Do you think that the pendulum that has slowly swung in the direction of cloth-like could start to slowly swing back to plastic?
Was the loss of plastic Depends the wake up call the industry needed?
I apologize for not being as active as I once was, school can keep you incredibly busy. I also apologize for bringing attention to relatively old news but when I got wind of it,I felt heartbroken.
Plastic backed adult diapers have been dying a slow and painful death, but could now be the time the pendulum starts to swing back in the other direction? Let me show you what I mean.
Here, check this out: http://www.walmart.com/ip/Depend-Fit...-M-20ct/893190
That is the Walmart page for the new Depends diaper. First off, notice the shady way Kimberly Clark rolled out this change. Notice how the product picture looks deceptively like the old version. The actual packing is the same or similar from what I've heard. There was also little to no advance warning that I'm aware of.
Now look at the reviews and general reception.
Pretty damning, isn't it?
97 1 star reviews
16 2 star reviews
15 3 star reviews
38 4 star reviews
93 5 star reviews
At best the reception to the new and "improved" (/sarcasm) Depends is at best, polarizing and extremely mixed and at worst, almost universally negative
Most of the reviews are coming from active users who need them and caregivers, not just the AB/DL crowd.
So the industry has slowly shifted towards breathable backing and some people like breathable products, and they work for some people, but definitely not for everyone.
Could this be the wake up call that helps us realize what we've lost now that it's gone?
Depends were never the best diapers in the world, they were out performed by what some would consider mid range but not quite premium brands like Tranquility. However, for me, and quite a few others, they were more effective at what they were designed to do than what people give them credit for.
So, without further ado, I present a few solutions that not just KC but also other adult diaper companies could implement to alleviate this dilemma.
1. Bring back the old style and replace the new breathable style - The only problem with this solution is that it would make fans of the old product happy, but risk alienating people who liked the new version and believe it works for them.
2. Bring back the old style alongside the new style with redesigned and clearly labeled packaging to avoid confusion on what consumers are buying. - This option offers maximum choice and makes as many consumers happy as possible, fans of the old style are happy, fans of the new style are not alienated in the process.
3. Look to the Bambino Hybrid diaper and the long defunct Provider's Choice Active Ultra for inspiration. Work out a way to design a hybrid diaper that provides the benefits of cloth-like with the benefits of plastic. Add strong velcro tabs and a preferably non-breathable landing zone which the tabs can stick to while the rest of the diaper has a traditional poly backing. Also adding more padding in the wings couldn't hurt to offer more protection for side sleepers like myself. Breathability and audio discretion will need to be sacrificed in order to ensure an adequate level of odor control and side leak protection.
4. Add a landing zone to the old style plastic diapers which should help to address the complaints over the lack of adjustability of the tabs and ripping of the plastic.
5. Look to Japan for inspiration. Based on what people who have tried Japanese brands say, our friends in the land of the rising sun seem to have figured out how to make cloth-like work for adult products about as well as it does for baby products. I wouldn't mind an all cloth-like market if NA and EU and elsewhere if they simply followed Japan's example.
So is this the start of the pendulum reversing course? or is this the final nail in the plastic coffin?
If the latter is the case, I may deal with the extra expenses of buying from AB/DL companies or just switch to old school reusable cloth diapers and just deal with the extra work of washing them.
So what are your thoughts?