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The UK hygiene market posted moderate growth in 2011, predominantly driven by inflation and rising costs, such as energy and pulp. Innovation was also a key sales driver, bringing a new dynamism to quite mature categories, such as toilet paper.
In 2011, Kimberly-Clark, Procter & Gamble and SCA Hygiene remained the leading players in the UK hygiene market. Nevertheless, these players experienced an increasingly competitive market place as private label became savvier.
The uncertain economic conditions and higher inflation levels over the past six years have encouraged a shift to private label products as many consumers tried to cut back on their spending and sought products which can offer the best value for money. However, strong marketing budgets and plenty of innovation resulted in brand loyalty for many consumers.
Supermarkets remained the main distribution channel hygiene in 2011. These retailers benefit from frequent promotions as well as from a wide range of products and brands, which include both premium and private label products.
In addition, uncertain economic conditions since 2006 have encouraged purchases of tissue and hygiene products from supermarkets due to price promotions and the presence of private label in these retailers. Nevertheless, in many categories, internet sales are posting good growth, albeit from a low base.
In the future, the growing trend towards greater convenience and comfort will support growth within the UK hygiene market. However, declines are expected in categories such as cotton wool/buds/pads, which have failed to successfully attract consumers with increased value options.
For more information on the UK hygiene market, see the latest research: UK Hygiene Market
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