Single-use nonwoven wipes can
be either a must-have or one of
life’s little indulgences.
Christine Esposito • Associate Editor
TO THE MOM FACED WITH a diaper ex- plosion at the local mall, wipes are survival gear. But when she gets
home from her girls’ night out and needs
to remove her eye makeup, a traditional
cleanser and hand towel will do just fine.
And so it goes with wipes. In some situations, they are an absolute necessity, one
of those modern conveniences that users
won’t do without. But other times, well,
while a wipe would be nice, the old way of
cleaning seems sufficient—especially
when the budget is tight.
Right at Home
In household care specifically, wipes were
a disruptive technology, shaking up the category and growing exponentially in sales
and by the number of launches. Today it is
easy for consumers to find a task-specific
wipe for just about every household chore,
whether it is cleaning the counter (in the
kitchen or bathroom), polishing the furniture or de-smudging an iPad screen.
Yet with a stale economy that has Americans less likely to stockpile products and
more likely to cut their household budgets,
consumers are rethinking the contents of
their cleaning buckets.
“The US consumer will certainly attempt to economize as a result of strained
household incomes, but the ease and convenience of disposable household wipes
has enduring appeal,”said Howard Telford,
research associate at Euromonitor. “Rather
than revert back to sprays or rags, I would
anticipate attempts to economize within
the category.” According to Telford, consumers may trade down to private label
wipes, or gravitate to versatile, all-in-one
cleaning wipes as opposed to surface specific product lines.
“Multi-purpose wipes that can be used
in several rooms of the house can be an ef-
fective way to retain the convenience of dis-
posables while keeping the household
cleaning budget under control,” he said.