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Essentials in a feminine hygiene product of tomorrow

Modern consumers are a demanding bunch. They will not settle for “almost a suitable product” but they seek out the best product available, not just in the nearest store but also online, if necessary. There was a time when this applied only to expensive products, such as consumer electronics, but, today, it applies also to everyday consumer products, for example, feminine hygiene products.

What are the essential features that consumers look for in, e.g., sanitary napkins and pantyliners? What makes them disregard some feminine hygiene products and pay a premium price for something else? Of course, there are many different reasons but, based on our market knowledge, we argue that these two are among the biggest right now and even bigger in the future.

1. Life-enabling features

Periods are not allowed to cripple a normal, active lifestyle. Women want to live their lives to the fullest, and they will not and should not stop doing what they love because they are menstruating. This challenges the manufacturers of feminine hygiene products since conventional product are having a hard time keeping up with consumers’ requirements. The bulkier the worse.

With reusable, underwear-like feminine hygiene products already entering the market, the established manufacturers must be prepared to pick up the challenge. Whether talking about body fit, comfortability or aesthetics, anything short of exceptional will not do in the long run.

”Women are looking to replace conventional sanitary pads and other menstrual hygiene products with something more convenient and unnoticeable. In practice, they want thinner, softer and better fitting products,” Marjo Kuisma, Product Manager, Suominen, says.

“We as a nonwovens producer see this issue as a matter of offering acquisition and distribution layers (ADL) and topsheets that are specifically designed thin and conformable, yet highly functional. This is where spunlace nonwovens excel over some materials that are traditionally used in hygiene products.”

2. Safe for her, safe for the environment

There are two different sides of this issue. First, consumers are worried about the amount of landfill waste and how their use of hygiene products contributes to it. That is a legitimate concern, since, after all, we are talking about disposable products that are at least partially made of non-renewable materials. Second, women are concerned about product safety, that is, how feminine hygiene products are impacting their health. Just google “toxic shock syndrome” and you will get the idea.

Those two concerns have added words “eco-friendly” and “organic” to hygiene product manufacturers’ vocabulary and the buzz around those concepts is only increasing. When it comes to the disposability issue, the manufacturers are facing a new kind of competition from the above-mentioned companies that offer reusable period underwear. Reusable products are not necessarily any eco-friendlier than disposable ones but, still, hygiene product industry is challenged to utilize renewable materials to sustain their business in the long-term.

“There are a lot of opportunities for established hygiene product manufacturers here,” Marjo Kuisma says. “Suominen wants to be part of tapping those opportunities. We are able to deliver, for example, ADL made of 100% natural fibers and we are currently developing new kind of nonwovens from renewable raw materials, specifically for the needs of the hygiene product industry.”

Suominen at Hygienix 2016

Suominen will showcase its latest product innovations at Hygienix 2016, an absorbent hygiene and personal care markets event, in Orlando, FL, USA on 24–27 October 2016.

We welcome you to explore Suominen’s unique spunlace offering for absorbent hygiene products, which includes:

Please stop by Suominen’s tabletop display to learn more about our products and how Suominen’s R&D and production capabilities in the Americas and Europe can accelerate your business. If you prefer, please contact us in advance to arrange a meeting.