【英语中国】中国“虎妈”爱上日本纸尿裤

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所属分类:双语中国

2013-9-17 08:05

小艾摘要: Japan's second-largest diaper maker is apparently struggling to meet surging demand from Tiger Moms.Kao Corp.'s breathable Merries diapers have gained a reputation abroad for being good for a baby's d ...
Japan's second-largest diaper maker is apparently struggling to meet surging demand from Tiger Moms.

Kao Corp.'s breathable Merries diapers have gained a reputation abroad for being good for a baby's development, appealing to mothers who want to maximize the head start they give their children, Kao Chairman Motoki Ozaki said in a recent interview.

Mr. Ozaki said Japanese diapers are selling much better than expected in China, and also in Russia, fetching up to double their selling price in Japan--though only the made-in-Japan nappies are attracting premium prices, he added, not locally made ones.

'It makes sense that no diaper rash means a happier baby who will develop more quickly,' Mr. Ozaki said. 'But we have been completely taken aback by the strength of demand.'

To meet that demand, the maker of cosmetics, detergent, and sanitary products says it will spend ¥5 billion on building a new diaper factory in northern Japan, while raising capacity at its two existing plants. The new diaper factory will be the company's first in Japan for 12 years.

Sales of Merries diapers made in Japan jumped by more than 10% in the year ended in December, despite a stagnant market where bigger rival Unicharm Corp.8113.TO -0.20% has seen no growth. Those sales could expand even more this year, Mr. Ozaki said.

Kao has a 30% market share in Japan compared with Unicharm's 34%, but it is a newcomer on the global stage. Half the international market is taken by P&GPG +0.01% and Kimberly-ClarkKMB +0.86%, while Unicharm comes in at No. 3 with 10%, according to Unicharm figures.

But Kao is not counting on Tiger Mom demand to project its international presence over the long term. Lasting growth will come from lower cost products for Asia's rising middle classes, Mr. Ozaki said, speaking on the sidelines of a consumer goods forum in Tokyo.

In an effort to catch up to Unicharm, Kao built a factory in China last year to make diapers that sell at roughly half the price of Japan-made ones. It is also building another ¥10 billion diaper factory in Indonesia to begin operation at the end of this year.

'The high-end users help give our diapers brand value, but we will continue to push hard in the volume zone in Southeast Asia,' with cheaper diapers, Mr. Ozaki said. 'Diapers transform lives by lifting a huge burden. So there's huge growth potential there.'

日本的第二大纸尿裤制造商花王集团(Kao Corp.)显然难以满足中国“虎妈”高涨的需求。

花王社长尾崎元规(Motoki Ozaki)说,花王的妙而舒(Merries)透气纸尿裤在海外获得了有利宝宝成长的美誉,吸引了希望使孩子赢在起跑线的妈妈。

Kao Corp. 花王的妙而舒(Merries)透气纸尿裤。尾崎元规说,日本纸尿裤在中国的销售远好于预期,在俄罗斯也是如此,并促使他们将该产品在日本的售价提高了一倍,但只有日本制造的纸尿裤提价了,中俄当地制造的纸尿裤没有提价。

尾崎元规说,说不会引起尿布疹的纸尿裤能使宝宝更快乐,进而成长的更快,这是有道理的,但如此强劲的需求还是令我们大吃一惊。

为了满足强劲的需求,这家化妆品、清洁剂和卫生产品制造商说,该公司将斥资50亿日元在日本北部兴建一座新的纸尿裤工厂,同时提高现有两家工厂的产能。这将该公司12年来首次在日本建新厂。

截至去年12月份的一年,妙而舒纸尿裤在日本的销量大幅增长了逾10%,尽管市况不景气。同期规模更大的对手尤妮佳(Unicharm Corp.)的销量并未增长。尾崎元规说,今年在日本的销量增幅可能会扩大。

花王在日本纸尿裤市场的占有率为30%,尤妮佳为34%,但花王在国际市场还是新来者。据尤妮佳的数据,国际纸尿裤市场有一半的市场份额由宝洁公司(Procter & Gamble Co.)和金佰利(Kimberly-Clark co.)占据,尤妮佳则位居第三,市场份额为10%。

但花王并不依靠中国“虎妈”的需求来建立长期的国际地位。尾崎元规在东京一个消费品论坛上说,持续的增长将来自针对亚洲不断壮大的中产阶级的低价产品。

为了赶上尤妮佳,花王去年在中国建立了一家工厂,制造售价比日本产纸尿裤便宜大概一半的产品。花王同时正在印尼投资100亿日圆兴建另一个纸尿裤工厂,该厂将于年底启动运营。

尾崎元规说,高端用户帮助赋予花王纸尿裤的品牌价值,但公司将继续大力推进在东南亚市场的销售。他说,纸尿裤消除了人们的一大负担,改变了人们的生活,所以市场潜力十分巨大。

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