Underarm Technical Review 2003: Consumer Drivers

Underarm products. What drives this category’s growth? Already there is high per capita use of antiperspirants in the industrialized world. Therefore, global category growth will come from population growth and from steady growth in per capita income in emerging markets that had been primarily deodorant-only markets.

Most changes that have occurred over the past 30 years have been through external forces. The biggest change was the ban on ozone-depleting fluorocarbons in aerosols, leading to overriding growth of the solid stick market. For change to occur, either a new breakthrough technology needs to be developed, or some external force will dictate change. Will the publication of the OTC Final Monograph on Antiperspirant Products1 – almost 30 years in the making – be a catalyst for change? Are regulations in other countries not far behind?

The Final Antiperspirant Monograph details the rules and requirements to market and sell an antiperspirant product in the United States and standardizes what can be said and how it has to look to the consumer. Will an established and rigid monograph solidify the primary brands with good consumer awareness? Will this make it harder to differentiate brands, forcing more aggressive positioning in the marketplace with multiple benefits in addition to wetness and odor control?

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