October 4, 2011, - 6:34 pm
If I were the GOP messaging chief, I would seize this story and regurgitate it in every single campaign commercial–for the Presidency and every single campaign at every level: times are so bad under Barack Obama that parents cannot even afford diapers for their babies. And, while diaper sales are down significantly, the incidence of diaper rash and sales of diaper rash ointment are up. I would do a 30 second ad with three lines:
Times are so bad under Barack Obama that American parents can’t even afford diapers. Another four years of Obama? A lot more s–t and no place to put it.
Times are so bad under Barack Obama that American parents can’t even afford diapers. Barack Obama . . . can we really afford another four years of the rash?
Or an ad with a baby crying:
Barack Obama = Change. . . CHANGE My Diaper!
The tight U.S. economy has turned even essential goods into luxuries. Now consumer-goods companies are seeing something they thought would never come to pass: Parents are buying fewer diapers. . . .
As the economy continues to sputter, recent data show diaper sales are slowing and sales of diaper-rash ointment are rising.
The volume of diapers sold in the U.S. slipped 1% in the four weeks ended Sept. 4 from a year earlier, extending a string of similar or steeper declines stretching back to August 2010, according to Consumer Edge Research, whose retail-sales tracking doesn’t include Costco Wholesale Corp. or Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Dollar sales fell nearly 3%, indicating parents are both cutting back and trading down to cheaper private labels.
Dollar sales of diapers in the four weeks fell 4% at Huggies maker Kimberly-Clark Corp. Procter & Gamble, maker of Pampers and Luvs, saw dollar sales drop 2.5%. Even generics were down, with sales of private-label diapers slipping 0.5%.
The U.S. birth rate has declined since 2007, and it isn’t clear how much of the drop in diaper buying is due to penny pinching and how much results from fewer kids. Changing technology—more absorbent diapers, for example—also make comparisons difficult. . . .
Still, Consumer Edge Research analyst Javier Escalante sees economic pressure behind the data. “This has never happened in this country before—this is a very rare circumstance,” says Mr. Escalante, adding that the fact that people are having fewer babies is itself a strong indicator that the economy is influencing parental behavior. “That’s a huge decision.”
Meantime, sales of diaper-rash ointment have increased 8% over the past year, according to market-research firm SymphonyIRI. Analysts and pediatricians say the higher sales likely reflect either less frequent changes or a shift to lower quality diapers.
Most pediatric clinics don’t keep statistics on benign conditions like diaper rash, but doctors in poorer areas say they see the long-stumbling economy starting to take a clear toll on children’s health.
Anjali Rao, a pediatrician at Northwestern Memorial Physicians Group in Chicago, says she has seen a 5% to 10% spike in diaper-rash cases this year. Daniel Taylor, a pediatrician at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia, says he and his colleagues have heard from a growing number of parents that they must choose between buying diapers and paying for food and heat.
“We’re definitely seeing major effects of the economy: Diapers are very expensive, and the longer you sit in a dirty diaper, the more likely the chances of an infection,” Dr. Taylor says.
Diapering a child six times a day costs about $1,500 a year, according to diaper makers, so it isn’t hard to see how it could become a burden on families dealing with chronic unemployment or struggling to cover rising costs. . . .
P&G says its research shows parents are also potty training children earlier to save cash as economic uncertainty deepens.
When parents in a Western industrial nation cannot afford diapers for their kids, it’s a pretty good sign that we are slipping quickly from First World status. It’s unsanitary and a health basic to have adequate diapers for your kids.
I always knew that Barack Obama would turn America into a sh-tty nation.
Tags: Anjali Rao, Bad Economy, Barack Obama, Consumer Edge Research, Costco, Diaper Rash, Diaper Rash Ointment, Diaper Sales, Diapers, econony, Huggies, Increase in Diaper Rash, Javier Escalante, Kimberly-Clark, Less Diaper Sales, Luvs, Obamaconomy, Pampers, pediatricians, poor economy, Procter & Gamble, SymphonyIRI, Wal-Mart, Walmart