There is no day in Nigeria that babies are not born. It is always a reason to celebrate with family, friends and loved ones and it brings joy to everyone’s face and a smile to all involved. But beyond the joy and felicitation, it takes a lot of hard work to keep the baby itself fine, healthy and all smiling. Poops can be frustrating for a nursing mother and babies obviously cannot hold their poops and wee. So it takes durable diapers to take care of that before the mother finally comes to clean the little angel up. Another important thing to note about babies is that they always respond to discomforts with crying because that is the only way they communicate to their mother and every other person taking care of them. One way to make a baby comfortable today is to always check their diapers to be sure that it is dry and comfortable for them. Meanwhile, it is one thing to get diapers for your newborn, it is another thing to get a diaper that suits your baby and gives it comfort. City People’s Brands & Products in this edition takes a deep look into the diapers market and brings you well-researched information for the use of all nursing mothers and prospective diapers consumers.
DIAPERS MARKET IN NIGERIA
Like every other market, the market for diaper is large in Nigeria giving rise to various brands in production. A few popular ones are; Huggies, Pampers, Dr. Brown, Nice baby, Little Angel, Molfix, Dry Love and some other brands that aren’t as popular. Mothers base their choice of pampers on not just the quality of the diapers but also the affordability.
Before the year 2000, only the upper class had access to imported diapers. Nursing mothers basically made use of napkins and clothes for babies which most times often leads to several skin diseases like rashes, etc. But in the year 2000, pampers entered into the market and the rest they say is history.
Today there are three major diapers brands that are slugging it out for a slice of the market share. They are Pampers, Molfix and Huggies and Brands & Products is looking at the similarities and differences between all three brands, their unique selling propositions and why consumers prefer one brand above the others.
Pampers produced by Procter and Gamble is the first diaper ever produced and marketed in Nigeria. The product entered the Nigerian market in 2000. Over the years, the brand has gone through various transformations and brand extensions, but its unique characteristics and market dominance remained the same if not stronger competitively. One Unique thing about pampers was the way it swept the market when it gained entrance. Twenty years after its first entry into the Nigerian market, many consumers still call other brands of diapers pampers. That’s to show you its effect on the populace.
Molfix diapers is made by Hayat Kimya, which is a leading manufacturer of hygiene products and the fifth largest diaper producer in the world. It came into Nigeria five years ago, precisely in 2015 when the foreign exchange crisis triggered a price increase for other competing brands. Molfix was able to achieve consumer loyalty through its product segmentation strategy. This increase gave Molfix the needed opportunity to present itself as the much-needed substitute through product segmentation. It though relatively new is not struggling for recognition and market share, because it infused some features that gave it a competitive advantage.
Huggies, produced by Huggies Nigeria on its part entered the Nigerian diaper market in 2015 with much razzmatazz and rattled the leadership of the Pampers brand.
To find out which brand of diaper is preferred by consumers, Brands & Products conducted findings in the diaper market, comparing the strength of Pampers, Molfix and Huggies due to their similarities. This is based on the striking resemblance between the three brands. This resemblance is noticeable in the packaging and production materials. Since the diaper brands are in different sizes and colours, they use the same picture illustration of a baby or baby and mother. The text fonts and the strategic location of the brand name on the package are similar.
The competition has been tight with every brand trying to break ground and stand out. Over the years, Pampers had been increasingly topping the charts leaving no room for competition. They offer great comfort and are quite affordable. They remained at the top few years ago. Topping the charts today in diaper brands is Hayat Kimya’s premium diaper brand, Molfix.
According to the market report of AC Nielsen, Molfix has taken over 44% diaper market share totally eclipsing Pampers. Over the five years since its introduction into the Nigerian market, Molfix consistently challenged Pampers’ hold on the title of ‘market-leader’. Pampers fell far behind, holding on to only 37.3% market shares. The other brands were however relegated to a little corner in the market where they now share 18.4% market share with Huggies occupying the 3rd position.
WHAT CONSUMERS ARE SAYING
Brands & Products didn’t leave the market survey to the bookmakers and analysts alone. It further went into the streets of Lagos, the economic capital City of Nigeria to speak with consumers and here are a few of their responses. Starting with an expectant mother, Aina Aderoju who happens to be a user of the brand said; “I was hesitant to use Molfix for my first daughter when my customer introduced me to the product. Honestly, I have never regretted my decision till date. I love their product especially the size 1 which is the newborn pack. On top of being a 2 in 1 pack, it contains at least 52 diaper pieces in each pack and it’s very cheap at N2000 for the twin pack. What I love most is that it has leak-proof barriers so even when your baby has used it nothing drops from the side”.
According to Mr Andy Chukwuemeka a wholesaler who operates a provision store at Oshodi, Lagos, some consumers often get deceived by the similarity in the packaging of the diapers and so buy Molfix or Huggies thinking they have bought Pampers. An attendant at GB (a supermarket at NNPC Ejigbo) said, “Pampers still makes an impact in the market, though still preferred by some set of consumers when judging from the volume of sales recorded. “We sell different brands of diapers. In all sincerity, I can tell you that Molfix is the market leader,” said the attendant. Alhaja Saidat Ogundimu, a unit store owner at Ogba in Lagos said: “Almost all the customers that come here to buy diapers tell me they want to buy Pampers. To them, they are all pampers and so when you give them any brand of diaper, they really do not care; only a few customers actually specify which one they want.”
Distributor’s response Adebukola Olawoyin of Great Grace Enterprises, Trade fair complex, Ojo, Lagos, said: “The diaper market is saturated but the known names are still holding to their share of the market if not for the leadership table that has been upturned by Molfix, and Huggies when it newly entered the market. He noted that Pampers cannot be ignored as its name stands as a colossus in the market for more years to come.” However, efforts made to speak with the manufacturers of the brands failed as they were not willing to talk.
WHY SOME CONSUMERS DUMP HUGGIES
Brands & Products also found out that many consumers who used to patronize Huggies have switched allegiance to Molfix and Pampers because they alleged that there are too many fake Huggies products in the market and the original is not easy to come by. Mrs Christiana Olaiya, one of those who expressed their disappointment at the rate at which the product had been abused by those manufacturing fake told Brands &Products “it is so sad that you take your money to the market only to get a fake product. I have been a victim of that so many times before I decided to switch my allegiance from Huggies to Molfix. I’m still very angry at the fact that nobody is monitoring the market. I don’t know if Huggies are aware but they should do something about it. The last Huggies I bought embarrassed my baby and I at a pity and it was obvious I bought the fake because it refused to absorb my baby’s urine and I vowed not to buy their product again.
Although Molfix appeared to be on the lips of many consumers, many others are still loyal to the Pampers brand, and some others prefer Huggies and would not hesitate to switch allegiance if they get exactly what they want from their preferred brand.