Feminine Hygiene Products Face Supply Chain Shortage and Price Increases

22nd Jun, 2022

Amy Fieber

By Amy Fieber

Last week the DataWeave analytics team identified the states most impacted by the baby formula shortage, only to see feminine hygiene products following similar trends with price increases occurring alongside a supply chain shortage. In this analysis, the team has identified over four hundred feminine hygiene products made available across eighteen retailer and delivery intermediary websites from August 2021 through June 2022, to see how product availability and price changes correlated.

Within the feminine care products analyzed, both tampons and sanitary pads show to have under 58% availability as of June 2022. For sanitary pads, June 2022 shows the lowest level of product availability at around 58%, which has steadily declined each month from August 2021 where product availability started around 69%. Tampons however, reached their lowest level of availability in April 2022 at 45%, and appear to be slowly recovering each month, now reaching around 53% availability in June 2022.

Product Availability for Feminine Care Products - June 2022
Product Availability for Feminine Care Products – June 2022

The Evolution of the Tampon Shortage by Retailer

Looking at tampons in more detail and at a retail level, we can see how much and how often product availability fluctuated from August 2021 through June 2022 across Kroger, Meijer, Baker’s Plus, Target and Walmart websites. Baker’s Plus, for example, shows the lowest product availability, maintaining an average of around 39% from October 2021 through June 2022. Kroger appears to be a notable exception only facing stock availability issues in March and April 2022, achieving nearly 78% availability in June 2022, which is 16% greater than the other retailers analyzed.

Product Availability for Tampons by Retailer - June 2022
Product Availability for Tampons by Retailer – June 2022

Feminine Care Product Price Changes Over Time

When looking at Pricing Intelligence insights and average price changes occurring alongside declining product availability for tampons and sanitary pads combined, we see a very different story. Tampons have seen steep price hikes from December 2021 onward, increasing the most in June 2022, up 6% compared to prices seen in November 2021. This steep price increase could be attributed to consistently low availability for tampons that has been seen in recent months.

To the contrary, sanitary pads have seen a price reduction of around 1.25% as of June 2022 compared to average prices seen in November 2021. While prices are lower in June 2022 for sanitary pads, the percentage by which they are lower is shrinking in recent months, potentially for the same reasons related to decreasing product availability.

Price Change for Feminine Care Products - June 2022
Price Change for Feminine Care Products – June 2022

When looking at month-over-month average price changes for tampons only, we can clearly identify which months had the biggest price changes, noting price hikes that lead to the currently high prices seen in June 2022. In March and May 2022, over 10% of tampons offered had seen a price increase, and around 8% had seen significant price increases of more than 10%.

Month-Over-Month Price Changes for Tampons - June 2022
Month-Over-Month Price Changes for Tampons – June 2022

eCommerce Intelligence Provides Early Visibility to Evolving Trends

Price increases don’t seem to be stopping anytime soon given there was a 3.6% price hike seen on average in May 2022 versus April, with June seeing yet another .6% increase from May’s prices. That being said, as the market evolves and feminine hygiene products stabilize, our team will continue to provide visibility to critical pricing and product availability changes to enable our clients to stay ahead of the curve.

From a baby formula shortage to a tampon shortage, what category will be next to follow the supply chain shortage trend? Follow our blog for access to the latest insights and be sure to reach out to our team if there is any particular category you are interested in tracking next, or for access to more information on our Commerce Intelligence and Digital Shelf solutions.

- Amy Fieber
22nd Jun, 2022

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