Dabur to enter baby diaper market, to take on P&G and Unicharm

India said it will enter the diapers segment in India, as part of its strategy to expand its baby care portfolio that has products including shampoo, soaps, oil and talc. The Ayurvedic firm will compete with Procter & Gamble and Unicharm which together controls over 80% of the overall market.

The company said its ‘Dabur Baby Super Pants’ with insta–absorb technology will help get 50% more absorption compared to other diapers.

“The extension into Diapers further strengthens our equity in this fast-growing segment. Our consumer immersion studies and various research reports clearly indicate that mothers prefer to go with safe and trusted brands when it comes to baby care products, “Rajat Mathur, AGM-consumer marketing at Dabur India. “We have seen a massive shift in consumer preference towards natural and ayurvedic products. That’s where the brand Dabur has a huge advantage over competition.”

Japanese firm Unicharm was the first to launch underwear-shaped diapers in 2008. With both rivals — Kimberly Clark and P&G — following the style after a few years, the market was now skewed towards pant-style offerings accounting for roughly 85% of the overall segment.

As a category within consumer goods, diapers have one of the highest sales coming from online channels. Dabur’s product will be initially launched on Flipkart, India’s homegrown e-commerce marketplace.

“Baby care as a category has evolved over the years with parents increasingly becoming conscious of the quality, safety, functionality and trustworthiness of products in this category. On e-commerce, we have seen the category witnessing high demand as parents rely on safe and sanitized shopping experiences,” said Manish Kumar, senior vice president-beauty, general merchandise and home at Flipkart.

The Indian diaper industry is currently pegged at about 5 billion pieces or $1 billion but the penetration of disposable diapers is less than 5% in the Indian market and the products are often used only for outings, not for daily use. Also, the segment is pricier and niche for most Indians who restrict its usage even after buying due to higher price-tag.

Increasing birth rate, higher disposable income, greater hygiene awareness and radical rise in the number of working women are factors driving this market growth. Approximately 25 million babies are born every year in India and the potential is huge.


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