Feminine hygiene products, also referred as menstrual care products, are used by women, some transgender men, and genderqueer (non-binary) population. These include sanitary napkins/pads, tampons, panty liners, period panties, and menstrual cups. Feminine cleansing and deodorizing agents such as douche, deodorants, feminine powders, feminine soaps, feminine wipes, internal cleaners, and sprays shields are also feminine hygiene products. Sanitary pads are made from different types of materials such as quilted cotton fabrics and superabsorbent polymer layers which are impermeable to liquids. The global feminine hygiene products market is projected to witness significant growth during the forecast period.
Factors driving the global feminine hygiene products market are increasing disposable income, growing awareness about sanitization, and rising demand for products such as tampons, and panty liners in developed countries. However, conventional napkins contain several synthetic products such as rayon dioxin, allergy-provoking metal dyes, and highly processed wood pulp which are responsible for allergies, infection, and inflammation. Some of these chemicals have proven to be carcinogenic after long-term use. Health issues caused by sanitary napkins, and increasing environmental concerns are factors negatively affecting the global feminine hygiene products market.
Demand for cloth sanitary pads, pads made from organic materials & biodegradable products, among women is increasing in order to reduce health hazards caused by irritants, dyes, and harmful chemicals found in sanitary napkins or tampons. This presents lucrative opportunity for vendors to strengthen their market position through the development of premium and innovative products in this segment. Recent trend followed by manufacturers in developed countries is to maintain brand loyalty and continuous innovation, while in developing countries, these are working on spreading awareness about feminine hygiene especially in areas where cultural and regional misbeliefs dominate.
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The global feminine hygiene products market can be segmented based on product type, distribution channel, and region. In terms of product type, the global feminine hygiene products market can be segmented into menstrual care products and cleaning & deodorizing products. Menstrual care products can be sub-segmented into sanitary napkins/pads, panty liners, tampons, menstrual cups, and period panties. The sanitary pads/napkins sub-segment accounted for the largest share of the menstrual care products segment. Procter & Gamble’s Whisper and Energizer Holdings, Inc.’s Stayfree dominate the sanitary napkins sub-segment.
The sanitary pads/napkins sub-segment is expected to lead the market during the forecast period. Materials used to produce sanitary napkins are cotton, dioxin rayon, wood pulp, and superabsorbabe polymers which convert into gel when wet, and impermeable plastic sheets. Additionally, various fragrances and antibacterial agents are included. The sanitary napkins sub-segment can be further classified into panty liner, ultra-thin, regular, maxi/super, overnight, and maternity pads.
Traditionally, cloth menstrual pads were used which have regained importance due to safety issues of commercially available sanitary pads. The cleansing & deodorizing products segment can be sub segmented into deodorants, douche, feminine powders, feminine soaps, disposable razors & blades, feminine wipes, internal cleaners, bikini wax, and sprays shields. Based on distribution channel, the global feminine hygiene products market can be segmented in-to supermarkets, drug stores, pharmacies & beauty stores, and online & other channels.
In terms of region, the global feminine products market can be segmented in-to North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Middle East & Africa. Asia Pacific has emerged as the largest market owing to large population, increasing per capita income, rising number of working women, and growing health awareness among women. China, Japan, and India dominate the feminine hygiene product market in Asia Pacific. Government initiatives to spread awareness about importance of sanitation during menstrual periods, easy availability of products in stores, product advertisements, and increasing urbanization are factors propelling the feminine hygiene products market in the region.
Demand for innovative products such as tampons and internal cleaners & sprays is high in developed regions such as North America and Western Europe. In the U.S., stringent requirements of the FDA about biocompatibility testing, study regarding appropriate duration of sanitary napkin use, risk of adverse tissue reaction, and toxic shock syndrome are challenging the entry of products in the country. The global feminine hygiene products market has experienced less penetration.
Key players operating in the global feminine hygiene products market are Procter & Gamble, Energizer Holdings, Inc., Edgewell Personal Care, Unicharm Corporation, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, Lil-Lets Group Ltd., Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, Biochemix Healthcare Private Limited, and Hengan International Group Co. Ltd., among others.