It's the fastest-growing household products business—growing faster than toothpaste, tissues, toilet paper and other multibillion-dollar household staples. Give up? It's adult diapers.
While baby diapers is a much larger business, sales growth has been flat, while sales of adult incontinence products are rising, thanks to aging baby boomers in the U.S.
It's no wonder the world's largest consumer products company, Procter & Gamble, which has been struggling to post higher sales across businesses from beauty to cleaning for the past several quarters, is getting into the business.
P&G Chief Executive A.G. Lafley—who's been back on the job for just over a year, with a mission to find sales growth and turn around the core businesses—announced the entry during its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings call on Aug. 1. Next week, P&G will begin shipping a variety of products including liners, pads and disposable underwear under the Always brand in North America. The company already launched the line in the U.K., and will begin shipping to France later in the month.
"With the trends in aging, the technology we have at this point and the strength of our Always brand, we think the time is right to get in," said Steven Bishop, president of global feminine and family care at P&G in an interview.