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Addressing Key Pain Points Through Core Adhesive Innovations

Posted 11/21/2018 by Julia Li, Hygiene Global Marketing Manager

Ameara Mansour, Ph.D. and I presented the findings from our voice-of-consumer study and diaper testing research on November 6th, 2018 at Hygienix, the premier event for absorbent hygiene and personal care markets. We concluded our presentation with a demonstration of how H.B. Fuller adhesive innovations address these findings.

Capturing the Voice-of-Consumer and Addressing Their Key Pain Points Through Core Adhesive Innovations

Voice-of-Consumer Study

Nowadays, technology has provided consumers with the ability to openly communicate with other consumers and share personal feedback with manufacturers. In light of this growing popularity of e-commerce channels, we turned to online ratings and reviews to capture the voice-of-consumer and to understand the key pain points that drive unsatisfactory ratings and reviews among consumers of baby and adult diapers.

We studied feedback from almost 30,000 consumers for the 14 most reviewed baby diaper brands in North America. Then we took a deep dive into negative reviews with one to three star ratings to learn what product characteristics drive consumer dissatisfaction.

Leakage and blowouts were identified as the top consumer pain point among baby diaper reviewers. These were mentioned in 32 percent of unsatisfactory reviews. Skin related issues such as rashes, red marks, inflammation, and irritation were identified as a distant second consumer pain point at 14 percent, followed by complaints about product affordability at eight percent.   

Following the same methodology, we studied over 2,000 consumer reviews for five adult diaper brands. Similar to the baby diaper findings, about one-third of all reviews had negative one to three star ratings. However, the share of most negative one star reviews was much higher - at 22 percent (versus 16 percent observed in baby) - suggesting consumers of adult diapers are less forgiving of a disposable hygiene product’s shortcomings. This provides an opportunity for manufacturers in this segment.

The feedback of adult diaper reviewers also was more insightful and interconnected, which can be explained by the first-hand user experience. For instance, leakage was stated in 19 percent of negative reviews and was often cited along with fit complaints and feedback about discomfort in movement after insults when the diaper core deforms or bunches. Odor issues and skin irritation were also named among top three adult consumer pain points.

Diaper Performance Testing*

To investigate the leakage complaints, which were observed in the study of both the baby and adult diapers, we focused our lab evaluation solely on core performance characteristics. Conventionally, the disposable hygiene articles with higher core integrity typically allow for fewer leakage occurrences, because when the absorbent core remains intact without breakage or bunching, it lets the fluff and SAP absorb and retain liquid to the fullest. That is not to say that other factors such as article design, selected materials and fit do not contribute to the leakage occurrences, but in the limited framework of our study, these were deprioritized.     

We performed commonly conducted core tests: integrity, speed of acquisition and rewet for each researched brand. Our diaper testing revealed that brands with stronger core integrity consistently have lower fraction of unsatisfactory ratings and reviews - below 20 percent.

Core integrity and consumer reviews.

Request the full presentation for more details on diaper testing.  

H.B. Fuller Core Adhesive Innovations

In order to demonstrate how core adhesive innovations can help manufacturers of the disposable articles address key consumer pain points and improve diaper performance, we worked with an OEM to study the impact of different adhesives on core integrity.

Specialty Core Adhesives: Full-Care® 7300 Series

While a standard construction adhesive sits on top of the surface, specialty core adhesives penetrate the porous core. This deep penetration combined with excellent wet strength and mechanical anchoring results in high-performing core adhesives. The Full-Care® 7300 specialty core adhesive series helps prevent core breakage more effectively than traditional construction adhesives without an adverse impact on the rate of acquisition, rewet or total capacity. This can be a valuable tool for product designers to consider for maintaining the core integrity in the thinner core designs with reduced fluff.

Core Adhesives for Core Channels Bonding: Full-Care® 7800 Series

To enable permanent channel creation in the absorbent cores, we have a core adhesive with superior dry peel performance and excellent wet peel strength. This technology has high cohesion strength with low odor and white color. Full-Care® 7800 series for core channel bonding has a proven robust performance.

Stretchable Core Adhesive: Conforma™ Series

To help our customers respond to consumers’ concerns about disposable article fit and core deformation after insult, we recommend Conforma Stretchable Adhesive in core designs. Conforma can be coated directly to the core using traditional hot melt application equipment create any desired pattern. Elastomeric properties of Conforma adhesive can provide lift to the wet core integrity without impact on absorbent core softness and capacity.

“At H.B. Fuller, we recognize the importance of core performance on the reputation of the absorbent article manufacturers, and we are focused on delivering innovative adhesive solutions that can help our customers address consumer pain points and improve user experience.” - Ameara Mansour, Global Technical Manager

*If you would like to know which brands were tested in this experiment, or would like to add your product in the mix for the future research, please contact us.

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