Companies are trying various methods to change attitudes, including making products more discreet, avoiding terms like diapers or nappies, and placing items in the personal care aisle, next to deodorants and menstrual p, rather than in the baby products section.
They are also trying to normalize discussions around the subject through advertising. The company is focusing particularly on people with mild bladder issues where it sees the biggest growth as people lead more active lives. In the U.
Story continues The changes are just the latest in a decade-long attempt to win over consumers, which started with roomz dropping the 'diaper' label, to loosen the association older customers might have with a loss of control in their life. Yet it is still difficult for companies to persuade people they should buy specially made incontinence products.
Manufacturers have been particularly keen to win over women, who are more than twice as likely as men to experience bladder weakness, due to childbirth. Kimberly-Clark has reached out to them directly over the years in light-hearted ad campaigns featuring actresses Whoopi Goldberg and Kirstie Alley.
Graphic: Incontinence affects three times more women than men. The advert's tagline re: 'secret's out: 1 in 3 women have incontinence'.
Essity said it tries to package and market its products in a way that avoids associations with ageing. Getting the message across to potential customers can sometimes be a tricky path to tread.
But efforts are starting to pay off. That does, of course, leave huge potential for further sales growth.
As Kolsrud puts it: "If incontinence was a country, it would be the third largest country in the world.