by Ellen Byron
A diaper war is brewing as the titans of the diaper aisle parpare to duke it out for their most prized consumers: new moms.
Under pressure to make earlier price increases stick, Kimberly-Clark's Huggies ans Procter & Gamble's Pampers, are rolling out marketing essages designed to keep reccession-stressed new mothers from reaching for cheaper options. The idea is to make them feel they are doing good deeds as they keep their babies dry.
This month, Huggies is introducing Pure & Natural, a new line of premium diapers that contain aloe, vitamin E and organic cotton. The procuct targets new moms interested in natural materials. The diapers will be sold in an outer bag mad of 20% post-consumer recycled materials.
Anticipating its archrival's product, P&G fired a pre-emptive strike last week with a star-studded party and diaper drive that featured Pampers Swaddles, its diapers for newborns.
The New York event celebrated a new motherhood book from producers fo NBC'S Today Show and collected diapers to benefit needy families in the U.S. Purchases of Pampers also help support a Unicef campaign against maternal and neonatal tetanus in developing countries.
Another significant front in the diaper battle will be fought online. Kimberly-Clark plans to ship free samples of its new diapers to about 500 "mommy bloggers," hoping to build buzz among mothers who write about child-rearing and their readers.
Likewise, P&G is hosting about a dozen mommy bloggers at its Cincinnati headquarters next week to show how Pampers diapers are developed.
Winning over new mothers is critical for the diaper makers. Attracting women when their babies are young helps build brand loyalty through children's diapers-wearing years. New mothers also are more willing to splurage on premium dispers.
"When mom starts the journey of motherhood, she's so focused on doing best by her baby," says Jeff Dawson, vice president of Huggies. "But as mom becomes more experienced and gains more confidence, she becomes more open to competitive items."
The recession has amplified the fierce competition in the diaper market. Huggies and Pampers, which account for more than 80% of disposable diaper sales, face mounting pressure from private-label brands that on average sell for about helf the price.
Sales of private-label disposable dispers were up about 1% this year to $57.8 million as of March 22, and unit sales increased 4.5% to 6.6 million, according to market-research firm Information Resources Inc. The figures don't include data from Wal-Mart or club stares, which don't privide sales data.
brewing 釀造, 計畫;醞釀
square 正方形 (square off ?)
P&G ==> Procter & Gamble
rolling out 推出
stress n.壓力, 著重 vt.強調,著重;加壓力於, 使緊張
deed n.行為, 功績, [律]契據
premium 獎金, 額外補貼, [商]優惠價
anticipate 預期, 提前支用(薪金等)
archrival ==> 勁敵
pre-emptive strike 先發制人的功擊
stud 大頭釘, studded 釘有飾物的
maternal 母親的, 母姓的
significant 有意義的, 象徵
Cincinnati 辛辛那提市 (俄亥俄州)
organic 有機的, 器官的