The factors that influence diaper purchases are relatively straightforward—function, fit and brand are top criteria for consumers. And when it comes to learning about which are best, 44% of global respondents go direct to the people they know and trust for recommendations, which is the top source of information in every region, though it is well below average in North America (32%).
TV ads are the second most commonly cited source of information. More than one-third of respondents (35%) say they learned about diapers through a TV ad. This source is particularly important in developing markets, cited by 44% of respondents in Latin America, 39% in Asia-Pacific and 37% in Africa/Middle East. Not coincidentally, the money spent on TV as a proportion of total baby care advertising costs has increased in each of these markets over the past two years. In Europe and North America, where spending has decreased, fewer respondents say they learn about diapers through TV ads (24% and 16%, respectively).
In the diaper category, recommendations from health care experts are rated third in importance as a source for awareness, cited by 27% of respondents—nine-percentage points lower than those who use them to learn about baby food.
In-store activity is particularly important in North America. Nearly one-third of North American respondents (31%) say they learned about diapers by seeing them on store shelves, six-percentage points above the global average (25%). One-fifth say they learned about diapers through in-store displays or promotions, compared with 16% worldwide.
Only a small proportion of global respondents learn about diaper brands through online channels, but use is highest in Asia-Pacific. Nearly one-quarter of respondents in this region (24%) say they learn about diapers on parenting websites, compared with 19% globally. Asia-Pacific also exceeds the global average in use of brand/manufacturer websites and emails (20% in the region vs. 15% worldwide), baby blogs (19% vs. 17%), online ads (17% vs. 14%), social media (17% vs. 14%) and store website/app and emails (14% vs. 11%). Within the region, the use of social media is particularly high in Southeast Asia and India.
When it comes to the sources of information that are most influential for purchasing decisions, the same patterns reported for baby food emerge. Use is aligned with influence for word-of-mouth sources (recommendations from friends/family and health care experts), but for most other sources, use greatly exceeds influence.
Function first for diapers
Above all, parents are seeking options that are gentle on their baby’s skin. Forty percent of global respondents say this is most important attribute when deciding what diaper brand to purchase, seven-percentage points above the next highest attribute. This is the only attribute in the top five in all regions, although its importance is well below the global average in North America (25% say it’s important).
One-third of global respondents say good fit/comfort is important, placing it second on the list globally. This attribute is particularly important in Asia-Pacific (38% say it’s important).
Tied for third are trusted brand and leakage prevention, both attributes cited by 28% of global respondents. Brand name is less important in diaper purchases than food, 11 percentage points below the percentage who said it’s important for baby food (39%). Leakage protection is important in North America and Africa/Middle East. It tops the list of most important attributes in both regions, cited by 40% and 39% of respondents in each region, respectively.
Other findings from Nielsen’s Global Baby Care Report include:
- Almost half (49%) of baby food value sales come from Asia-Pacific, 27% from Europe and 19% from North America.
- Asia-Pacific exceeds the global average for saying they purchase baby care products online.
- Organic baby food value sales increased 26% over the past two years in 16 select markets, while non-organic products declined 6%.
- Feedback from family and friends was the most common reason cited for switching brands for baby food (40%) and diapers (35%).
For more detail and insight, download Nielsen’s Global Baby Care Report.
About the Nielsen Global Survey
The Nielsen Global Baby Care Survey was conducted Feb. 23-March 13, 2015, and polled online respondents in 60 countries who have made a baby care purchase in the past five years throughout Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and North America. The sample has quotas based on age and sex for each country based on its Internet users and is weighted to be representative of Internet consumers. It has a margin of error of ±0.6%. This Nielsen survey is based only on the behavior of respondents with online access. Internet penetration rates vary by country. Nielsen uses a minimum reporting standard of 60% Internet penetration or an online population of 10 million for survey inclusion. The Nielsen Global Survey, which includes the Global Consumer Confidence Index, was established in 2005.