Growth continues in China. Probably the most quickly growing market for baby diapers in the world, China is
constantly gaining the attention of diaper and other disposable products manufacturers around the world. Just
last month, Japan’s Daio announced it would launch an ultra-premium diaper in China, hoping to capitalize on
the Chinese consumers’ love of fancy diapers.
This consumer preference, in fact, surprised many stakeholders in the global diaper market who had in-
tended to enter China with a more basic, economy style diaper. Consumers in China initially responded by pur-
chasing fancy, Japanese-style diapers, sometimes on the black market, but this didn’t last for long. In the past
few years, most of Japan’s largest diaper manufacturers have begun selling premium diapers in China. These
diapers are softer, stretchier and more comfortable than the diapers that have traditionally been seen even in
places like Europe and the U.S., and more established markets are now looking toward China for success.
On the nonwovens front, the world’s largest manufacturer of nonwovens, Berry Global, announced a plan to
invest in Chinese capacity earlier this year. The company, which already has sites in Nanhai and Suzhou, will
add a massive Reicofil 5 spunmelt line at a yet-to-be-determined location to capitalize on disposable markets
in China, the company says.
“This exciting news demonstrates strong commitment to our customers’ growth around the world, as well
as the next step in advancing our market leading position in hygiene and healthcare material solutions,” says
Scott Tracey, president of Berry’s Health, Hygiene, and Specialties Division.
Another major nonwovens producer with its eye on Asia, if not China, is Suominen. The manufacturer of
spunlace and wetlaid nonwovens for wipes, medical and hygiene applications announced that a key part of
its next strategic growth period will be expansion into Asia. The company already has operations in North and
South Carolina and Europe, but has cited Asia as an important part of being a global player in nonwovens.
Other major nonwovens manufacturers with operations in China include Fitesa, Tenowo, First Quality Non-
wovens, Lydall, Johns Manville, TWE Group and Freudenberg. These manufacturers represent all of the many
technologies and markets for nonwovens and suppliers to these companies—both those based in China and
around the world—that are continuously looking at this country for growth.
In the next few pages, some of
biggest advertisers discuss their Chinese opera-
tions—where they are going and where they have been. Together they represent just how important China is
becoming to the global nonwovens industry.
China: The World is Watching
As diaper manufacturers look toward Chinese innovation, the country is becoming
more important to industry suppliers.
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