American’s are getting old! The Census Bureau says the centenarian population has grown more than 65% nationwide over the past 3 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.
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 world-wide one would think there is a baby boom. However, a huge product line is for Depends. While a large portion of sales is for older Americans, the newest market for the product is even younger as some people deal with bladder leakage, for example.
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 sales of diapers 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.
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 includes 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 extended care and other health services. Nursing Homes, Assisted Living, Memory Care, Adult Day Care, Home Health Agencies, and health supplies which provides products to support those services are all on a growth track.
The White House Conference of Aging recently said Americans who reach the age of 65 will have a nearly 70% chance of needing some type of Long Term Health Care service before they die. This places a risk on retirement savings as well as provides opportunities of investors who service these aging Americans.
While this will place financial burdens for many, products like Long Term Care Insurance will provides benefits to pay for these costs. Many Americans are also investing in companies which provide products and services in this sector.