Brands and countries
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Show Notes:

In 2021, ‘Attached to Hygiene’ examined trends in the EMEA region—Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. For the next two episodes, we will focus specifically on Africa, one of the world’s rapidly expanding markets. Over the course of just five years, absorbent hygiene sales on the continent are expected to grow by about 40%. For the last decade, Raymond Chimhandamba has worked in several areas of the industry. Examples include manufacturing supply, distribution, and article production. Now, he joins host Jack Hughes to share his professional insights with our listeners. 

Major absorbent hygiene trends in Africa

At present, period care is by far the leading segment, comprising about 67% of absorbent hygiene sales (roughly 29 billion pieces). Baby care accounts for 33% of the market, with incontinence products a mere 0.5% (only about 200 million articles). All combined, sales in these categories are expected to reach 60.7 billion units by 2025—roughly where the United States is today. However, the population in Africa is higher, leaving plenty of room for growth—especially amongst younger users. In Africa, only about 5.6% are over the age of 65. (In the United States, this number is closer to 23%.)

User habits and tech access

The impact of increasing access to technology is apparent. Purchasing through the internet is common. In Africa, a larger percentage of these sales is made through phones rather than computers and other devices. The availability of cell phones, better infrastructure, and more affordable data plans are all contributing factors. In fact, the prevalence of using smart phones to shop is reflected by the common use of ‘m-commerce’ rather than the more general term ‘e-commerce’.

Growth of hygiene manufacturing across the continent

A number of absorbent hygiene companies are building plants in various African nations. This reflects the industry’s desire to take advantage of the expected rise in sales. These include global leaders, private labels, and even locally owned concerns. Two family-owned brands are doing especially well. However, there are many challenges to manufacturing in Africa. Among them are national regulations, power outages, and even transportation difficulties.

Outline of the Episode

  • [2:50] Introduction of Raymond Chimhandamba
  • [5:02] Traditional brands being replaced by lesser-known brands
  • [6:51] Market overview by the numbers: units, per cents, and expected growth
  • [9:09] Major factors driving Africa’s expanding market
  • [14:30] Demographics, including variations by nation
  • [18:00] User access and increasing access to tech
  • [19:58] Opportunities and successful strategies seen in the region
  • [24:03] New manufacturing plants built by market leaders and local players
  • [28:58] Power outages, logistics, and other challenges for manufacturing in Africa


Connect with Raymond Chimhandamba via LinkedIn.

To hear more about the EMEA (Europe/Middle East/Africa) market, listen to these episodes:
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Connect with Jack Hughes on LinkedIn. You can also find us at Disposable Hygiene Adhesives on LinkedIn or by visiting the Attached to Hygiene Podcast on our official website.

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You can find Attached to Hygiene wherever you get your podcast
Host: Jack Hughes

Music by Jonathan Boyle

Produced and edited by: Jack Hughes with help from Paul Andrews, Michele Tonkovitz, Emory Churness, Nikki Ackerman, and Green Onion Creative.

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