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UK incontinence market to be driven by NHS cutbacks

Industry Sector

Healthcare and Medical


29 November 2012


Mike King

Type of News


Demand within the UK incontinence market has never been higher for the simple reason that people are living longer in the world's major developed markets. This is less to do with healthy lifestyles and more to do with huge advances in medicine, which, in effect, keep people alive and active for longer. Angina, for example, is an increasingly common condition, especially in men.

In the UK, angina now affects 14% of men aged 65 to 71. And globally, cases of angina are rising, concurrent with trends in obesity and diabetes. The key point is that these conditions are now much easier to treat on a user-friendly daily basis, extending life expectancy quite significantly.

In the UK incontinence care market, the main market segments include absorbent products, drainage bags, incontinence clamps, incontinence cleaners, skin protection, odour control, urinals and catheters. Absorbent products form 90 to 95% of all incontinence care products revenues.

Cutbacks at the NHS has offered a further spur to retail growth. With budget constraints reducing the availability of incontinence products on the NHS, more consumers were forced to go to the high street to make purchases, with pharmacies and supermarkets the main beneficiaries, particularly among light incontinence products, including top-up and new products.

While an aging population, an increasing awareness, and acceptance of incontinence products and innovation to personalised products to specific consumer segments will drive the UK incontinence care market, there are also some challenges to be faced, such as the threat of alternates and substitutes, the threat of low-cost manufacturers and an increasing demand from an elderly population.

SCA Hygiene Products continued to dominate sales with a 74% value share. The leader embarked on a major upgrade of its incontinence product line, spearheaded by the launch of Lights by Tena. The new range of liner products is geared towards the younger female audience in the 35-plus age range.

Tena recognises this age range as a growing market and sought to banish consumers' perception that incontinence products are only for old ladies. Tena Lights are a smaller and more discreet, absorbent product, which are designed to appeal to younger women by being more compact and are designed to not get in the way of clothing.UK Incontinence

Competition is set to intensify as private label expands its product offering and makes greater strides in quality and performance. Sanitary protection brands such as Always Envive could continue to cross-over into the incontinence market and grab market share from existing players.

For more information on the UK incontinence market, see the latest research: UK Incontinence Market

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