Pampers marketing disposables to India

Want another reason to dislike Pampers? Proctor and Gamble, the makers of Pampers disposable diapers, is targeting India in a new effort to raise profits, according to the Business Courier of Cincinnati.  Among other brands they will be introducing to the Indian market, they will be pushing an inexpensive disposable diaper.  If successful these new efforts will result in 40 billion dollars in added profit.

Even more disturbing, a powerpoint on various technologies had a slide specifically on the development of this new diaper.

Picture 9

  • CEO challenged innovation team to create a disposable diaper that costs no more than an egg
  • Technological innovation drove access to a game-changing price point
  • Pampers Magic Knickers making inroads to 130 million cloth-diapered children

Pampers Magic Knickers, costing 12 cents a diaper, is going to make its way to India soon.  While this doesn’t seem like big news, you have to consider that most Indian consumers use cloth diapers.

If you read between the line, Proctor and Gamble is actively seeking to market to traditional cloth diaper users, offering them a “cheap and easy” alternative.

Do you know what I think?  P&G is seeing how the modern cloth diaper is gaining popularity in the US and other countries with convenient laundry access.  Now, they are targeting India with their most inexpensive diaper.  Indian consumers may not be able to afford an 18.00 cloth diaper, but if it came to a choice between traditional cloth diapering and home laundering and a .12 disposable, they may choose the disposable.

If all 130 million cloth diapered babies in India switched to disposables this would equal 780 billion disposable diapers used.*

I came across a blog with an entry titled “The Nappy Confusion” that had the breakdown of cloth diapers versus disposables in India.  (I highly suggest reading the entire post for perspective, as well as the comments) Disposables at the time of the post (2007) cost 1,500 Rs per month.  In US dollars that is 33.50.  I don’t know about you but 33 dollars a month isn’t too far off what Americans spend, yet the cost of living is vastly different in the India.  I imagine for many Indians 33.00 a month is far too much, which is why cloth diapers are the norm.  Many Indians use old clothing or cotton and make their own diapers, which means the diapers are virtually free.

I do not profess to be an expert on diapering needs in India, but I do see the underhanded motives of P&G and the effect that disposable diapers  could potentially have on the health and environment of a country.  I only hope that tradition and frugality will win over “convenience”

*numbers based on Real Diaper Association’s estimate that the average baby will use 6,000 diapers over the course of 2 years.
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