Gentle care for life


Review of Operations

Integrated Report 2019

  • Message from the President
  • About Unicharm
  • A Discussion about Product Development
  • Unicharm: A Story of Sustained Growth
  • Financial and Non-Financial Highlights
  • Change in Business Environment and Unicharm’s Approach
  • Review of Operations
  • Unicharm’s Value Creation Process and Key Challenges

Review of Operations

Feminine Care Business

Basic business strategy

Backed by scientific research, we will provide products and services that empower women, allowing them to lead normal, comfortable lives without physical and mental barriers.

Demand for feminine care products is growing in Asia on the back of rising incomes. In response, we will launch products designed for local needs and provide information about periods to help women play a more active role in society and support the region’s economic development.

– Regions with low market uptake rates for feminine care products
We will launch feminine care products designed for local needs and expand sales areas, as well as provide ongoing education programs about first periods to help women secure job opportunities and take a more active role in society.

– Regions with high market uptake rates for feminine care products
We will launch high value-added products designed for local needs and build sales channels to make our products more accessible, aiming to make periods easier for women.


Sofy app to manage the timing of first periods
– easy to use for mothers and daughters
Revitalizing the market by continuing to offer new products with innovative technologies
Unicharm is the market leader in Japan with a share of roughly 49%. We continue to achieve steady growth in the domestic market by launching high value-added products and by offering value proposals in tune with women’s increasingly diverse lifestyles, such as standard-type products, premium-type products and products with stylish designs. Amid a maturing market characterized by a shrinking target demographic, we are increasing the average sales price by launching high value-added products that stand out in the market. As part of that approach, we recently launched Sofy Center-in Happy Catch, a worry-free napkin product with a cute design tailored to the lifestyles and fashions of girls at junior and senior high schools.
We also work to inform girls about their periods and health. One way we are doing that is with a free Sofy app for girls approaching their first period. The app gives them the independence to manage their own periods and also helps mothers predict the timing of their daughter’s menstrual cycle so they can provide the best support.



Building brands aimed at young women to maintain high levels of profitability
Unicharm is second in the China market with a share of roughly 17%. We continue to enjoy strong support from young women in China thanks to our high value-added products, which offer high quality and have cute packaging designs. Also, Unicharm's online sales are outpacing growth in China’s rapidly expanding e-commerce market. Our online sales have risen to account for about 20% of total sales and we now have the leading position in the online market. Going forward, we aim to capture the top share in China by rapidly developing sales channels and increasing the number of sales areas where Unicharm is the market leader.


Generating strong growth by consistently launching high value-added products
Unicharm is the market leader in Indonesia with a share of roughly 39%. We are maintaining a high rate of growth by investing heavily in marketing to build local brands. The average sale price has risen approximately 7% and profitability is also improving, supported by a continued focus on high value-added products.


Targeting further growth by moving into new market segments
Unicharm is also the market leader in Thailand with a share of roughly 57%. We are achieving strong growth by expanding our lineup of products in the “cool and fresh” segment and by consistently offering new value proposals, such as overnight shorts-type sanitary napkins.


Rolling out a stream of high value-added products to drive strong growth
Unicharm's sales are outpacing market growth in Vietnam, supported by high value-added products and a wider choice of products that are creating new market segments. Investing in sales promotion to reinforce brands and expanding distribution areas have helped Unicharm retain its dominant position in Vietnam, where it has a market share of roughly 52%.


Continued strong growth supported by measures to promote uptake
Aggressive marketing activities are supporting continued strong growth in India, but uptake rates for feminine care products remain low due to a lack of education and understanding about periods. To address that issue, Unicharm launched an educational program about first periods in 2013 to educate young women about the mechanism of menstruation and provide accurate information about feminine care products. The aim is to improve understanding and lift uptake rates, which should also help Unicharm maintain strong growth in India.

Unicharm’s Value Creation Process and Key Challenges


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