Story at a glance
- The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the global supply chain and forced companies to adapt to changing demands.
- Procter & Gamble announced it would raise prices on baby care, feminine care and adult incontinence products in the United States this September.
- Feminine care products have long been priced higher than male care products, dubbed “the pink tax.”
If you menstruate, you already know how costly tampons and pads can be — not to mention the Advil for your cramps and skin care for those pesky zits. This fall, the price tag is about to get even higher. Thanks COVID-19.
The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the global supply chain and driven up demand for many care products, including toilet paper and diapers, while others, including razors (looking at you with the overgrown beard), have dropped. Feminine care sales dropped in European markets last year, according to the P&G third quarter report, but were partially offset by "premium innovation growth in North America."
So why are Americans paying the price? Well, the company said it's hoping to offset the rising costs of raw materials — especially industrial chemicals and resins present in these products — by raising prices on baby care, feminine care and adult incontinence products, which are disproportionately affected.
Feminine care products include menstrual products, which are used by people of all genders, but the higher cost of care products marketed towards women (compared to those marketed to men) has been dubbed “the pink tax.”
One in 10 college students and 1 in 5 first-generation college students experience period poverty each month in the United States, according to a recent survey. Even for those who do have access to sanitary products, menstrual hygiene education, toilets, hand-washing facilities and waste management, the costs can add up. Scotland became the first country in the world to make period products free last year, but so far, the United States hasn’t followed suit. But new companies and advertising campaigns are raising awareness.
As for P&G products, the company said in a statement via email that, “as opportunities allow, we’ll close-couple price increases with new product innovations – adding value for consumers.”
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