Although the recession has
slowed growth in some sectors,
wipes remain an active category
with marketers rolling out
AVING BURST ONTO the scene at a time when consumers were basking in the real estate boom,
the explosion of the wipes market was proof that
Americans craved—and would shell out cash
for—convenience. From wiping baby’s bottom to
swiping spilled soda to cleaning the floor, these
single-use nonwoven cloths were seen as the
solution to every cleaning dilemma. Looking to
get in on the action, marketers were adding
wipes in droves. Business was booming.
But like nearly every other consumer product sector, the
wipes market has been impacted by the recession, and industry players are anxious to see exactly how much this hot market has cooled off since the economy tanked.
“It’s not clear what effect the recession has had on the market,” said Susan Stansbury, a nonwovens industry expert and
consultant with Right Angle Concepts, based in Conover, WI.
“Some of the converter-manufacturers have taken some
downtime; yet others are expanding. It’s likely affected some
categories more than others.”
According to data from Cleveland, OH-based Freedonia
Group, Inc., demand for wipes in the U.S. is forecast to
increase 3.9% a year to $2.3 billion in 2013, down from the
7.2% growth the market posted between 2003 and 2008.
Despite decelerated growth rates, wipes are here to stay, say
“Wiping products’ staying power has been proven through
the decade, especially in cleaning tasks, as mainstays,” Ms.
Stansbury told HAPPI.
The reason is simple: wipes make cleaning tasks easier.
“Convenience is still a driving factor when consumers buy
wipes. Consumers can pull and use them to make quick work
of cleaning, tasks and ‘pampering’ themselves—whatever the
wiping category,” she added.
Christine Esposito and Melissa Meisel
The Beauty Scene
The beauty category has had a steady influx of rollouts. Both
prestige and mass market brands are bulking up their prod-
Physicians Formula’s mew 100% biodegradable wipes.
uct offerings with complementary wipes that make it easier
to care for the face and other body parts too.
Drugstore favorite Physicians Formula is touting a first-to-market 100% Natural Origin Facial Makeup Remover
Towelettes in its Organic Wear collection. According to the
company, the 100% biodegradable pre-moistened wipes feature a gentle formula to easily wipe away dirt and makeup
from skin and pores without irritating extra sensitive skin.
The towelettes use “environmentally friendly fibers” originating from natural plant sources; while the formulation features the brand’s Eco-Aroma Therapy, a proprietary complex
of naturally active organic soy, olive, orange water and lavender to condition, fortify and protect the eye area and lashes.
Eyes, Lips and Face (ELF), another mass market staple, has
added Makeup Remover Cleansing Cloths to its range.
Infused with aloe vera extract for deep hydration, these pre-moistened cloths are ideal for travel and remove all traces of
dirt and makeup, including waterproof mascara, according to
In the prestige category, Philosophy complements its personal care range with Microdelivery Exfoliating Cloths—
designed to provide exfoliating benefits while helping deep
clean pores and promote an overall healthy skin condition.
According to the company, the cloths are unique because