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Huggies Launches Partially Plant-Based Diaper With Black Packaging


Huggies is introducing Huggies Special Delivery, what it calls its “most perfect diaper ever,” with a liner and waistband made from plant-based materials, including sugarcane, that provide better absorption and fit.

And in what might be considered an unusual marketing decision in the disposable diaper segment, Huggies Special Delivery packaging is black, making the product stand out in a sea of white and pastel packaging that other brands use. The advertising also relies on black-and-white imagery.

The diapers are free of parabens, fragrance and “elemental chlorine,” and “dermatologically tested and clinically proven hypoallergenic,” according to the company. Huggies’ “wetness indicator” helps parents know when it’s time for a change. They also come with a variety of designs the company says follow “contemporary market trends.”

The commercials emphasize that Special Delivery is for parents who believe the “perfect way to care for your baby is your own way,” regardless of what the “five million parenting search results say.”

The multibillion-dollar disposable diaper market is dominated worldwide by two brands: Procter & Gamble's Pampers and Kimberly-Clark's Huggies.  It’s a tricky market. As the nation ages, much of the growth is coming from the sale of adult diapers.

In recent years, because of environmental and health concerns, some parents have turned back to washable, cloth diapers but some studies say the water, detergent and energy consumed to clean them has its own environmental downside.

Kristine Rhode, Huggies North America brand director, says the company set out to satisfy three product goals: a diaper that gave “superior performance, contained more plant-based fibers, and provided the softest fabric on baby’s skin.”

Using the plant-based material like sugarcane is “really quite new to the industry when you think about how product materials have evolved,” Rhode tells Marketing Daily.

While Kimberly-Clark, like others, seeks out sustainable practices, Special Delivery is not biodegradable, and Rhode says, no other U.S. disposable diaper is, either (though several make the claim).

Huggies will advertise via addressable TV and on website and social media sites where parents tend to gravitate.

Special Delivery’s black packaging clearly excites Rhode, too. On grocery shelves, black packaging has come to be associated with upscale, quality products, according to a study by packaging design company Bizongo.

“Huggies Special Delivery is really an elevated experience, so the black box for us was meant to be striking, to capture the attention of consumers along with the unique designs on the diapers themselves,” Rhode said.

“We tested this with parents and heard back from them, resoundingly, that the black box to them looks premium. A quote we kept hearing was, ‘we want to try it.’ “

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