US Wipes Industry

  • November 2012
  • -
  • Freedonia
  • -
  • 319 pages

US demand to rise over 3% annually through 2016

US demand for wipes is forecast to grow over three percent per year through 2016 to $2.5 billion. The US wipes industry enjoyed several years of high growth as a spate of new products were launched during the late 1990s and through the middle of the first decade of the new century. Similar to other industries, however, wipes were impacted by the 2007-2009 recession. During this time, the wipes market faced a shrinking manufacturing base, as well as consumers economizing by either using private label wipes (limiting sales at the retail level), shifting away from several task-specific wipes to one general-purpose product, or returning to traditional cleaning methods (e.g., chemical sprays and rags). However, wipes producers were unable to pass on all increases in raw material costs, reducing profit margins and keeping average prices low. Macroeconomic conditions began to improve in 2010 and 2011, providing opportunities for wipes.

“Green” attributes in wipes to boost value gains

Going forward, wipes will benefit from ongoing improvements in the economy, such as a rebound in manufacturing activity and an acceleration in consumer spending. In general, wipes will continue to benefit from features such as ease-ofuse, disposability, portability, and reduced risk of cross-contamination. While disposability has been a primary advantage in the growth of the wipes market, it also has the potential of being a restraining factor as more consumers become attuned to environmental concerns such as biodegradability and recyclability. As such, product innovations are increasingly centered on the incorporation of recycled fibers, natural ingredients, or biodegradable materials, which boost value gains.

Personal hygiene, household cleaning wipes to pace consumer segment

Convenience, consumer acceptance and innovation will remain driving forces in the consumer market, with personal hygiene and general purpose household cleaning wipes projected to register the fastest gains. Growth in general purpose disinfectant wipes will be propelled by the appeal of one-step, disposable wipes that provide a quick and convenient format for household cleaning chores. These wipes also offer a fast and easy cleaning alternative for consumers with little free time. Personal hygiene wipes will enjoy increased market penetration. For example, the concept of wet bathroom tissue as part of a standard bathroom routine is gaining acceptance, especially since the industry has become diligent on developing not only flushable but dispersible products. Gains in the infant population will benefit the large baby wipes category. However, consumers who used baby wipes for non-diaper applications during the recession will return to task-specific wipes.

Rebound in manufacturing to benefit industrial wipes

After suffering from slower sales during the recession that began in December 2007, the industrial wipes market will benefit from a rebound in manufacturing activity through 2016. As such, wipes geared toward the manufacturing market are projected to achieve above average gains through the forecast period. In addition to a more favorable economic climate, demand for industrial wipes will benefit from new product innovations and expanding applications. Among industrial wipes, manufacturing and health care types will remain the two largest segments of this market, together accounting for nearly three-quarters of demand.

Study coverage

This upcoming industry study presents historical demand data (2001, 2006 and 2011) plus forecasts for 2016 and 2021 by market, substrate and chemical. The study also considers market environment factors, evaluates company market share and profiles industry competitors.

Table Of Contents





General 4
Macroeconomic Overview 4
Demographic Trends 7
Household Trends 10
Consumer Spending Trends 13
Cosmetic and Toiletry Industry Outlook 16
Specialty Household Cleaners Industry Outlook 20
Manufacturing Outlook 22
Health Care Providers and Facilities 26
Medical Providers 27
Patient Activity 30
Retail Sector Trends 32
Retail Wipes Market Overview 35
Competitive Wiping Products Overview 39
Pricing Trends 42
Environmental and Regulatory Issues 44
Consumer Wipes Regulations 45
Industrial Wipes Regulations 47
Flushability and Other Environmental Issues 49
Flushability and Dispersibility 50
Sustainability 51
Microbial Contamination 53
Historical Market Trends 54
World Wipes Market 57
Production and Foreign Trade 60


General 62
Product Overview 62
Wet Wipes 66
Dry Wipes 70
Market Overview 72


General 75
Personal Care 79
Baby Wipes 83
Products and Materials 85
Retail Market Trends 87
Producers 91
Hand and Body Wipes 92
Personal Hygiene Wipes 95
Moist Towelettes 106
Medicated Wipes 108
Other Hand and Body Wipes 110
Facial Wipes 112
Cleansing Wipes 116
Other Facial Wipes 119
Other Personal Care Wipes 121
Household Care 123
General Purpose Cleaning Wipes 127
Floor Care Wipes 131
Other Household Care Wipes 135
Other Consumer 137
Automotive Wipes 138
Pet Care Wipes 139
All Other Consumer Wipes 140


General 142
Health Care 146
Applications 150
End Users 155
Manufacturing 158
Special Purpose Wipes 161
Clean Room Wipes 163
Surface Preparation Wipes 164
Printing Wipes 165
Other Special Purpose Wipes 166
General Purpose Wipes 166
Commercial 168
Foodservice Wipes 171
Other Commercial Wipes 173
Other Industrial 176


General 179
Substrates 180
Spunlaced Nonwovens 183
Airlaid Nonwovens 186
Other Substrates 189
Chemicals 192
Solvents 194
Surfactants 195
Fragrances 197
Other Chemicals 198


General 203
Market Share 206
Converters’ Level 207
Retail Level 210
Industry Restructuring 213
Competitive Strategies 214
New Product Development 215
Product Line Extension 216
Low Cost Position 217
Product Placement 218
Market Segmentation 219
Cooperative Agreements 221
Manufacturing 222
Contract Manufacturing 224
Packaging Trends 226
Marketing and Advertising 228
Distribution 229
Company Profiles 232
Albaad Massuot Yitzhak Limited 233
American Hygienics Corporation 235
Aplicare, see Clorox
Atlantic Mills, see Illinois Tool Works
Barry-Wehmiller Companies Incorporated 237
Berkshire Corporation 238
Buckeye Technologies Incorporated 242
Cascades Incorporated 244
Celanese Corporation 245
Clorox Company 246
Contec Incorporated 249
Covidien plc 250
Diamond Wipes International Incorporated 252
DuPont (EI) de Nemours 254
Energizer Holdings Incorporated 257
Fibematics Incorporated 258
Freudenberg and Company KG 260
Georgia-Pacific, see Koch Industries
Glatfelter (PH) Company 262
GOJO Industries Incorporated 263
HDK Industries Incorporated 265
HealthLink, see Clorox
Holm (Jacob) and Sons AG 266
Illinois Tool Works Incorporated 268
Jacob Holm Industries America, see Holm (Jacob) and Sons
Johnson and Johnson 275
Johnson (SC) and Son Incorporated 277
Kimberly-Clark Corporation 279
Koch Industries Incorporated 282
Meridian Industries Incorporated 284
National Towelette Company Incorporated 285
National Wiper Alliance 287
Nehemiah Manufacturing Company 288
Neutrogena, see Johnson and Johnson
New Pig Corporation 289
Nice-Pak Products Incorporated 291
OMNOVA Solutions Incorporated 293
Paper Converting Machine, see Barry-Wehmiller
Playtex Products, see Energizer Holdings
Polymer Group Incorporated 294
Procter and Gamble Company 296
Reckitt Benckiser plc 299
Rockline Industries Incorporated 300
Royal Paper Converting Incorporated 302
Sage Products Incorporated 303
SCA Personal Care North America, see Svenska Cellulosa
STERIS Corporation 304
Suominen Corporation 306
Svenska Cellulosa AB 308
3M Company 310
Tufco Technologies Incorporated 311
Unilever Group 312
Additional Companies in the Wipes Industry 314



Summary Table 3


1 Macroeconomic Indicators 7
2 Population 10
3 Households and Housing Stock 13
4 Personal Consumption Expenditures 16
5 Cosmetic and Toiletry Supply and Demand 19
6 Specialty Household Cleaner Demand 22
7 Manufacturers’ Shipments 26
8 Medical Providers 29
9 Patient Activity 32
10 Retail Sales 35
11 Retail Wipes Market 39
12 Competitive Wiping Products Demand 42
13 Selected Wipes Prices 44
14 Wipes Market, 2001-2011 56


1 Wipes Demand by Type and Substrate 65
2 Wet Wipes Demand by Market and Product 69
3 Dry Wipes Demand by Market and Product 72
4 Wipes Demand by Market 74


1 Consumer Wipes Demand by Market 78
2 Personal Care Wipes Demand by Product 82
3 Baby Wipes Demand 85
4 Hand and Body Wipes Demand 94
5 Personal Hygiene Wipes Demand 98
6 Moist Towelettes Demand 107
7 Medicated Wipes Demand 109
8 Other Hand and Body Wipes Demand 112
9 Facial Wipes Demand 115
10 Facial Cleansing Wipes Demand 118
11 Other Facial Wipes Demand 121
12 Other Personal Care Wipes Demand 123
13 Household Care Wipes Demand by Application 126
14 General Purpose Cleaning Wipes Demand 130
15 Floor Care Wipes Demand 134
16 Other Household Care Wipes Demand 136
17 Other Consumer Wipes Demand 138


1 Industrial Wipes Demand by Market 145
2 Health Care Wipes Demand by Product and End User 149
3 Manufacturing Wipes Demand by Application 161
4 Special Purpose Wipes Demand 163
5 General Purpose Wipes Demand 168
6 Commercial Wipes Demand 171
7 Foodservice Wipes Demand 173
8 Other Commercial Wipes Demand 176
9 Other Industrial Wipes Demand 178


1 Raw Materials Demand in Wipes 180
2 Substrate Demand in Wipes 183
3 Spunlaced Nonwoven Demand in Wipes 186
4 Airlaid Nonwoven Demand in Wipes 189
5 Other Substrate Demand in Wipes 192
6 Chemical Demand in Wipes 193
7 Solvent Demand in Wipes 195
8 Surfactant Demand in Wipes 197
9 Fragrance Demand in Wipes 198
10 Other Chemicals Demand in Wipes 202


1 US Wipes Sales by Company, 2011 205
2 Selected Acquisitions and Divestitures 214



1 Wipes Demand, 2001-2011 56
2 World Wipes Demand by Region, 2011 59


1 Wipes Demand by Type, 2001-2021 66
2 Wipes Demand by Market, 2001-2021 74


1 Consumer Wipes Demand by Market, 2011 79
2 Personal Care Wipes Demand by Application, 2011 83
3 Baby Wipes Retail Market Share, 2011 91
4 Hand and Body Wipes Retail Market Share, 2011 95
5 Facial Wipes Retail Market Share, 2011 115
6 Household Care Wipes Demand by Application, 2011 127
7 General Purpose Cleaning Wipes Retail Market Share, 2011 131
8 Floor Care Wipes Retail Market Share, 2011 135


1 Industrial Wipes Demand by Market, 2011 146
2 Health Care Wipes Demand by Product, 2001-2021 155
3 Health Care Wipes Demand by End User, 2001-2021 157


1 US Wipes Converter Market Share, 2011 208
2 US Retail Market Share, 2011 212

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