB 20 million to establish Jilin Aodong Hongyang Hygiene Product Co., Ltd. It would explore the market by way of selling hygiene products, such as adult diapers in order to lay the foundation of developing its health care products as well as the industrial operation later.
II Disposable hygiene product companies continued developing and innovating in new products, increasing the product selling-point and getting more market shares. The renowned multinational companies stood in the front of R&D and innovation. They played a positive leading role in guiding the consumers.
1. Sanitary Napkin——Seeking differentiation, “Pant type Sanitary Napkin” has become a brand-new product.
· P&G introduced the first liquid material sanitary napkin in the global under the brand of Whisper. Its unique FlexFoamTM absorbent material was derived from liquid. It is an integrated product. The product had better fittness, stretchability and absorbency.
· P&G invited related industrial experts and media to participate in the “exploring Whisper” activity and to visit its develop and research centre. P&G asked media to tell the public and consumers the rarely known R&D procedure of sanitary napkins, so as to actively guide the consumers.
· The pant type sanitary napkin: including Unicharm’s Sofy “deep sleeping secure pant”, Hangzhou Haoyue’s Jus Cool “menstrual period care pant”, Hangzhou Shutai’s Duowei “menstrual period secure pant”, and “confinement secure pant” as well as Daddybaby’s Shanni “young girl pant type sanitary napkin”.
· Hengan’s Space 7 “mushroom pad” can be attached to sanitary napkin in different positions. It is firm and flexible, and can provide protection from all directions as the 3D side panel.
· Dongshun’s A&S sanitary napkin features softness, breathability and super absorbency. Lucky Girl series focuses on the consumers after 1990 generation. The brand design factors are based on the fairy tales “Snow White”, “Cinderella” and “Thumbelina”.
· Megasoft (China) Co., Ltd. introduced Cecille brand sanitary napkins infused with rose and olive extractives.
2. Baby diapers——thinner, softer, better fitting
· Mamypoko Super Soft series of diapers were launched in China market, and the diapers manufactured in China were optimized, the absorbency was improved by 20%.
· Megasoft Group launched Chikool pull-up diapers, Mebongr Super Absorbent diapers and Mebongr training pants.
· Shandong Aisinile, Hangzhou COCO, Hangzhou Shutai, Zhejiang Haoyue, Jiangsu Debang, etc. developed pant type adult diapers.
· Kingdom ABC s BB skincare baby clean wipes using natural plant fiber nonwovens.
III Raw material suppliers devoted to providing solutions for products innovation of manufacturers, including a wide range of choices in the aspect of product differentiation and more excellent performances.
· BASF-YPC s acrylic acid and 60,000 tpy SAP plants were put into operation.In addition, the second phase of BASF’s Asia Pacific Innovation Park in Shanghai started, and will be completed by the end of 2015. It will become BASF’s most important R&D center in the Asia Pacific and one of the largest R&D bases outside Germany.
· Duobang s composite core material continued to be improved in quality and the way of reeling.
· Quanzhou Hengyang developed degradable PE film.
IV The level of domestic equipment has improved steadily and continued to narrow the gap with the international advanced equipment in speed, efficiency, operating rate, automation, etc. Adult diaper and pant type diaper machine speed is up to 300pcs/min. Baby pant type diaper machine speed is up to 500pcs/min. Online composite Lycra full elastic waist baby diaper machine speed is up to 600pcs/min. Baby diaper packaging machine speed is up to 50 packs/min. Sanitary napkin packaging machine speed is up to 70 packs/min. Four-side sealing wet wipe packaging machine speed is up to 300pcs/min.
V A variety of sales channels coexisted. The enterprises chose the appropriate channels to open up the market according to their scale, brand positioning, regional market, consumer groups, etc. Modern channel and traditional channel were still the mainstream marketing mode. The share of online sales channel was still very small. But it’s a trend of future development and the enterprises were actively cultivating this channel.
VI The promoting methods became diversified. The enterprises made many attempts in social marketing, fans marketing, Wechat marketing, implantation marketing, etc.
● Hengan Anerle became the title spnsor of the show “Hot Mom College”. Space 7 was the title sponsor of “Meeting of Kim Soo Hyon and his fans in Guangzhou”. Mind Act Upon Mind kitchen wet wipes was implanted in the show “12 dishes of Xie Tingfeng”. Anerle adopted the “playing cute” marketing strategy. Anerle brand was implanted in the popular TV series “Love comes back”.
● Vinda parent-child marketing: became the title sponsor of the show “fashion kids world”, published “2014 China parent-child relationship report” on Sina micro-blog, launched “Vinda parent-child relationship test APP” and organized a combination of parent-child marketingactivities. Vinda launched the “take wet wipes to travel” activity together with Tongcheng travel agency.
● Huggies launched the activity “get diapers” on Wechat. Huggies organised mothers to visit the diaper production base in Nanjing.
● Sofy of Unicharm launched the fashion girl APP “Sofy Rabbit” to attract fashion girl consumers.
● Fujian Yifa hired TV starMs. Cai Ming to promote for its “PalmJoy” adult diapers and created original animation image to promote a new series of products "Palm Baby" baby diapers.
● Daddybaby launched “World Cup baby crazy quiz” activity.
VII The growth process of enterprises such as Hengan, from starting up to success, is epitome of the development of China disposable hygiene products industry. These enterprises played an active role in promoting the industry progress and made an important contribution to the industry development.
● On December 18, 2014, Hengan Group organized the 30 years anniversary press conference with the theme of “Love, Change Life” and made a donation of 200 million Yuan for the charity. It offered a reward of one million Yuan globally to collect new group logo. It invested large sum of money to cooperate with IBM to build modernised information management system in the marketing and supply chain and started the third management reform, which once again made Hengan the industry’s attention.
● Foliage held the 20 years anniversary celebration with the theme of “Share the Love, Enjoy the Future”.
● Beishute held the 20 years anniversary celebration with the theme of “20 Years, Grateful for You”.
● Fujian Yifa Group held the 20 years anniversary celebration with the theme of “Grown up in 20Years, Happiness Leads the Way”.
VIII The import and export trade of disposable hygiene products industry became active. The volume and value of import and export trade both increased. In the first three quarters of 2014, the import volume and value of disposable hygiene products increased by 21.4% and 41.2% than the same period of 2013. The export volume and value increased 19.86% and 31.75% respectively.
The import of baby diapers originally made in Japan increased especially rapid, mainly the products of Kao, Daio, Unicharm, etc. This also shows the home-made products still cannot meet some of the consumers’ requirements and still have the space to improve and innovate.
● From Jan. to Nov., the import of baby diapers in Ningbo port increased substantially, 3 times more than the same period of 2013. Japan is the main source of import products.
● The imported diaper in Nantong port had a blowout. From Jan. to Nov., 1224 TEU diapers were imported through Nantong port, with the total value of 140 million Yuan. All the imported diapers are products of Daio.
● From Jan. to Sep., the imported diapers volume in Xiamen port increased 858.8% than 2013.
● In July, the baby diapers was imported through Zhenjiang port for the first time. All the imported diapers were made by Japan Kao company.
● In Mar., the disposable hygiene products were imported through Jiangyin port for the first time. All the imported products were diaper pads made in Italy.
● From Jan. to Feb., the import volume of diaper and diaper pads in Zhangjiagang port increased by 53% than the same period of 2013.
● Japan Itochu and CP Group jointly set up a new company in Shanghai Free Trade Zone and entered the online sales market to sell Japanese brand products, including diapers.
IX The products safety has attracted more and more attention from the consumers. It has become normal for the disposable hygiene products, which belong to FMCG, to accept quality supervision and spot checks by related government departments and media reports. The media reports sometimes can be one-sided and misleading. In addition to the active respond and statement of industry association, the enterprises are also reminded to set up normalized and specialized department to prepare for responding, and scientifically guide the consumers with reason and evidence. For example, in Feb. 2014, Beijing Consumer Association conducted a comparative test for sanitary napkins. Some products which implemented the enterprises standards were announced to be not qualified. In April 2014, Consumer Reports magazine tested the fluorescent whitening agent for sanitary napkins using the testing method for ordinary paper and paperboard.
X CNHPIA (China National Household Paper Industry Association) broadened and deepened its service, used new media, organised practical activities, strengthened the cohesion and promoted the industry progress and development.
● On Sep 23-25, 2014, CNHPIA organized the Diapers Professional Skills Training Class (I) in Shanghai, which met the rapid development of domestic diaper industry and at the same time met the requirements of production enterprises to improve the comprehensive skills of their R&D and quality control personnel.
● In June 2014, CNHPIA opened its Wechat platform, which further strengthened its communication with industry enterprises, facilitated the enterprises’ fast and timely understanding of CNHPIA activities and dynamic industry information.
● On Oct. 20-23, 2014, CNHPIA successfully co-organized “Second China-Japan Hygiene Products Entrepreneurs Joint Meeting” with JHPIA (Japan Hygiene Products Industry Association) in Japan.