The market size of baby diapers grows at 20% to 30% annually thanks to increased awareness about baby care
Locally produced baby diapers are gradually grabbing the market, which used to be dominated by foreign brands.
According to retailers and local manufacturers, in 2014 about 70% of the demand for baby diapers would be met with imports, which has now come down to 40%.
Now, the local manufacturers are catering to over 60% of the local demand.
Currently, eight local companies are manufacturing baby diapers in the country.
The market size of baby diapers grows at 20% to 30% annually thanks to increased awareness about baby care.
The growth is also due to an increasing number women going out for work, which requires them to have their babies in diapers, industry insiders say.
“The market potential of diaper in our country is very high. But the number of users of baby diaper is still very low. Hopefully, it will keep on growing every year,” Rashedul Imam, manager (marketing strategy department) of Incepta Pharmaceuticals Ltd, says.
Incepta Pharmaceuticals Ltd’s brand NeoCare holds 10% share of the total market while it enjoys 30% market share of locally produced baby diapers. The company produces various types of diapers such as baby diaper, adult diaper, new born diaper etc, Incepta officials say.
At the retail level, the price of Neocare Pants XL (12-18 kg) – 28pcs is Tk1,050 (retail), that of NeoCare Belt System Baby Diaper L (7-18 kg) - 50pcs Tk1,100 and Neocare Baby Wipes - 120 wipes Tk155.
Rashedul hopes that the current market size will double or triple by 2025 as the demand is increasing every day and claims that Incepta is capable of meeting the entire demand.
Many people in the rural areas are not aware about baby care, so the sale of diapers in villages has not increased, he says, calling for raising awareness.
According to the industry insiders, now the market size of baby diaper is worth Tk350 to Tk400crore and it grows at 20 to 30% every year. Locally made baby diapers now enjoy 60% share of the total market, which was only 20% three to four years ago.
Chu-Chu diaper of Bangladesh Silicon Corporation holds around 23% share of the market while NeoCare of Incepta enjoys 10% share and Supermom of Square Toiletries 10%, officials concerned at the drug companies say.
The local market of baby diapers is expanding fast thanks to rising purchase power of people while nappies are essential now for a lot of working mothers, says Faisal Bin Kamal, brand manager of Square Toiletries.
Square Toiletries sells diapers worth around Tk35 to Tk40crore in a year, with a 30% growth per annum, he informs, hoping that the growth will double or triple if the import through misdeclaration is stooped.
Supermom Baby Diaper Small (0-8kg -28pcs) is retailed at Tk410, Extra Large (12-17kg -20pcs) at Tk600 and Medium (6-11kg-26pcs) at Tk750.
Faisal says that many international products are imported illegally from various countries including India and many traders in Gulshan and Banani areas sell the imported products at prices lower than those of locally made products.
ACI Limited launched baby diapers, Savlon Twinkle, around two years ago. The company holds 6% to 7% share in the market, a senior official at ACI says.
Savlon Twinkle Baby Diaper (Medium 40 pcs with free baby lotion, baby wipes, baby soap) is retailed at Tk850.
Talking to Dhaka Tribune, Quamrul Hasan, business director of ACI Ltd, has said that baby diaper market size is growing day by day and local products are expanding their market share.
Bashundhara diaper of Bashundhara Group, Thai baby diaper of AB Group, PRAN-RFL’s brand Kidstar, Smile baby diaper of Social Marketing Company (SMC) are also among local brands holding around 10% market share, industry people say.
On the other hand, Pampers, Molfix, Huggies, MamyPoko, Glory, Bambo Nature diapers etc are the imported brands. These are mostly imported from India, China, Egypt and Nigeria.
At the retail level, the price of Pampers ranges from Tk225 to Tk2,540, Molfix from Tk464 to Tk1,578, Huggies from Tk486 to Tk1,800 while Momypoko price ranges from Tk859 to Tk2,300.
To promote local baby diapers, the government has offered duty benefits for the import of raw materials. Import duties and tax on finished sanitary pad and diaper have not been changed for new fiscal 2019-20.
However, local industry operators have alleged that some businesspeople import diapers through under-invoicing to evade duties and VAT and to sell imported diapers at much lower prices.
They urge the revenue authorities to take steps to prevent mis-declaration on the value of imported diapers to help the local industry to grow.
Lazz Pharma is a big retailer for baby diapers. They sell baby diapers worth around Tk3 lakh per day at their 30 branches in the country.
Talking to Dhaka Tribune, Md Anwar Hossain, general manager of Lazz Pharma, has said baby diaper sale is increasing every day.
“We emphasize the sale of domestic products rather than imported products,” Anwar says.
Bilkis Akhter, a private job holder, who came to buy baby diaper at Health and Hope Pharma at Panthapath in the capital, said: “I've been buying diapers for my kids for a long time. Once upon a time there was no domestic products. But now there are many local brands. It is a very positive sign.”
“I used to buy international products before. Now a few native brands are doing well,” he added.