World Demand for Wipes to Reach $13.5 Billion in 2018

Global demand for wipes is forecast to increase 5.2 percent annually through 2018 to $13.5 billion. Worldwide, sales of wipes will benefit from rising incomes and urbanization, as these factors will boost the number of consumers who can afford wipes and those who have access to wipes. Busier lifestyles will also drive demand for these convenience products. Furthermore, increases in manufacturing activity and modernization in healthcare practices, especially in developing countries, will drive gains since wipes provide better protection from linting or cross-contamination than do more traditional cloth or paper products. These and other trends are presented in "World Wipes," a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industry research firm.

The consumer market, which accounted for 60 percent of global sales in 2013, sees different trends between developed and the developing regions.  Wipes demand in developed markets is driven by sales of more specialized types. As analyst Katherine Brink explains, “Developed countries have higher per capita incomes so intensity of use and overall market penetration of more basic types of consumer wipes is higher than in developing countries.” As a result, sales gains in developed markets through 2018 will primarily stem from the ongoing introduction of application-specific wipes and those that incorporate high-value features. 

In contrast, in developing areas wipes penetration is low, so sales gains will primarily stem from rising adoption of more basic baby wipes and other entry-level wipes products.  In these areas personal incomes are rising as the local economies develop and urbanization continues, enabling a larger share of the population to have access to and afford consumer goods, including wipes, that were once viewed as luxury items.  Through 2018, global demand for industrial wipes is expected to outpace that for consumer wipes, with healthcare wipes accounting for the bulk of that growth.  While sales of healthcare wipes are driven in general by efforts to minimize healthcare associated infections, they are further boosted in developing nations by the continuing modernization of hospitals and other facilities.  The use of manufacturing wipes is already well established in developed regions; however, in developing regions the continuing growth of the electronics and motor vehicle industries, coupled with the increasing use of contemporary manufacturing practices, will boost wipes sales.       

Source: The Freedonia Group, Inc.