Good on Paper: Sanitary Paper Product Manufacturing in the US Industry Market Research Report Now Available from IBISWorld

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Sanitary paper products rode out the recession better than most industries in the manufacturing sector. Their status as everyday necessities kept the industry afloat even while profit was pinched as consumers bought lower-priced goods. As the economy recovers, consumers will be able to afford higher-quality and more expensive industry products, boosting revenue. Changing demographics - fewer babies, aging baby boomers - have made for a shift in product ratios, with fewer diapers required and more incontinence products needed. Industry operators will contend with growing import penetration, which will force many to slash prices and operating costs. For these reasons, industry research firm IBISWorld has added a report on the Sanitary Paper Product Manufacturing industry to its growing industry report collection.

IBISWorld Market Research

IBISWorld Market Research

As disposable income recovers, consumers will buy higher-quality, pricier paper products

Demand for products in the Sanitary Paper Product Manufacturing industry – which include staples such as toilet paper, paper towels, facial tissues, diapers, menstrual pads and tampons - typically remains stable in the face of cyclical change such as the recent recession. However, IBISWorld industry analyst Caitlyn Moldvay says the industry experienced a moderate revenue reduction as consumers purchased inexpensive paper products, reducing the value of sales. Since 2010, however, revenue has increased strongly, easily recovering from its recessionary losses. From 2007 to 2012, industry revenue is expected to increase at an average annual rate of 1.6% to $12.3 billion, having weathered the recession with minimal damage. In 2012 alone, industry revenue is expected to increase 3.1%, boosted by an improvement in domestic demand as well as increased demand in emerging overseas markets from a growing number of middle-class consumers in other countries. Domestic demands are changing with US demographics. A low birthrate during the recession and the aging baby boomer generation makes for a slight shift in the product mix, with consumers demanding fewer diapers and more incontinence products. Over the next five years, industry revenue is projected to rise, as the national unemployment rate falls and household income improves.

While industry exports are poised to grow in the coming five years, the United States is forecast to remain a net-importer of sanitary paper products. Domestic import penetration increased slightly over the past five years, despite depreciation of the US dollar in that period. From 2012 to 2017, this figure is expected to continue its rise. In particular, China and Mexico are expected to contribute to growth in the value of imports in industry products. Increased competition from imports will continue to hurt profitability in the Sanitary Paper Product Manufacturing industry. As a result, this already highly concentrated industry is expected to stay that way, with the three largest firms dominating it, Moldvay says. A relatively high degree of brand loyalty in this industry limits the potential success of new entrants, and thus limits the number of firms participating in the industry. While marketing and advertising are used aggressively to sway the customer base, these measures are often too costly for smaller producers.

The level of concentration differs among various product groups: within any given product segment, market concentration may be significantly higher than the industry average. The disposable diapers market effectively has a duopoly, with Kimberly-Clark Corporation and The Procter & Gamble Company both holding almost half of the segment’s market share. Similarly, Georgia-Pacific Corporation is estimated to hold nearly half the market share for away-from-home tissue products. Koch Industries, Inc. For more information, visit IBISWorld’s Sanitary Paper Product Manufacturing report in the US industry page.
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IBISWorld industry Report Key Topics

Industry operators convert sanitary paper stock or wadding, as well as pulp and paper, into sanitary paper products such as facial tissues and handkerchiefs, table napkins, towels, toilet paper, disposable diapers and tampons. Some operators may manufacture their own sanitary paper while others purchase it from mills. Final industry products are sold to wholesalers for distribution, straight to retailers or directly to large customers.

Industry Performance
Executive Summary
Key External Drivers
Current Performance
Industry Outlook
Industry Life Cycle
Products & Markets
Supply Chain
Products & Services
Major Markets
Globalization & Trade
Business Locations
Competitive Landscape
Market Share Concentration
Key Success Factors
Cost Structure Benchmarks
Barriers to Entry
Major Companies
Operating Conditions
Capital Intensity
Key Statistics
Industry Data
Annual Change
Key Ratios

About IBISWorld Inc.
Recognized as the nation’s most trusted independent source of industry and market research, IBISWorld offers a comprehensive database of unique information and analysis on every US industry. With an extensive online portfolio, valued for its depth and scope, the company equips clients with the insight necessary to make better business decisions. Headquartered in Los Angeles, IBISWorld serves a range of business, professional service and government organizations through more than 10 locations worldwide. For more information, visit or call 1-800-330-3772.


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