More adult diapers than baby ones to be sold in Japan

8 years ago by in Business

Japan’s fast aging population is leading to the development of a new local business opportunity – adult diapers market.

Two Japanese paper companies – Daio and Nippon Paper–are expanding their manufacturing facilities for what are politely called “incontinence products” due to an increase in demand, the local press reports.

The adult diapers market is expected to surpass the baby diapers one by 2020, experts say. The adult diaper market is growing at 6-10 percent every year, and already pulls in Y140 billion ($1.4 billion) by catering to Japan’s elderly population-  it has the highest percentage of over-65s in the world, making up more than 20 percent of the population, according to the international press.

Adult diapers in Japan sell 2.5 times more the baby diapers, resulting in higher profit margins that create an attractive business. Adult diapers are also bought by hospitals and nursing homes.

Sweden’s SCA, the world’s biggest hygiene product maker, recently sent a sample of its adult diapers to every Swedish man aged over 55. The initiative was followed by angry phone calls from men who were perhaps not quite reconciled to needing the company’s products someday.