Globespotting - Matters of Choice in Diapers

Posted: April 17, 2014 by
Lynn Dornblaser

Green-minded parents struggle with a difficult dilemma when it comes to diapers, because most disposables—though uber-convenient—are not degradable. This new disposable diaper aims to fix that, with an alternative eco-friendly product in a convenience-friendly package.

The Product
Attitude Biodegradable Diapers

The Perspective
Attitude disposable diapers from Bio-Spectra, sold in the U.K., Canada, and U.S. markets, are completely biodegradable, due to the PLA (corn-based “plastic”) used in the back and top sheets. The packaging offers convenience in both use and disposal, which is a huge issue for busy, frazzled parents.

The Opportunities
Mintel’s U.S. consumer research data indicates that two out of three moms are concerned about the environmental impact of disposable diapers—but not worried enough to forego the convenience the diapers bring. Clearly, there’s a place on the market for Attitude, whose brand promise is clearly stated on the package: “Driven by an ideal: to live and consume responsibly. Our future depends on the choices we make today.”

Future Prospects
Environmentally responsible products that appear to succeed in the marketplace are those that offer a seamless conversion for consumers. If these diapers and this packaging format do their intended job as well as non-eco competition, that success could spur other categories, such as paper-based products, to follow their example—or even improve on it. The last major hurdle to clear: Bringing prices down, too.

Why We Love It
The outer package communicates all the product attributes and brand promises with cues that are both eco-friendly and baby-friendly. A flexible handle adds yet another level of convenience. Anything that makes it easier for moms is a good idea. And although these come at a premium price, the benefits can be immense, both for moms’ peace of mind and the environment.

The Innovations
As far as Mintel’s data can uncover, this completely biodegradable diaper is the first of its kind, and they’re hypoallergenic and CO2 neutral to boot. The packaging—initially also biodegradable—promotes a list of benefits, reinforced through repetition:
• 100% biodegradable & compostable PLA in back sheet and top sheet
• 100% committed to fighting global warming
• 100% FSC-certified wood pulp in fluff
• 100% biodegradable packaging
• 100% chlorine free/hypoallergenic
Though the initial launch of the package was in 100% oxo-biodegradable packaging, the realities of retail and shipping environments have compelled the company to change the flexible packaging to easily recyclable LDPE (#4) plastic. This change also came with a change from a vertical format to a horizontal format.

Contents – 44 diapers (Size 3)
Goals – Convenience and eco-friendliness
Target – Enviro-parents
Material – PLA top and back sheet
Package Material – Flexible PLA
Decorative Process – Flexo
Environmental – Biodegradable

Lynn Dornblaser (lynnd@mintel.com) is the director of the Custom Solutions Group at Mintel International.