Brands and countries

Absorbent hygiene market trends are driven by five basic consumer needs: comfort, convenience, confidence, consistency, and cost. Recognizing and enhancing these qualities in your absorbent hygiene products can help you grow loyalty and market share.

In absorbent hygiene, five basic consumer needs drive market trends. Although their details are shaped by their particular culture, shoppers tend to look for products that offer them:

  • Confidence
  • Comfort
  • Convenience
  • Consistency

…and all at a reasonable Cost.


We call these needs the “five Cs,” and it’s easy to see the role they play in the absorbent hygiene industry’s innovations and trends.

Empowering Consumer Confidence in Performance and Purchasing

Putting Their Minds at Ease

Shoppers look for diapers and pads that help them feel confident. They seek articles that meet their expectations and support them in managing the needs of their bodies, and those of their loved ones.

Absorption is key here. But so is discretion—especially for period care and incontinence product users. Designs that minimize bulk, odor, noise, or unsightly lines can give consumers a greater sense of privacy, and confidence as they go about their days.

Related content:

Episode 4: Confidence with Christophe Morel


The Impact of Reviews, Recommendations, and Labels

Beyond the product itself, consumers regularly consult recommendations and reviews to give them greater confidence in their purchasing decisions. This is one reason that seals of approvals from companies like Parent Tested Parent Approved and other consumer testing agencies bring value for manufacturers and consumers alike.

Shoppers may also look for specific labels on packaging from governmental or third-party agencies that demonstrate certain guidelines have been met. Environmental impact. Responsible product sourcing. Testing methods. These labels (including eco-labels) simplify the task of shopping for consumers who have busy lives and prefer knowing that others have already done the research for them.

Related Content:

Episode 48: Evaluating Baby Products to Earn Parents’ Trust Part 1 with Sharon Vinderine

Providing Comfort Through Absorption and Fit

The Need for Softer, Dryer, More Gentle Options

Another thing that consumers tend to appreciate is comfortable products. This includes articles that offer softness and the feeling of being dry, while still providing users with freedom from leaks. The market continues to offer softer topsheets and thinner yet more absorbent cores.

A snug yet gentle fit is another key ingredient in providing comfort. Some products offer adjustable designs. Others increase the use of elastics or switch to more reliable attachment adhesives. In some regions, lotions are a popular feature. In others, we commonly see additives that help keep the body cooler.

Related Content:

Episode 3: Comfort with Christophe Morel

Respecting the Consumer’s Time: Enhancing Convenience

In Both Home and Institutional Settings

Consumers tend to look for things that make their lives a little bit easier or offer a more efficient use of their time. In fact, that’s one of the main attractions of single-use products. Just put them on, then discard them when they’ve done their job.

Specific features also enhance this simplicity of use. An excellent example is the wetness indicator, which clearly identifies when a diaper needs to be changed. Since their first appearance, parental preference has made them a common diaper feature.

The same is true in caregiver settings, where wetness indicators offer efficiencies that can help save time and money. They even help promote skin health, especially for those unable to change articles themselves.

Pant style diapers are another example of convenience: they are easy to pull on. Some even include tear-away features to make removing the soiled diaper both quicker and more sanitary.

And the quest for convenience doesn’t stop with the product itself. Online shopping and subscription services for diapers and other products both simplify purchasing. They are popular because they save time and energy for those with busy lives.

Related content:

Episode 6: Convenience with Tina Li

Ensuring Consistent, Worry-Free Control Every Day

Consumers Prefer Knowing What to Expect

Variety may be the spice of life, but not so when it comes to the products shoppers rely on every day. Consumers consider the needs of their day and, based on past experience, choose certain brands and styles with the expectation that those needs will be met. They rely on your products’ consistency for security and peace of mind. Your ability to deliver can lead to ongoing satisfaction with your products and repeat business.

There are multiple aspects to providing a reliable consumer experience. Standardized manufacturing practices and product audits help you ensure each article you produce meets expected standards. Another component is choosing suppliers who will provide materials of consistent quality with each shipment, and to each manufacturing plant you operate.

Together, these support predictable leak protection, dependable pad positioning, and standardized fit and sizing—all traits consumers expect every time they open one of your products.

Related content:

Episode 5: Consistency with Diane Toonen


Offering Enhanced Value on a Budget: Optimizing Cost

Supporting Your Efficient Operations

For consumers, a product’s cost is the price they pay coupled with how often they have to purchase it. Each time they buy, they are making a decision about its value to them. As a manufacturer, that’s why you look to ensure your product’s price is aligned with the benefits it offers.

One way you can do this is by controlling your own costs (think operating expenses and the materials you choose). You can optimize expenditures through:

  1. Process optimization
  2. Thinner substrates and reduced material costs
  3. Lower adhesive add-on
  4. Waste reduction

Another option is offering additional value. Design decisions that increase absorbency or enable longer use are two examples. Another is delivering enhanced comfort, convenience, or confidence.

Your adhesive decisions can impact all of these options by enabling design and substrate changes. The right adhesives can also offer more efficient operations and greater overall profitability. And do not forget the value of a supplier who can provide global perspectives, resources, and support. And, when that supplier can serve both product and packaging needs, additional savings and value can result.

Related content:

Episode 7: Cost with Mike Schumacher


Adhesives Help Enable Today’s Leading Product Features

Ask the Absorbent Hygiene Experts

Considering new ways to meet the evolving needs of your consumers or to enhance your products’ ability to offer comfort, confidence, convenience, consistency, or cost? Talk to Bostik. Our absorbent hygiene experts stay up to date on consumer preferences around the world. That’s why we continually ask ourselves:

  • How will today’s trends affect our customers who produce absorbent hygiene articles
  • What advantages can our adhesives offer you in meeting consumer expectation
  • Which trends are relatively local, and which are more global
  • Which are likely to spread into other absorbent hygiene categories

As you decide how to best meet these global consumer trends, we’re here to help you explore all that Bostik—and our absorbent hygiene adhesives—can do for you. Contact a Bostik expert today.


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All information contained herein is believed to be accurate as of the date of publication, is provided “as-is” and is subject to change without notice. To review our full U.S. Legal Disclaimer, visit:

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