Monday, November 10, 2008

Toallas Higiénicas

Toallas higiénicas, compresas--call them what you will. I'm talking about Maxi Pads.

Why? NEWSFLASH: I just learned that in Latin America it may be customary for women to choose pads over tampons!

Why is this in my blog? Because we're talking about the Hispanic market, and what Latinos like and don't, and what traditions they or their families may bring from their homelands. Of course, this is all anecdotal, but it shows how makers of all things should do their research to understand the choices their target demographic is making, and why.

The anecdotal reasons given for the pad-over-tampon choice is that girls may be discouraged from using tampons because of more conservative and/or Catholic practices of Latin American society. Once these girls get started with pads, they may be hooked 'til menopause.

Another reason given is that tampons are a more expensive purchase in Latin America (and perhaps in the U.S. as well).

Here are some more thoughts, direct from our non-scientific, four-Latina, feminine-protection focus group straight from South America:
  • Depending where are you from, tampons might not even be marketed, or our mothers didn't know about them (it all depends on levels of education and buying power).
  • All four girls tried tampons but stopped using them because (1) it was uncomfortable and (2) they had read articles about all the chemicals companies use in manufacturing them.
  • You may wish to learn that here in the U.S., it takes a while to find the “right” pad. In Latin America there are no “long,” “regular,” etc.--one size fits everybody! Also, here it’s not that easy to find details about the type of pad (what are they made of, is the cover cotton or plastic?). Interesante.
A recent study published by Business Wire shows that the leading company in the 8-country Latin America market that was studied in 2006 was Procter & Gamble; the second-largest player was Kimberly-Clark; Johnson & Johnson took third place.

What this means to U.S. marketers is that these manufacturer's brands may already have clout among new Latina immigrants--so there's less of a barrier to acquire those consumers stateside. And, on the flip-side, it translates to additional challenges for the other brands looking to appeal to this segment.

Look for more feminine protection updates, coming your way. Or not.

Thanks, gals, for your insight.

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