HUGGIES® diapers were first introduced by Kimberly-Clark in 1978, and they’ve been improved nearly every year since. Refastenable diapers, breathable diapers, and stretchy diapers are all HUGGIES firsts. At the controls of the HUGGIES innovation engine are everyday consumers. The art of understanding and anticipating consumer needs — sometimes before customers do themselves — has led not only to product advances but the creation of whole new categories, businesses that didn’t exist before.
In 1989, HUGGIES created the disposable training pant category with the launch of PULL-UPS® training pants that actually help make potty training easier. Designed to look like real boys’ and girls’ underwear, potty trainers can pull them on and off all by themselves. Another great training feature are the pants’ Learning Designs® graphics. They fade when wet to help teach toddlers the difference between wet and dry. When Kimberly-Clark launched PULL-UPS training pants in a test market, demand was so great that the test was abandoned and the product was rolled out nationally. Parents and kids loved it, and 15 years later the
PULL-UPS brand still leads the $2 billion global training pant category and has enabled millions of successful potty trainers to proudly claim, I’m a Big Kid Now®.
Five years later, HUGGIES introduced the first super-premium diaper. While most diapers felt like paper or plastic, new HUGGIES Supreme diapers felt like cloth. Instead of tape closures, they had fasteners from Velcro USA Inc. that made it easy for parents to check and adjust the diapers at will. Then as now, HUGGIES® Supreme diapers are designed with an attention to detail and are The Ultimate in Care® and well worth a premium price to many moms. “A few cents more per diaper?” says one consumer. “That’s meaningless when you’re talking about making my baby more comfortable!”
In 1994, the youth pant segment was born with the launch of GOODNITES® disposable underpants. This is another new market that Kimberly Clark invented, but the GOODNITES® brand team will tell you that the rewards go deeper than market share. This brand has made a difference in the lives of those 5–7 million American kids who wet the bed at night and didn’t have a product to help protect them from the embarrassment and frustration of wet sheets. GOODNITES® disposable underpants deliver on the promise of trusted protection and helping kids go to sleep with the confidence of waking up in a dry bed. For them, Goodnites Mean Good Mornings.®
In 1998, HUGGIES invented the disposable swimwear category. Designed for infants and toddlers from 16 to 35+ pounds,
HUGGIES® LITTLE SWIMMERS® disposable swimpants protect like a diaper during water play but don’t swell up like one. Plus, they feature extra-vivid graphics on the entire swimpant to imitate swimwear designs. No wonder then that HUGGIES® LITTLE SWIMMERS® disposable swimpants lead their market and are now sold in more than 50 countries around the world.
At the core (literally) of many of these advances is a new class of materials pioneered by Kimberly-Clark. Nonwoven fabrics combine the softness and the stretch of cloth with other almost magical properties. Some let air through, but not liquids. Others allow liquids to travel in only one direction: away from a baby’s skin. In a diaper, the fabric is impermeable to leaks but allows air to circulate, helping keep a baby’s skin drier and healthier.
In 1998, these new “smart” fabrics propelled HUGGIES to leadership in still another category — baby wipes — a category HUGGIES entered in 1990. For reasons that are not hard to understand, disposable wipes have largely replaced washcloths for clean-ups during diaper changes. Of the 30 billion baby wipes Americans use this year, nearly one out of every three is made by Kimberly-Clark.world as a stamp of professionalism.