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Money To Be Made In Dirty Diapers

Aug. 17, 2015 3:17 PM ETPG, KMB, BMXC5 Comments
Tedra DeSue profile picture
Tedra DeSue


  • Emerging growth markets offer positive opportunity for disposable diaper manufacturers.
  • Cultural differences around importance of disposable diapers key to marketing strategies.
  • Small and large companies all striving to reach China, South African markets.

For most investors, the logic behind their trading and investment strategies is that there is always something that can be bought, sold and traded. There is always a need for some item, even if that item's purpose seems to be a foregone conclusion. This brings me to a market that some couldn't dare to live without, making it a solid choice when it comes to investing.

That market consists of disposable baby diapers. Yes diapers. For parents and childcare givers, this invention after World War II is a blessing. While the attractiveness of disposable diapers has existed for decades in the U.S., that has not been the case in most non-Western countries. The opportunity to tap those markets has led several publicly traded companies to develop products and market them to unpenetrated markets around the world. As an investor or trader, this may present an opportunity to make some money on an early-stage opportunity.

In this piece, I'll delve into some of the background on disposable baby diapers by providing some details about the market's size. I'll also give you some examples of the companies in the industry and the strategies that worked and didn't work in penetrating untapped markets.

The market

In the U.S., it is estimated that almost 470 diapers are used every second. That results in a market penetration of about 95.6%, according to the site Disposablediaper.net. The site notes that only 4.4% of U.S. babies are draped with cloth diapers.

While most U.S. babies will never wear a cloth diaper, that's not the case when it comes to babies around the world. Disposablediaper.net estimates that world consumption of disposable diapers is less than one quarter of the total number of diapers used. This is due to so many people living in other countries who also live in poverty and can't

This article was written by

Tedra DeSue profile picture
For more than 25 years, I've written and edited investment articles. My beats include technology, pharmaceuticals, and banking. I've also written extensively about cryptocurrencies. I began my finance career as a reporter for The Bond Buyer Newspaper where I headed the coverage of the Southeast municipal bond market. There I wrote several pieces on swaps and derivatives, which led to the 2008 financial collapse. I moved on to cover the equity market and produced a host of analytical stock market pieces for The Motley Fool, The Street, Yahoo Finance, and Cryptoslate.

Analyst’s Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Seeking Alpha's Disclosure: Past performance is no guarantee of future results. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. Any views or opinions expressed above may not reflect those of Seeking Alpha as a whole. Seeking Alpha is not a licensed securities dealer, broker or US investment adviser or investment bank. Our analysts are third party authors that include both professional investors and individual investors who may not be licensed or certified by any institute or regulatory body.

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Comments (5)

Diapers are not a sexy subject and it is possible that many of the male readers have never thought much about diapers. For people who take care of babies and infants, disposable diapers are a godsend.
Tedra DeSue profile picture
Points well taken MSCEDAR and StockBot.
Happy you enjoyed reading the article!
I raised kids in the 1970's and couldn't imagine having to use regular diapers.
A suggestion about the titles of articles you write. It seems that sensational titles will get you more clicks on Seeking Alpha. Such as "CVX and Exon are circling the drain".
A good title would have been
"There's green in those diapers"
BTW I am long PG and enjoyed reading your article.
StockBot profile picture
Thumbs up for the title suggestion..... wish I'd seen it before I submitted my piece. Also the article was a great read.

Focus on emerging markets is the way forward in the disposable diaper industry. The western market is saturated but more growth potentials in the emerging market where disposable income is rising.
Disagree with this article? Submit your own. To report a factual error in this article, . Your feedback matters to us!

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