Adult Diaper Sales to Out-Pace Baby Diapers in Future

As American gets older, the need for adult diapers will increase even more with sales to outpace baby diapers. Aging and health issues will grow, placing an even bigger demand for long-term care and related services.

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Adult Diaper Sales to Out-Pace Baby Diapers in Future
3 Min Read February 11th, 2016 Updated:November 20th, 2020

American's are getting old! The Census Bureau says the centenarian population has grown more than 65% nationwide over the past three decades. The 90+ age group is the fastest-growing age demographic in the United States. As more American's age and live longer than ever expected, it presents problems and opportunities. One of those opportunities is the growth market for adult diapers.

The North American adult diaper market reached a $ 4.4 Billion value in 2019 primarily due to a growing geriatric population. Adult diapers become necessary because of aging and health conditions like mobility impairment, incontinence, or severe diarrhea.

Adult Diaper Sales Will Out-Pace Baby Diapers

Bloomberg Business reported sales of adult incontinence garments in the U.S. could equal those of baby diapers in a decade. Kimberly-Clark's Huggies diapers is a global leader in sales. With billions of dollars in annual sales worldwide, one would think there is a baby boom. However, a huge product line is for Depends. 

Some younger people require this product for various health conditions, but longevity has driven the need for adult diapers.  Bloomberg says growth in the adult-diaper market is outpacing that of every other paper-based household staple in the United States. 

Euromonitor International forecasts a 48 percent increase in sales in the category, to $2.7 billion in 2020 from $1.8 billion last year. That compares with expected growth of 2.6 percent, to $6.3 billion, during that period for baby diapers.

In the next decade, diapers' sales for adults could surpass those for babies at Kimberly-Clark and rival Procter & Gamble. As birthrates fall and life spans lengthen, there will be plenty of room for expansion because babies grow out of diapers, but incontinent adults usually don't.

With lower birth rates and longer longevity, demand for products and long-term care services will increase. With lower birth rates and longer longevity, demand for products and long-term care services will increase. There will also be fewer care providers because of demographics. This will put more pressure on both products and services that serve these older Americans. 

One in Three Adults Have Bladder Control Issues

According to the Urology Care Foundation, as many as 1 in 3 adults—more than 80 percent of them women—have bladder control issues. Mayo Clinic reports the reasons for the problem include aging, health conditions such as diabetes and obesity and issues with pregnancy and childbirth.

The market for products and services for aging Americans is growing. As we age, more people will require long-term health care. Nursing Homes, Assisted Living, Memory Care, Adult Day Care, Home Health Agencies, and health supplies that provide products to support those services are all on a growth track.

Long-Term Health Care Costs Will Increase

The White House Conference on Aging recently said more, and more Americans will need long-term care services. The growing need for long-term health care places a risk on retirement savings and provides opportunities for investors who service these aging Americans.

The cost of long-term care services will increase in the decades ahead due to the incredible increase in demand for services and family members' inability to provide the care needed for parents. The LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator shows the current and future cost of care services throughout the country.

While this will place financial burdens for many, products like Long-Term Care Insurance will provide benefits to pay for these costs. Many Americans are also investing in companies that offer products and services in this sector.

Experts suggest obtaining coverage before retirement, ideally in your 40s or 50s, since plans are medically underwritten and priced, in part, by age at application. 

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About the Author

An LTC News author focusing on long-term care and aging.

LTC News Contributor James Kelly

James Kelly

Contributor since August 21st, 2017

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The reality of life is simple. Your health, body, and mind will change in the decades ahead. Prepare your family and finances for the financial costs and burdens of aging. For many American families, the affordable solution is Long-Term Care Insurance. 

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