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Wipes: Cleaning Up

SpecialChem / Melanie Henson – May 3, 2006

Once upon a time, a multinational company got the bright idea to reduce mothers' workloads with a disposable wipe for babies, practically eliminating wash cloths from the daily washload. We've come a long way, baby! Today, baby care, though still a big chunk of the personal care nonwovens market, is no longer the whole pie. According to market tracker Euromonitor, the global market for disposable consumer-oriented wipes reached $4.5 billion, with double-digit growth every year since 1997. Of that amount, baby care is a solid $882 million, but household applications and personal care-at $715 million and $554 million-aren't far behind, according to Euromonitor. "The wipes category has grown tremendously in recent years," said Susan Stansbury, a Green Bay, WI-based consultant formerly with Arketype, Inc. "Not only has there been general growth of traditional wipes like baby wipes, but there is an explosion in both skin cleansing and household cleaning wipes." Convenience is key to this phenomenon, according to Ms. Stansbury.

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