According to statistics, about 42% of women in the United States use tampons, and 70% of women in Europe use tampons. However, in China, only 1.9% of women use tampons in 2016. Sanitary napkins are still the top of the list of Chinese women’s menstrual hygiene products, followed by liquid sanitary napkins, safety pants and other products.
It’s hard to see tampons on the shelves of supermarkets in China, as well as in first tier cities. People like sanitary napkins most, in recent years, liquid sanitary napkins have become popular. For tampons, some women may not know the existence of such products, or women who have heard of tampons may not be able to use them correctly. Most women find it hard to accept the way it is used. In addition, the price of tampons is relatively expensive, which is why Chinese women prefer sanitary napkins.
In fact, as early as 1989, a tampon named Tampax began to enter the Chinese market. Because people were relatively conservative at that time and were not willing to accept such new things, Tampax finally withdrew from the Chinese market. After being acquired by P & G in 1997, P & G quietly launched Tampax in Nanjing market in 1999, and finally withdrew from China market again in 2000 due to unsatisfactory sales. In 2017, Tampax entered the Chinese market for the third time, due to social media publicity, changes in people’s thinking, and the diversification of cross-border e-commerce purchasing channels, Tampax saw hope for tampons in China. Although we don’t know how Tampax will end this time, there is an obvious change that Chinese women’s acceptance of tampons is improving.
Women’s sanitary products mainly include sanitary napkins, pads, tampons and menstrual cups. Today, sanitary napkins occupy an absolute leading position in the whole market of women’s sanitary products, whether in China or other countries. In the Chinese market, the penetration rate and share of sanitary napkins have exceeded 95%, which means that it is very difficult for the sanitary napkins market to grow again.
In this case, it seems that it is difficult to improve the number and use of female hygiene products. At this time, the opportunities of the industry come from two aspects: one is the upgrading of the stock market, and the other is the emergence of new alternative categories.
In recent years, many sanitary napkin brands have launched their own high-end products. For example, P & G’s “always” liquid sanitary napkin has been recommended and sold by China’s popular Taobao anchor Viya and Li Jiaqi. In addition, it has been shared and exposed by many users on many social media in China, and has won high popularity, upgraded new products bring women a more comfortable experience.
Although the high-end sanitary napkin upgrades the traditional sanitary napkin in terms of material and sense of use, it does not solve the pain point of sanitary napkin, and the emerging tampons can change the feeling of using menstrual care products.
In recent years, the concentration of China’s sanitary napkin industry has increased steadily. In 2018, the top four enterprises in China’s sanitary napkin Market are HengAn, unijia, P & G and Jingxing. The sanitary napkin industry in developed countries is relatively more concentrated, in 2018, the Cr4 of sanitary napkin industry in the United States and Japan were 76.7% and 98.2% respectively. In contrast, the concentration of sanitary napkin industry in China still has a large space to improve.
According to the statistical of the tissue paper committee, the compound average growth rate of China’s women’s sanitary products market from 2013 to 2018 reachs 9.7%. According to the conservative forecast of the constant growth rate of 9.7%, the market scale of China’s sanitary napkins (including pads) will exceed 90 billion yuan by 2023, and the market scale of China’s women’s sanitary napkins (including pads) manufacturing industry will reach 99.5 billion yuan by 2024.
In general, there is still much room for development in China’s tampon market.