The personal care wipes market is ever expanding. Supported by rising incomes across the globe and consumer demand for this convenient way to cleanse, the market continues to gain new products from both veterans in the industry and entrepreneurs hoping to launch the next big thing.
Of course, baby wipes have always, and still do, dominate the personal care space. While the baby wipes market is stable in developed regions such as the U.S., since it already has a high per capita consumption, one trend analysts have witnessed in this market is volume growth of private label, according to Svetlana Uduslivaia, head of industry research, Euromonitor International. “In some cases we see that private label shows it’s slightly declining in value, but in reality it’s just the low pricing trend – private labelers can afford to keep the prices low and drive volume up, and essentially they’re taking consumers into this sphere and away from branded products. This is, of course, a challenge for branded products to maintain this competitive pricing.”
The last several years have seen a number of retailers either adding new private label baby wipes or upgrading their offerings.
Walmart upped its game in the baby care space when it relaunched its Parent’s Choice brand last year. The massive retailer added seven new baby wipes to the line, including Parent’s Choice Cotton Wipes, made with recycled T-shirts, and wipes seasonal scents including White Tea & Honey and Fresh Woodlands. German retailer Aldi, which continues to grow its presence in the U.S., also added baby wipes to its new line of Little Journey baby care products.
Online giant Amazon is doing especially well in this space. In fact, its line of Elements baby wipes, which launched in 2014, have seen record growth in 2017, according to eCommerce market tracker One Click Retail. The Amazon Elements line of baby wipes nearly doubled its 2016 estimated sales with 94% year-on-year growth, the company says.
“Amazon has done well, but if we are to take the entire baby wipes universe and not just online retail, they’re still a small brand compared to more established branded products,” Uduslivaia says. “But since Amazon has been competing well online, this has presented another challenge for branded products to essentially keep pace from a pricing perspective. This isn’t a new trend—this is something we’ve seen before—but we’re really seeing private label being out there and really pushing prices down.”
One growing category outside of baby wipes is moist toilet tissue. While the wipes industry continues to grapple with challenges from municipal governments that accuse flushable wipes of causing millions of dollars in damages to sewer systems, the dispersible substrates have opportunities for growth, even in developed markets.
“While this whole issue of flushability is still very much out there, wet toilet paper or moist toilet wipes continue to grow,” Uduslivaia says. “Even in the developed markets this is a category that’s not as developed as baby wipes or even facial wipes, so there’s definitely opportunity there to build and develop that space.”
One challenge that can hold flushable wipes back, she notes, is how much manufacturers can charge. In mass retail, when new moist toilet tissue brands launch, there have been a lot of pricing pressures to get them within a certain price point.
Despite some of these challenges, the flushable wipes market continues to see innovation. “This category is definitely getting a little bit more into the space where consumers are more aware of what they are and there are habits that are being formed with using this product, so this definitely creates a platform to grow them further,” she says.
Face Wipes Continue to Shine
Another trend Euromonitor analysts have noticed in the personal care wipes market are polarizing tendencies in the facial care wipes category. On one hand, some consumers are looking for the most basic facial cleansing products that won’t break the bank, and on the other hand, some wipes enthusiasts are looking for products that offer value added features and specialty ingredients—wipes that offer certain claims such as “detoxifying”—which tend to sell for a higher price point.
The latter trend can certainly be seen in some of 2017’s newest product launches in facial care wipes. Burt’s Bees, a popular natural skincare products brand, debuted Micellar Cleansing Towelettes. Infused with natural ingredients like Australian White Cypress Oil, responsibly sourced from discarded branches, and Honey Extract, the multitasking cleanser uses micellar technology to trap and lift away dirt, oil and other impurities for a fresh and clean complexion without rinsing.
The company Biossance is also making natural and added value claims with its newest launch—Squalane + Antioxidant Cleansing Cloths. The alcohol-free and biodegradable wipes are intended to remove long wear makeup, condition lashes and brows and hydrate skin. While the term “antioxidant” has become a well-known buzzword in the beauty care industry, Biossance describes squalane as its own mega-moisturizing molecule that instantly hydrates while locking in essential moisture. While the human body produces its own version of this molecule, the amount decreases over time. The patented technology from Biossance creates 100% plant-derived squalane sustainably from sugarcane.
Another company looking to expand its sales in wipes is Yes To, which is using fruits and vegetables to entice shoppers in the skin care aisle. New Yes To Carrots Vitamin-Enriched Kale Wipes are infused with carrots and kale for a wellness-boosting cleanse. The wipes cleanse, remove makeup and nourish skin all in one swipe. A nonwoven-based paper facial mask with a similar formulation is also being launched soon—the Yes To Carrots Vitamin-Enriched Kale Paper Mask.
Yes To is expanding its paper mask offerings even more in 2018 with the addition of Yes to Super Eye Masks, available in formulations featuring blueberry, coconut, cucumber or grapefruit versions. According to the company, the fun-shaped, colorful paper eye masks provide targeted treatment for the eye area and are formulated with key Yes To ingredients to recharge, calm, boost glow and energize the eye area.
The growing facial mask trend has also led Yes To to develop its Yes to Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Paper Mask Beauty Box. Already available as a single mask that’s formulated with charcoal, to detoxify and cleanse pores, the new beauty box features a 10-pack of the masks that dispense one at a time, just like wipes.
“Masking is becoming part of many women’s skincare regimen and is often done on a daily basis,” says Ingrid Jackel, CEO of Yes To, Inc. “Since the Yes To single use Charcoal Paper Mask is the #1 natural facial mask in our class of trade (based on the latest IRI data 12 weeks ending week of Dec. 3), providing 10 in a box, that dispenses one at a time, at an amazing value (greater than 30% savings based on the SRP of the Yes To single use Charcoal paper mask) is very appealing.”
Wipes Save the Day
Diamond Wipes, a wet wipes manufacturer that also has its own brand of cleansing and makeup remover wipes under the La Fresh name, has developed a truly unique kind of wipe intended for firefighters.
The new decontamination (“decon”) body wipes, called Hero Wipes, are specially formulated to remove toxic, cancer-causing carcinogens from the vulnerable skin of firefighters before they leave the scene of a fire.
“Hero Wipes was developed after a conversation that a Diamond Wipes team member had with a firefighter, who had conveyed a serious need for decontamination wipes for the firefighting community,” says Eve Yen, founder and CEO of Diamond Wipes International, Inc. “The conversation was quite powerful in that it centered around the staggering rates of cancer among firefighters. It was with that very conversation in mind that the company progressed with a new focus and priority: making the best decontamination wipe available.”
While firefighters have used some form of on-site decontamination for years, Yen says they commonly use baby wipes. “Standard baby wipes are not formulated to remove harmful carcinogens, and other wipes available have not been tested or shown to be effective,” she adds.
Hero Wipes were independently tested and shown to be extremely effective in absorbing and clearing away harmful toxins that are linked to cancer. Specifically, Hero Wipes were shown to remove 98% of the toxic flame retardant TCEP and 83% of the carcinogen Benzopyrene, which is found in soot.
Launched at the end of last year, Hero Wipes was established with a patent-pending balanced blend of ingredients that are shown to isolate and trap harmful chemical compounds within the wipe. They are intended for vigorous usage – each wipe is thick, tough, stretchable and virtually indestructible compared to run-of-the-mill baby wipes, so they won’t breakdown. Moreover, with its proven formula, Hero Wipes are ideal for the on-scene decon protocol as usage of an effective wipe limits the amount of time harmful carcinogens lingers on the skin.
Marking its 24th year of doing business in the wipes market, Diamond Wipes is very encouraged by the growth it’s seen. “Given our new venture with Hero Wipes, we do believe that innovation of new function and application in the wipes market is a key,” Yen says. “With Hero Wipes, we stepped a bit outside our comfort zone by moving into fire safety. We found it to be both a gratifying move and one that challenged us, because we learned exactly how important it was to get the product right.”