Summary of our market study

The adult diaper market will reach 312.2 million euros in 2020.

The adult diaper market has been growing steadily, with the global market valued at $10.9 billion in 2021 and set to grow at a CAGR of 6.1% between 2022 and 2031. It is expected to grow from $10.9 billion to over $15 billion in the space of a decade. This growth is largely due to an ageing population and the rising incidence of pathologies such as urinary and faecal incontinence.

In France, the market is characterized by strong competition. The mass incontinence products sector is growing by 3% in value, reaching 312.2 million euros in 2020.

Four main companies dominate the French market: Essity, Procter and Gamble, Hartmann and Ontex, offering a variety of product ranges focused on comfort, absorption and aesthetics. In particular, manufacturers have adopted more environmentally-friendly practices, with products now tending towards greener alternatives.

In France, social security and mutual insurance companies offer varying degrees of reimbursement for incontinence-related expenses, contributing to the accessibility of the market.

Despite market growth, incontinence remains a taboo subject, posing a major challenge for the sector in terms of awareness and demand.

Trends in the French adult diaper market

The adult diaper market in France is experiencing significant growth, propelled by the demographic shift towards an aging population and the gradual dismantling of the social stigma associated with it. With 3.6 million people suffering from urinary and anal incontinence, this market, which forms part of a wider health protection sector, is of considerable size.

In the French market, supermarkets are recording an increase in sales in this segment, a sign of growing acceptance on the part of the general public.

In France, around 25% of women aged 60 and 32% of women over 80 suffer from urinary incontinence, while around 25% of men over 90 face similar problems. At the same time, societal norms are changing: almost 40% of French people no longer consider incontinence a taboo subject, and there is a growing openness of mind, fuelled by the innovative communication strategies adopted by manufacturers.

Market leaders Tena and Always have both launched diversified product ranges to meet different consumer needs. In addition, the movement towards environmentally-friendly production is reshaping the sector, with brands consciously replacing hazardous substances with safer alternatives in their manufacturing processes.

Public bodies such as the Caisse Primaire d'Assurance Maladie and other mutual insurance companies offer partial reimbursements for products and treatments, easing the financial burden on patients.

Key companies shaping the adult diaper market landscape

  • Essity : market leader with a global presence Essity stands out in the adult diapers market with its leading Tena brand, which holds a dominant position both globally and in France. Tena is renowned for offering a range of products and educational resources for people suffering from bladder weakness
  • Procter and Gamble: Procter and Gamble has a significant share of the French market thanks to its Always® brand, known to hold a 20% share. The brand has a strong presence in the personal care and baby care segments, offering products that meet the diverse needs of consumers.
  • Hartmann: The Hartmann Group, with its Molicare® brand, specializes in a variety of medical products, including those for incontinence care. Hartmann strategically focuses on the healthcare sector, delivering essential supplies to a variety of medical facilities.
  • Kimberley-Clark: A leading producer with a diversified range, Kimberley-Clark, recognized worldwide for its production of wadding and cellulose, plays an important role in the adult diaper industry. Its Poise® and Depend® brands meet the specific needs of adults suffering from incontinence, offering products designed for comfort and reliability.
  • Ontex: The Belgian Ontex group demonstrates its expertise in absorbent hygiene products by targeting the private label market.
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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Definition and scope of study

The term adult diapers covers all absorbent products worn on the body and designed to combat adult incontinence. There are a number of different product ranges on the market, including full diapers, anatomical diapers, pants and straight diapers or inserts.

Urinary and fecal incontinence problems are generally linked to the aging of the human body, with weakening bladder muscles or prostate disorders. Other pathologies can also cause leakage, such as Crohn's disease or diabetes.

The market includes: manufacturers, leading hygiene companies, supermarkets, pharmacies, hospitals, nursing homes and private individuals.

The global market for adult diapers is growing, in particular due to the aging of the population, and is estimated to reach $10.9 billion in 2021.

The French market is also booming. The range is diversifying, and competition, combined with a communication strategy that plays down the taboo of bladder weakness, seems to be gradually overcoming it. As a result, consumption is on the rise, and sales in supermarkets are taking off. What's more, the Covid-19 crisis has had little impact on the French market.

What's more, with regular controls, brands are moving towards a more responsible offering. Certain chemical substances are being banned in favor of less dangerous ones.

With an ageing population and increasingly high-performance devices adapted to a wide range of needs, the adult diaper segment is enjoying sustained growth, despite the psychological obstacles (embarrassment, embarrassment, degrading image for the wearer) that continue to affect the market.

1.2 A growing global market

The global adult diaper market is valued by transparencymarketresearch at $**.* billion in ****. According to the same source, it should grow at a CAGR of *.*% between **** and ****.

evolution of the global adult diaper market World, ****-****, in billions of dollars CAGR=*.*% Source: ****

The graph below shows the evolution of sales of baby ...

1.3 In France, competition drives up adult diaper sales

A growing market

According to a LSA Conso article published in ****, the size of the mass-market incontinence products market is ***.* million euros, up *% in value terms on ****.

In addition, another LSA Conso article reveals that, in ****, the mass retail market (***) grew by *% in value and *.*% in volume to reach ** million units ...

1.4 International trade in adult diapers

The Harmonized Customs System provides access to French imports and exports of adult diapers. The chart below is based on code ******** entitled "Hygienic articles, e.g. incontinence articles (***)" .

Balance of trade in sanitary products including adult diapers France, ****, in millions of euros Source: ****

With the exception of ****, France's foreign trade balance ...

2 Demand analysis

2.1 Typology of incontinence sufferers

If urinary incontinence and anal incontinence are grouped together, *.* million people are affected by this disease[***]. In fact, *.* million people are affected by urinary incontinence and * million by anal incontinence. However, counting is a tricky business, and varies widely depending on the honesty of respondents (***).

Urinary incontinence

In women, the prevalence ...

2.2 Macro-economic indicators linked to urinary problems

Several factors have been identified as contributing to bladder weakness, including old age, pregnancy and the prevalence of prostate disorders.

Life expectancy and healthy life expectancy

There are two ways of calculating life expectancy.

Firstly, "classical" life expectancy is calculated at birth as the average age of death for people in ...

2.3 Disorders related to wearing adult diapers

In December ****, IFOP conducted a survey of French people on their perception of incontinence. We'll look at the results below.

Do you consider incontinence a taboo subject? France, December ****, in Source: ****

Incontinence is frequently regarded as a taboo subject, with **% of respondents to the IFOP survey considering it to be rather ...

2.4 Comfort and absorption come first

As all the online comparators point out, this product is still taboo, and for many people suffering from incontinence, taking the step of buying protection is quite difficult. That's why the challenge for brands is to succeed in consolidating this growing demand, so that it actually becomes a purchase. Indeed, the ...

3 Market structure

3.1 A highly concentrated market

Few companies are present in the French adult diaper market. Essity, Procter and Gamble, Hartmann, Kimberley-Clark and Ontex are the four main companies in this market, each with their own brand. [***]


Essity owns the Tena® brand , global and French market leader, with **.*% of the French market by value in ****, [***]

Procter ...

3.2 Value chain

Manufacturers of major brands

Most of the companies mentioned above (***) have their own production facilities, particularly in France.

Hartmann, for example, produces over *** million adult diapers at its plant in Lièpvre in the Haut-Rhin region of France. The site employs around *** people. Ontex, meanwhile, manufactures its incontinence products in Dourges ...

3.3 Risks related to diaper composition

The health issue

One survey after another warns of the dangers of disposable diapers, and parents are becoming increasingly alarmed. All reveal the presence of toxic residues and worrying quantities of allergenic, reprotoxic and carcinogenic substances. In particular, a report by the French agencyAnses has established that several regulatory levels of ...

4 Offer analysis

4.1 Product ranges

The website, a specialist in treatments, solutions and advice for urinary disorders, offers the following range of adult diapers:

Absorbent briefs, which can be worn like panties or briefs to absorb leaks; Complete diapers, also known as adult diapers. The full-face diaper is fastened with two adhesives on the ...

4.2 Prices

By distributor

Prices on the sphere-santé.com website are shown in the table below.

The other product ranges also vary between the same price brackets, with the exception of straight protectors, which are slightly less expensive per unit.

However, there are far fewer different varieties of the latter products. Between ** and ...

4.3 Supply trends

As previously mentioned, ANSES, the French national agency for food, environment and occupational health and safety, has issued a report on the importance of environmental considerations in the manufacture of adult diapers. This report, which in its **** edition highlighted the presence of hazardous substances in products, shows a notable change in ...

5 Regulations

5.1 Social security and mutual insurance reimbursements

Reimbursements for urinary protection

The Caisse Primaire d'Assurance Maladie may reimburse all or part of the purchase of urinary protection in the case of chronic illness or to keep hospitalized patients at home. [***].

The Caisse d'Assurance Retraite et de la Santé au Travail (***), which depends on the beneficiary's income.

Finally, mutual ...

5.2 Production standards

Manufacturers of adult diapers must comply with the European Union's REACH regulation. This requires companies to manage the risks associated with the use of chemical substances in the creation of the product, or the presence of such substances in the article sold. Companies must declare chemical substances in the product ...

6 Positioning the players

6.1 Segmentation

  • Essity
  • Ontex
  • Kimberly-Clark
  • Hartmann
  • Abena
  • Coloplast
  • Sanygia
  • Triple W (DFree)
  • Incontinence Protection
  • AMD
  • Carrefour Groupe
  • Intermarché ITM Les Mousquetaires
  • Lidl France
  • E.Leclerc
  • Casino Groupe
  • Wuka Wear
  • Petites Culottées
  • Dans Ma Culotte
  • Love & Green
  • Riccobono Groupe Lenglet Imprimeur

List of charts presented in this market study

  • Trends in the global adult diaper market
  • Sales of baby and adult diapers
  • Trends in the size of the supermarket incontinence market
  • Additional life expectancy at age 65
  • Healthy life expectancy
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Latest news

How Intermarché plans to transform 350 Casino stores - 09/01/2024
  • 3000 associate members
  • A total of 350 stores that have or will switch to the Intermarché and Netto banners
Casino: Intermarché and Auchan win the bid - 18/12/2023
  • Casino: Intermarché, which had joined forces with Auchan to buy the 320 stores, finally won the bid.
  • The value of the transaction would be close to 1.6 billion euros, or 37% of the sales taken over (3.6 billion euros).
  • A social issue
  • In addition to the takeover of dozens of supermarkets and hypermarkets, Carrefour PROPOSED to take over 7,000 convenience stores under the Petit Casino, Vival and other banners. This possibility was rejected by Casino and its receivers
  • Intermarché has opened up its internal rules for independent groups to franchising, to accommodate the 60 Casino franchisees.
  • Intermarché and Auchan will share the 313 outlets sold in roughly equal parts, with Auchan taking over almost all of the 42 hypermarkets.
  • Monoprix and Franprix will remain under Groupe Casino control
Intermarché Express to surpass 1 billion euros in sales with urban convenience stores in 2023 - 10/12/2023
  • Intermarché Express sales growth for 2023: +21.5%.
  • Sales: close to €1 billion by mid-November 2023, likely to exceed €1.1 billion over 12 months.
  • Number of Intermarché Express stores: 157
  • Anticipated expansion of the supermarket market in urban areas: from one-third to 50% by 2040.
  • Planned openings for 2024: 25 additional stores.
  • target for 2030: double the number of stores.
  • Market share of convenience channel over the last five years: +0.5 point.
  • Decline in hypermarket market share : -2.6 points.
  • Supermarket market share down : -0.8 points.
Intermarché opens up to franchising - 10/12/2023
  • Groupement Les Mousquetaires aims to generate 5% of its sales from franchises.
  • It already has 248 Rapid Pare-Brise and 13 Bricorama franchises.
  • Les Mousquetaires has 3,165 outlets in France.
  • They generated sales of 42.9 billion euros in 2022.
Hygiene: Essity invests in Eure to improve recycling of food cartons - 22/11/2023
  • The Hondouville plant in the Eure region of France produces toilet paper, handkerchiefs and paper towels for professional markets (hotels, restaurants, businesses, industry, etc.), marketed under the Tork brand.
  • To manufacture these products, the company has been recycling food bricks for over fifteen years
  • In each food carton, paper fibers (75%) are mixed with aluminum (5%), plastic (14%) and cork (6%).
  • The Stockholm-based international group, whose products are marketed in some 150 countries, has sales of 15 billion euros by 2022 and 48,000 employees worldwide.
  • In France, the Group's fourth-largest market, it operates eight sites with 2,500 employees.
  • Its Eure plant also manufactures cotton personal care products under the Demak'Up and Lotus brands.
  • Over the past three years, investments at the Normandy site have totalled 47 million euros, reassuring the plant's 360 employees
80 Carrefour hypermarkets operated under franchise or leasing agreements - 14/11/2023
  • On October 20, Carrefour announced its intention to switch 37 stores (comprising 15 hypermarkets and 21 supermarkets) to lease management.
  • Since 2018, 80 hypermarkets have left integrated status, representing around a third of all hypermarkets.
  • Around 75% of supermarkets (784 out of 1038) are currently leased or franchised.

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

Triple W (DFree)
Incontinence Protection
Carrefour Groupe
Intermarché ITM Les Mousquetaires

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