Society

Organic sanitary pads escalate battle for feminine care

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Summary

  • Procter & Gamble, the maker of Always, has launched organic sanitary pads in the Kenyan market.
  • In the past months, there has been heightened scrutiny of raw materials used to make sanitary pads and tampons, forcing manufacturers to expand their offerings to include new alternatives or organic brands.

Procter & Gamble, the maker of Always, has launched organic sanitary pads in the Kenyan market, targeting consumers who are increasingly becoming more conscious about the make-up of feminine care products they use during menstruation.

In the past months, there has been heightened scrutiny of raw materials used to make sanitary pads and tampons, forcing manufacturers to expand their offerings to include new alternatives or organic brands.

“The new Always Cotton is 100 percent organic, unscented and dye-free, providing product variety for Kenyan consumers,” said Ivy Kimani, Brand Director, Always (East Africa). The sanitary pads which cost Sh400 depending on the retailer bring to 10 the number of Always products sold in Kenya in different sizes and thickness.

According to Euromonitor International, a research firm, education campaigns surrounding menstrual hygiene have increased in Kenya, boosting the growth of sanitary products.

Always has dominated the market, however, it is battling for shelf spaces with Kotex, in the premium segment and the likes of Molped, Confidence and menstrual cups in the Sh100 to Sh250 price range.

This is the second product that Procter & Gamble is launching following last year’s consumers’ concerns over quality, which led to an investigation of the products by the Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs).

A towel dubbed Always Feather Soft was introduced in the market last year, retailing at Sh85 for a standard pack.

“We appreciate the evolving demands of consumers and have launched an exciting new set of products that we believe can meet customer needs while keeping comfort and safety a top priority,” said Ms Kimani.

The launch of more sanitary products comes amid growing concerns that girls miss school due to menstruation, and that most of the towels do not fully cater for the needs of young girls with heavy flows.

In 2017, President Uhuru Kenyatta signed the Basic Education Amendment Act into law placing the responsibility of providing free, sufficient and quality sanitary towels on the government

Years after the law came into effect, not all school girls receive sanitary towels despite the government allocating millions to support the programme.