CINCINNATI - Procter & Gamble Co. will begin shipping three new Always Discreet incontinence products to North American retailers on Monday, making good on the company’s promise to enter a new category by year end.
P&G will sell light pads and liners, moderate pads and underwear under the Always Discreet banner. P&G said the products are different than what it offered with its Attends brand in the 1990s and will be supported with “the full marketing complement” of TV, digital, print, public relations and product-trial campaigns, said Steven Bishop, group president, of P&G’s global feminine and family care units.
“The pads are 40% thinner than the leading brands today and yet they absorb two times more than a woman may need,” said Bishop. “They have unique dual leak guards that are only found on this product and very importantly they’re designed to be more feminine.”
P&G return to the adult incontinence-category was predicted by industry observers, but details on the launch strategy and the products to be offered have not been confirmed by P&G until now.
Monday’s launch sets up a battle royale between P&G and Kimberly-Clark, whose Depends and Poise brands are the U.S. market leaders. The two companies are long-time combatants in what some have called the diaper wars and a former Kimberly-Clark executive predicts the incontinence category will be hotly contested as well.
“They’re going to defend it to the hilt,” said Tom Wilson, who blogs about the industry and sells incontinence products through his Wisconsin –based company, The Caregiver Partnership. “Kimberly-Clark is in a super-strong position. They have a good product lineup. Their marketing is cutting edge. It’s building their business.”