The global hygiene and health market is continuously evolving. As a leading global hygiene and health company, it’s important that we stay on top of trends and continue to shape innovations that define the industry in new areas. As we enter a new year, these are three trends that are high on the agenda during 2024 among customers and consumers.
Sustainable, reusable solutions
These days, sustainability isn’t just a trend – for more and more consumers, it’s becoming a way of life. Reusable/washable hygiene products offer a prime example of how today’s conscious consumers are embracing a more sustainable lifestyle. As the name suggests, these products, including women+ hygiene, adult incontinence, and baby diapers, are designed to be washed for safe reuse and are typically made of sustainable materials – making them not only more environmentally friendly but practical too. Businesses that jump on this steadily growing trend are “poised for substantial expansion” within the coming years.
The global market for reusable/washable hygiene products is expected to almost double, reaching US $29.9 billion by 2031, up from US $15.7 billion in 2021.
Some of our pioneering reusable/washable hygiene products include TENA Silhouette Washable Absorbent Underwear for menstruation and incontinence, Libero Touch Hybrid Diaper for babies with a climate-smart washable textile cover plus disposable insert, and other leakproof apparel from ModiBodi, Knix, Saba, and Bodyform.
An aging population and the care gap
Another trend gaining traction in 2024 is the increasing demand for adult incontinence products, and the widening care gap. As the global population continues to age, the likelihood of experiencing incontinence rises with it, with an estimated 300 million people worldwide, about 5% of the population, affected by incontinence today. But among nursing home residents, this number jumps to nearly 50%.
Additionally, countries are witnessing a growing “care gap” according to Essity’s Hygiene and Health Report 2023-2024, meaning there is a deficit in the number of caregivers compared to the growing number of people in need of care.
The caregiving support ratio is going to decrease from 6-to-1 in 2011. Right now we’re at 5-to-1, and by 2050 we can expect that number to be 2-to-1, and that of course puts a lot of pressure on healthcare systems across the globe when it comes to cost pressure.” said Sahil Tesfu, Chief Strategy Officer at Essity during the Innovating for Profitable and Sustainable Growth webcast in November 2023.
As a result, there is ample opportunity for hygiene and health companies to serve the needs of the elderly as their bodies and abilities evolve. Essity’s brand TENA offers valuable resources and products for women, men, caregivers, and healthcare professionals to help manage urinary incontinence and more, such as the TENA SmartCare Change Indicator™ and TENA SmartCare Identifi™.
To make caregiving more manageable and accessible, we created theCaressa appfor caregivers to collaborate and coordinate tasks, medications, and appointments in an all-in-one digital platform.
Digitalization of healthcare and products
In the year ahead, AI will continue to stamp its global mark within healthcare, but it’s not what will make it more accessible or affordable for consumers. Doug Hirsch, co-founder and Chief Mission Officer of GoodRx believes, “Collaborations and scalable technologies that reduce the cost and complexity of healthcare will have [an even greater] impact [than AI].” One way businesses could hop on board is by expanding and/or honing their e-commerce presence.
As the second fastest-growing e-commerce category this year, health and personal care sales are expected to reach $130.5 billion in 2024 and are projected to exceed $200 billion by 2026 with continued double-digit growth.
Essity’s e-commerce sales grew 20% to 23 billion SEK in 2022, corresponding approximately 15% of the company’s net sales. Additionally, we continue to digitalize our products, solutions and services, and operations to develop groundbreaking innovations like the Cutimed Wound Navigator and Tork Vision Cleaningthat not only innovate, but create value for consumers, patients, caregivers, and our customers.