Making the rounds on cloth diaper sites is an article written by Hannah Karp for the Wall Street Journal titled How Tough are Times? Parents Cut Back Diapers.
Hannah presents expert suggestions as to why sales for disposable diapers are down. The two reasons being low birth rates and economic problems.
But, there are other factors I believe are contributing to the decrease in disposable diaper sales.
- Parents are smarter. They care what goes in and on their babies’ body. According to the Organic Trade Association (OTA) sales for organic baby food increased 10% in the last year.
The Organic Trade Association, or OTA, seems especially optimistic. Their latest survey says that growth in the organic sector has dramatically outpaced growth in the “regular” food market. The organic market grew 8% in 2010 while the rest of the food industry grew only 1%. The OTA also estimates that 75% of organic farms will maintain or increase their current levels of production in the next 5 years and 96% of those farms say they’ll hire more workers in 2011, too.
- Elimination Communication isn’t a foreign word anymore. Parents have actually heard of the concept of listening to your baby’s cues and catching their pee and poop. TodayMoms blogger Mayim Bialik explained her story in No diapers, no potty training, no kidding: the practice of ‘elimination communication’
- Green trends continue to rise. Businesses are hopping on the green bandwagon in droves. Why? Because consumers demand it and it saves them money internally. Overall there is a movement towards the more natural way. We can get an idea at the increase in green businesses by observing the participants in events like the 2011 Green Business Challenge.
- Speaking of a more natural way, Americans are choosing alternative medicine over conventional medicine more and more every year. Studies done in 2002 and 2007 show an 18% increase in use by whites (17% by Asians). With all the Obamacare junk (eta: there is no political slant to this term, both major parties argued fiercly over aspects of the plan which equates to “junk” in a non political blog ;) And medical share programs have seen a sharp increase in memberships since the passing of Obamacare.) floating around that number has undoubtedly skyrocketed.
All of these things contributed to the decrease in disposable diaper sales. I also think that it is the disposable diaper companies own fault for their cut in profit. Their attempt to make a more absorbent (and more dangerous) diaper has led to the necessity for fewer diaper changes…they got what they wanted.
A look around at the cloth diaper industry shows overwhelmingly that sales have increased.
Cottonbabies continues to release new products to meet their ever growing massive consumer base. Cloth diaper related business are steadily increasing at major events like the ABC Kids Expo. On the local level, it’s not so uncommon to know 3 or 4 other moms that cloth diaper (this is much different than 6 years ago when I started cloth diapering).
The decline in disposable diaper sales isn’t surprising to me. It makes me smile. Not because some CEO is making less money (although I know he isn’t) but because it shows a move in the right direction.
My job is to spread cloth diaper awareness, to increase the number of families using cloth diapers and in turn decrease disposable diaper sales. I pray that I am doing my job well and I look forward to reaching thousands more new families over the coming months.