There was a time when adult diapers were marketed solely to senior citizens. The idea that younger adults might need them wasn’t something people acknowledged.
Those days seem to be over. Within the next 10 years, sales of adult diapers could rival or even surpass sales of diapers for babies at companies like Kimberly-Clark, which makes Huggies and Depends. Sales are projected to jump from $1.8 billion in 2015 to $2.7 billion by 2020, a 48 percent increase. Sales of diapers for babies, meanwhile, are expected to climb by just 2.6 percent.
If that sounds strange, consider these statistics regarding adults with bladder and bowel incontinence.
In a report last year about the growing diaper market, Bloomberg pointed out:
- As many as 1/3 of all adults – 80 percent of them women – have bladder issues.
- Babies will eventually stop needing diapers. Adults with incontinence won’t.
Bowel incontinence affects six percent of women under 40, and 15 percent of older women. Among men, that figure is six to 10 percent. According to the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders:
- About 30 percent of people with irritable bowel syndrome have frequent loose stools.
- Another 20 percent report bowel incontinence.
As Bloomberg put it, it’s “a market that’s recently become too big—and lucrative—to remain in the shadows. Hence the ad campaign for the Depend Silhouette line of disposable briefs featuring younger, on-the-go women.”
“We’re trying to make the product more normal, and even fun, with real people in our ads saying, ‘Hey, I have bladder leakage, and it’s no big deal,’” Jay Gottleib, head of Kimberly-Clark’s adult and feminine-care business, told Bloomberg.
That’s a long way from the days where adult diapers were typically pitched by older celebrities. And with this change comes a wider selection of sizes and protection levels. Some of the newer features include:
1. More Protection Options
The adult diaper boom brings with it a greater number of options when it comes to protection and absorbency rates. Products range from mild to heavy to total bladder/bowel incontinence.
This is great for users who value discretion, as they can wear a lighter diaper during the day and switch to something heavier at night, rather than spending the entire day in a bulky diaper.
2. No More Gender-Neutral Products
Adult diapers are no longer gender neutral. This makes sense, as men and women have dissimilar needs when it comes to protection.
You can still find gender neutral adult diapers on shelves, but you’re just as likely to find boxer short-style products for men and pads and underwear designed especially for women.
3. Easier To Use
As we noted above, some adult diapers are designed to look and wear like traditional underwear, while others come with tabs or tape to make it easier for caregivers to remove them. Others are washable, and have spots where you can keep a pad for added protection. These options are all designed with ease of use and discretion in mind.
This isn’t to say that adult diaper makers have fully conquered the stigma often associated with their products. And that stigma is there. People who suffer from ABL – accidental bowel leakage – are especially reluctant to discuss the issue, even with their doctors, according to the IFFGD.
If you suffer from digestive troubles that can lead bowel incontinence, Proper Nutrition can help. Our dietary supplements, such as Seacure and Seavive, contain protein-rich bioactive peptides proven to help ease symptoms in people with digestive illnesses.
Visit our website today to find a product that’s right for you.