Why do we STILL call them adult diapers? UPDATE: 5 Years Later
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Why do we STILL call them adult diapers? UPDATE: 5 Years Later

The year is 2015. Top movies of the year include The Martian, Mad Max: Fury Road and the new Star Wars sequel, The Force Awakens.

Adele has said hello, Bruno Mars is looking for some uptown funk and The Weeknd can’t feel their face.

The US Supreme Court has made same sex marriage legal, Justin Trudeau has been elected Prime Minister of Canada, and late night show hosts are joking that billionaire Donald Trump is running for President (hmmmm...).

And, in 2015, Healthwick wrote what has become one of our most popular blogs ever – “Why Do We Still Call Them Adult Diapers?” 

After this blast from the past, we decided to revisit the question to see if anything’s changed.

According to Google Trends, not much has changed in 5 years.

Across North America, people continue to search for “adult diapers” 8x to 10x more often than the next most common phrase “incontinence briefs”.

While industry professionals like doctors, nurses and personal support workers still prefer the terms “incontinence briefs”, “containment briefs” or the long-winded “continence care products”, the average person shopping for these items is far more likely to use “adult diapers”.

“Adult Diapers” is short, to-the-point and unambiguous. It really can’t be mistaken for anything else, and as such, it remains the leader in search terms for people shopping for themselves or a loved once.

What HAS Changed since 2015?

What HAS changed in the past 5 years is the prevalence of new “bladder leak” products, and their heavy marketing on TV.

Managing incontinence is no longer a taboo subject, and is practically expected to be part of the aging process, especially for women. Commercials for Depends, TENA, and Always Discreet are common in mainstream TV.

Fun fact: in 2015, Always Discreet was a completely new line of incontinence products for North America. It only launched in late 2014 with Marilu Henner as their first spokesperson.

Demand for (and comfort with) these products has become so normal that in the past 5 years most major retailers have moved into their own line of continence care products, such as the Kirkland (Costco) brand, Equate (Walmart) brand, and Life (Shoppers) brand. This gives consumers more choice but also makes it more difficult to compare good/better/best brands of adult diapers while shopping.

Another dramatic change since 2015 is the number of people who are comfortable shopping online. In 2015, Canada dragged well behind the United States in online shopping behaviour, but since has almost caught up, due to improvements in online shopping experience, a larger number of online retailers in Canada and better parcel delivery service by Canada Post and other carriers. 

With this level of comfort, more and more people are choosing to shop for adult diapers online, rather than purchase what are inherently very private products in a public store.

What can we expect in 2025?

We can’t claim to be clairvoyant and know what’s going to happen in another 5 years time, but we’re fairly confident the following will be true:

  • People will still prefer to use the term “adult diapers”
  • There will be more brands available, as demand continues to increase for these products mostly due to our aging population
  • Sales of adult diapers in stores will decline while sales via websites and home delivery will increase dramatically, AND
  • Healthwick will still be here to help, with Canada’s largest selection, fast discreet delivery to home, and, of course, expert product advice just a phone call away.

Do you have any predictions? We’d love to hear them in the comments section!

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