Israeli Parents Ditch Huggies and Pampers, Opting for Cheaper Diapers Instead

Israeli consumers are buying fewer brand-name nappies, which often cost nearly twice as much as budget brands like Babysitter and Titulim.

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Israelis are opting for the cheaper diaper brands Babysitter and Titulim and forgoing more expensive name brands such as Pampers and Huggies, challenging the conventional wisdom that parents will fork out large sums for internationally renowned nappies.

Last year, according to figures compiled by StoreNext, a leading provider of market information to Israel’s grocery suppliers, consumers snapped up more budget brands for their babies' bottoms, and bought fewer brand-name diapers originally manufactured in the United States.

In December 2012, the Israeli brand Titulim, part of the Hogla-Kimberly brand, held a market share of 35.9%, compared to 26.5% in December 2011. The Babysitter brand, part of the DPL company, increased its market slice from 1.6% to 6.68% in the same period. This changing trend has mainly affected the premium brand Pampers, belonging to Procter & Gamble, which slipped to 12% of market share in December 2012, compared to 25.6% in the same month in 2011. This followed a similar, although smaller, decline that happened between 2011 and 2012.

While a package of Titulim or Babysitter costs NIS 35 on average, Huggies and Pampers go for NIS 60 a package, on average.

“At first, everyone thought we could only do well in the discount chains, such as Rami Levi and Victory,” says Einav Adiv-Brar, manager of Babysitter. "It took a while, but we managed to make it into the larger chains like Mega, where we were welcomed with open arms." TheMarker has determined that nine months after entering the market, the new Israeli brand Babysitter outsells Procter & Gamble’s Pampers by 2 to 1. It made up 21% of diaper sales at Mega stores, compared to 13% by Pampers. However, due to labor disputes, Pampers diapers were not part of the special deals offered recently at Mega stores. Similar figures were given by the New-Pharm and Victory chains.

The differences in sales may lie in the recent price hikes applied to Pampers diapers, while Babysitter prices remained unchanged. “Pampers have not realized that the Israeli customer is no longer willing to pay inflated prices for comparable products,” says Eyal Ravid, CEO of Victory. Even more affluent parents aren’t impressed by foreign brand names and go for the cheaper products, realizing that most of these products are of similar quality.

Interestingly, the cheaper Babysitter brand is not on offer at the major chains Supersol and Super-Pharm. Officials at the other chains believe that this is because these chains prefer to maintain good relations with Procter & Gamble and with Hogla-Kimberly, who have a very broad range of other brands.

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