Kimberly Clark pulls Huggies nappy brand

Kimberly Clark is to axe its core Huggies nappy brand in the UK and European market to focus on its strongest markets and growth opportunities elsewhere.

Huggies

Huggies nappies no longer in the UK.

Sub-brands Pull-Ups, DryNites and Little Swimmer’s brands will remain.

The company will increase its marketing support for the Pull Ups, DryNites and Little Swimmers sub-brands as well as its Kleenex and Andrex brands. It will also introduce a raft of new products.

Tristram Wilkinson, vice president/Managing Director at Kimberly Clark UK, told Marketing Week: “We will increase our strategic brand support for these brands. They are expandable categories and one of the key levers is consumer communications. We will strengthen existing marketing plans but there will also be new activity.”

Wilkinson adds that pulling out of the core nappy market will not damage its brand preference in potty training categories.

Currently £4 in every £10 spent in the baby market is spent on pant-style products and wipes with the remainder spent on traditional nappies. Kimberly Clark wants to grow this to cover half the spend in the childcare category and claims that the segment its Pull Ups, DryNites and Little Swimmers operate in is growing four times faster than the nappy market.

Similarly Kimberly Clark hopes to double the customer base of its Pull Ups brand from one in three mums to two in three.

The brand operates Huggies Club, a loyalty programme for parents in the UK, which has almost 35,000 Facebook fans. The Huggies Club website close in April 2013, when each brand will focus on its own dedicated websites.

Kimberly Clark may also exit or sell off brands in a number of markets as part of its restructure. It says that the business it divests currently make sales of around $500m but “negligible” profit.

It also plans to “streamline” its European organisation to align its structure with the move.

It is not known how this will affect the Kimberly Clark marketing team or marketing activity for the sub-brands.

Kimberly Clark recorded a 3 per cent year on year fall in revenue to $5.2bn during the quarter, but posted a rise in profit to $517m, up from $432m a year ago.

This story was updated at 4:41 to inlcude comments from Tristram Wilkinson, vice president/Managing Director at Kimberly Clark UK.

Readers' comments (20)

  • I only use huggies nappies and wipes they are the best! My son is only 1, i dont want to change brands

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  • I can only use these Nappies on my little girl as she wets her nappy heavily. These are the only nappies that keep her dry and rash free. Extremely upset!

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  • As the 'new' Pampers (for newborns and active fit range) caused rash and burns to my little girl last year I will either have to buy the 'eco' nappies or go with reusable ones if I have a new baby. Such a shame Huggies! Please reconsider and don't let down your trusted clients!

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  • I was under the impression that the main nappies competition was between Huggies and Pampers. Does this mean the price and offers competition will go and that Pampers will be able to charge whatever?

    I've never liked the Huggies wipes and, although I've not quite started potty training yet, everything I've read tells you not to use pull ups as they confuse the child! Why would they choose to concentrate on this market?!

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  • I too am absolutely gutted they have decided to stop selling their nappies. I tried Pampers, and Boots own, and found Huggies the best for guaranteeing no rash, best at liquid retention and ease of use.

    I can only hope that Amazon as a global company can still source and sell anyway.......

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  • I would also like to say that my son suffered badly from rashes by Pampers and various other own brand nappies and was only able to wear Huggies. As he is potty training this shouldn't affect him however I feel that Huggies is letting down a large portion of people who use their products.

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  • My son is going to be six month on the 10th. The only nappy I use for him is huggies. It keeps him dry n rash free. I tried pampers once or twice but he can't just sleep long with it at nite. What do they expect mother like me to do? Its a shame n am so so sad...

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  • These are the only nappies that keep my son dry and through the night so I will have to buy bulk now. Gutted 4 all parents out there in same situation. Bad move in my eyes. The wipes are awful they smell great but rip

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  • Great shame, as those nappies are miles better than the competition.

    Really strange that Kimberly Clark can not make it work as a profitable business when one reads all the positive comments of the parents on here regarding the products....

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  • My son can only use these wipes I've tried everything else and it just brings him up in a rash on his bum and face I'm extremely upset over this as I love this brand :( xx

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