Convenience is a major driver in the wet wipes industry where consumer demand for products that allow for quick cleanup or application of everything from makeup to kitchen counters to greasy hands in manufacturing environments continues to rise.
Wet wipes sales worldwide totaled $14.8 billion in 2016, with U.S. sales alone representing $5.6 billion of that amount. Increased demand for wet wipes in both the U.S. consumer and industrial markets is expected to lead to a 3.6 percent annual sales increase through 2018, according to a forecast by RISI Nonwovens Markets. Personal hygiene, premoistened facial cleansing, disinfecting and wet floor-care wipes are expected to see gains as consumers incorporate these products into their routines. Accelerating manufacturing activity will account for the increased demand for wet wipes in the industrial market, the RISI study said.
Greater interest in personal care wipes is pushing brands to explore factors such as natural ingredients, eco-friendly packaging options and flushable capabilities to satisfy consumer preferences. The Millennial generation, for example, wants products that are portable and sustainable, and aging Baby Boomers are searching for easier-to-use options. Consequently, both newcomers and industry veterans are exploring innovative technologies and improved products to accommodate user demand and desires. Additionally, growing acceptance of wipes means that applications and uses continue to increase exponentially, both among retail and professional applications.
As the wet wipes landscape becomes more crowded and competitive, it is essential that a wipes brand select a contract manufacturing and packaging partner with capabilities and experience across a broad range of formulas and finished products. A supplier that understands the process and the industry players will play a big part in your product launch success.
With nearly 20 years of experience in the wet wipes marketplace, Multi-Pack SolutionsTM is among the most comprehensive and innovative wet wipes manufacturers and converters in the industry. Founded as Multi-Pack in 1999, the wet wipes division is now a part of Multi-Pack Solutions, a portfolio of three companies with robust contract packaging capabilities. The company today manufactures and packages a variety of brand-name products for the personal care, healthcare, and I&I and Janitorial industries, including Class I Medical Devices such as disinfectant wet wipes in canisters and single-use packettes as well as surface and hand cleaning wipes.
Multi-Pack Solutions’ capabilities in wet wipe manufacturing and packaging cover a broad range of formulas, substrates, and custom sizes and counts. Packaging options include a full lineup of canisters, caps, refill bags and buckets, and pouches for retail and professional applications.
Labeling options for canisters include wrap labels and shrink sleeves, with single-use labeling options that include various custom-printed film substrates in a wide variety of sizes.
All of our wipes are produced in EPA- and FDA-compliant facilities, and our fully automated wet wipe line is built for accuracy, speed and quality. Our in-house wet wipe capabilities include:
- Custom converting to customers’ exact specifications
- Multiple fabric choices with recommendations based on application
- Multiple canister and cap choices
- Shrink sleeve labeling and wrap labeling
- Scalability to fully automated production
- Custom-printed films for sachets & single packs
Designing a wet wipe is far more complicated than simply adding a liquid formula onto fabric. You should always begin with the end user in mind. Because regulatory requirements vary widely between retail, medical and industrial use, it is vitally important to know who will be using your product and how it will be used.
At Multi-Pack Solutions, we believe that contract manufacturing and packaging is a science. To assist those who may be entering the wet wipes market for the first time or those considering a line extension into the world of wipes, we recommend Nine Considerations for a Successful Wet Wipe Product Launch.
(1) Choose Your Fabric Wisely. To determine what type of fabric is best suited for your wet wipe product, it is important to understand the characteristics of polypropylene, polyester, spunlace, thermal-bonded, biodegradable and disbursable fabrics. Nonwoven fabrics are developed to have specific properties, with some engineered to release liquids and others engineered to absorb them. With wet wipes, the applicator and the formula must be compatible and stable to maintain effectiveness.
The most common fabric used for industrial wipes, for example, is polypropylene. A durable fabric, polypropylene is resistant to most chemicals and to stretching and shrinking. It is wrinkle, mildew and abrasion resistant. Conversely, viscose fabrics—because of their softness and smoothness—often are used for personal care wet wipes. Understanding how fabrics react with certain ingredients and formulas, as well as their cost, also will influence the type of fabric used.
You also may want your wipe to have certain aesthetic qualities, such as a specific color or pattern (aperture). The fabric used for your wet wipe can affect performance and marketability, so choose wisely. Multi-Pack Solutions’ fabric capabilities include polypropylene, polyester, spunlace, thermal bonded, biodegradable, disbursable, textured, fabric with aperture, as well as special order.
Figure 1: Canister filling.
(2) Chemistry Considerably Affects Fabric Choice. Different chemical compounds can present various challenges with fabric compatibility such as wickability and release properties. For example, a product extension to transform a successful cleaning spray into a wipe will require alteration of the formula to include certain raw chemical ingredients that allow the formula to wick into the wipes. Solution that is dispensed into canisters on the production line must possess the ability to wick its way upward and be fully absorbed into the roll.
Wicking fabric has characteristics that encourage moisture to move along the fabric inside the canister, then release the moisture as it reaches lower humidity on the outside of the container during use.