Why are diapers so expensive? What should government do?

洪健翔 Hung, Chien-hsiang
6 min readApr 12, 2023

Full article Why are diapers so expensive? What should government do? — Hung, Chien-Hsiang 洪健翔 | Blog (chienhsiang-hung.github.io).

背景

近來美國民眾聯合控訴尿布製造商壟斷哄抬價格,主張生活必需品的價格不應該被廠商任意調漲。我們可以從幾個面向來討論美國尿布價格飛漲的事件。

壟斷和競爭:一些消費者和產業觀察人士認為,少數大型尿布製造商壟斷了市場,限制了競爭,使得價格上漲。這些製造商擁有強大的供應鏈和品牌優勢,讓它們能夠控制市場並設定高價格。

生產成本和原材料價格:尿布的生產需要大量的原材料,包括棉花、紙漿等,而這些原材料的價格也會對尿布的成本造成影響。此外,製造商需要支付高昂的生產成本,例如設備、能源、人力等,這也會對尿布的價格造成影響。

廣告和營銷成本:尿布市場競爭激烈,製造商需要花費大量的資金在廣告和營銷上,以促進銷售和提高品牌知名度。這些成本通常也會轉嫁給消費者,使得尿布價格更加昂貴。

政府監管和立法:有些消費者和政治人物主張,政府應當加強監管,避免製造商進行不當價格調整。此外,政府也可以通過立法限制尿布價格上漲,例如通過控制物價或限制貿易等方式。

綜合以上觀點,可以看出美國尿布價格上漲是由多種因素共同作用的結果,包括市場壟斷、生產成本和原材料價格、廣告和營銷成本以及政府監管和立法等。因此,解決尿布價格上漲的問題需要從多個方面入手,包括增加市場競爭、減少生產成本、改變廣告和營銷策略以及加強政府監管。

Recently, American consumers have united to accuse diaper manufacturers of monopolizing and raising prices, arguing that prices of essential goods should not be arbitrarily increased by manufacturers. We can discuss the soaring diaper prices in the US from several aspects.

Monopoly and competition: Some consumers and industry insiders believe that a few large diaper manufacturers have monopolized the market, limiting competition and causing price increases. These manufacturers have strong supply chains and brand advantages that allow them to control the market and set high prices.

Production costs and raw material prices: Diaper production requires a large amount of raw materials, including cotton, pulp, and others, and the prices of these raw materials also affect the cost of diapers. In addition, manufacturers need to pay high production costs, such as equipment, energy, labor, and so on, which also affect diaper prices.

Advertising and marketing costs: The diaper market is highly competitive, and manufacturers need to spend a lot of money on advertising and marketing to promote sales and increase brand awareness. These costs are usually passed on to consumers, making diaper prices even more expensive.

Government regulation and legislation: Some consumers and politicians argue that the government should strengthen regulation to prevent manufacturers from making improper price adjustments. In addition, the government can also limit diaper price increases through legislation, such as price controls or trade restrictions.

It can be seen that the rising diaper prices in the US are the result of the combined effects of multiple factors, including market monopolies, production costs and raw material prices, advertising and marketing costs, and government regulation and legislation. Therefore, solving the problem of rising diaper prices requires multiple approaches, including increasing market competition, reducing production costs, changing advertising and marketing strategies, and strengthening government regulation.

觀點

尿布價格飛漲的原因有多種。首先,原物料成本上漲是一個主要原因。尿布的主要原料是木漿和塑料,供應鏈中斷和其他行業對這些原材料的需求增加導致原材料價格上漲。其次,制造和運輸成本的上漲也是導致尿布價格上漲的因素之一。疫情導致制造和運輸中斷,公司的成本上漲,包括勞動力、能源和運輸成本。最後,營銷和廣告費用也可以對尿布的總成本做出貢獻。公司花費大量的資金在廣告和營銷上,以促進他們的產品和品牌,這會增加產品的成本。綜上所述,尿布價格上漲很可能是多種因素的結合,包括商品價格上漲、供應鏈中斷、通貨膨脹和制造和運輸成本的上漲。

政府可以采取措施應對通貨膨脹,並幫助減輕其對消費者的影響。一些政府可以采取的行動包括貨幣政策、財政政策和供給側政策。

為了減少尿布的成本,家長可以嘗試使用質量相對較便宜的品牌、在寶寶派對上請求親友贈送尿布、尋找促銷和折扣、使用優惠券、批量購買、根據需要購買幾周的尿布、與其他父母交換尿布尺寸,或者嘗試使用可重覆使用的尿布。

News

According to the news Coalition of Parent and Community Organizations Accuse Procter & Gamble of Price Gouging in Letter to CEO Jon Moeller About Skyrocketing Diaper Costs — ParentsTogether Action — An open letter from parents to Procter & Gamble CEO. The letter is about the overall cost of diapers and how it is becoming increasingly difficult for parents to keep their babies dry. The letter states that the cost of diapers has increased by 50% in the last 10 years, and that the average family spends $936 per year on diapers.

Why is the cost of diapers increasing so much?

According to a CNN Business article, commodity prices have been rising due to high demand for products, supply-chain disruptions, and surging shipping costs. All these price hikes are now coming home to roost — in consumers’ wallets. Rising prices for diapers come as millions of US families grapple with the economic effects of the pandemic.

Another reason for the increase in diaper prices is inflation. It happens when there is an increase in the money supply without an equivalent rise in the demand for goods or services. If this happens on a large scale, then prices will rise and become more expensive to make. This affects the pricing of diapers as well1.

In addition to the reasons mentioned above, there are a few other factors contributing to the increase in diaper prices. One of them is the cost of raw materials used to make diapers. The main materials used in the production of disposable diapers are pulp and plastic. The prices of these materials have been increasing due to supply chain disruptions and increased demand from other industries.

Another factor is the cost of manufacturing and transportation. The pandemic has caused disruptions in manufacturing and transportation, leading to higher costs for companies. This includes the cost of labor, energy, and transportation. These increased costs are passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices.

Finally, marketing and advertising expenses can also contribute to the overall cost of diapers. Companies spend a significant amount of money on advertising and marketing to promote their products and brand, which can add to the cost of the product.

Overall, the increase in diaper prices is likely due to a combination of factors, including rising commodity prices, supply chain disruptions, inflation, and increased manufacturing and transportation costs.

It is important for companies to work towards managing costs while maintaining quality and accessibility of their products for consumers. Hopefully, as the global economy stabilizes and supply chains improve, the cost of diapers and other products will become more affordable for families.

But the government should cope with the inflation right?

The government can take measures to address inflation and help alleviate its impact on consumers. Some of the actions that governments can take include:

  • Monetary policy: The central bank can adjust interest rates and money supply to manage inflation. Higher interest rates can help reduce inflation by reducing demand for credit, which in turn reduces spending and slows down price increases.
  • Fiscal policy: Governments can also use fiscal policy tools such as taxation, government spending, and subsidies to control inflation. For example, reducing taxes or increasing government spending can boost demand and stimulate economic growth, but it can also lead to inflation. Similarly, reducing subsidies can reduce government spending and help control inflation.
  • Supply-side policies: Governments can also take steps to increase the supply of goods and services, which can help keep prices in check. This can include measures such as reducing barriers to entry for businesses, improving infrastructure, and investing in education and training to increase productivity.

Overall, managing inflation is a complex issue, and governments need to carefully balance the different policy options to ensure a stable and healthy economy while also protecting the interests of consumers.

What are some ways to reduce the cost of diapers?

Here are some ways to reduce the cost of diapers:

  • Use affordable brands. Not all diapers are created equally. Some brands are more expensive than others. You can try using affordable brands to save money1.
  • Ask for diapers at your baby shower. You can ask your friends and family to gift you diapers at your baby shower. This can help you save money on diapers1.
  • Shop the sales. You can keep an eye out for sales and discounts on diapers. This can help you save money on diapers1.
  • Seek out coupons. You can look for coupons online or in your local newspaper. This can help you save money on diapers1.
  • Buy in bulk. You can buy diapers in bulk to save money. This can help you save money on diapers1.
  • Only buy what you need for a few weeks at a time. You can buy diapers for a few weeks at a time to avoid overbuying. This can help you save money on diapers1.
  • Exchange diaper sizes with others. You can exchange diaper sizes with other parents to avoid wasting diapers that your baby has outgrown. This can help you save money on diapers1.
  • Give reusable diapers a try. Reusable diapers can be a good investment in the long run. They can be washed and reused, which can help you save money on diapers1.

Source

Source: Conversation with Bing, 16/03/2023(1) Why are Diapers so Expensive? (Truth about Increased Costs). https://realdiaperassociation.org/disposable/why-are-diapers-so-expensive/ Accessed 16/03/2023. (2) Why are Diapers so Expensive? (Truth about Increased Costs). https://realdiaperassociation.org/disposable/why-are-diapers-so-expensive/ Accessed 16/03/2023. (3) Diapers are already a huge expense for families. It’s getting even worse | CNN Business. https://www.cnn.com/2021/04/23/business/diaper-costs-families-poverty/index.html Accessed 16/03/2023. (4) Diapers are already a huge expense for families. It’s getting even worse | CNN Business. https://edition.cnn.com/2021/04/23/business/diaper-costs-families-poverty/index.html Accessed 16/03/2023. (5) Price Index — Inflation Is Hitting Diapers. Here’s Why — WSJ. https://www.wsj.com/video/series/price-index/inflation-is-hitting-diapers-heres-why/58C1D7D0-19F4-489B-93BE-767437F58890 Accessed 16/03/2023.

Source: Conversation with Bing, 16/03/2023(1) Planning Out Your Cost Of Diapers Per Month! — Clever Girl Finance. https://www.clevergirlfinance.com/blog/cost-of-diapers-per-month/ Accessed 16/03/2023. (2) 14 Ways to Save Money on Diapers — What to Expect. https://www.whattoexpect.com/first-year/ways-to-save-money-on-diapers/ Accessed 16/03/2023. (3) Diapers are already a huge expense for families. It’s getting even worse | CNN Business. https://www.cnn.com/2021/04/23/business/diaper-costs-families-poverty/index.html Accessed 16/03/2023. (4) Increasing cost of diapers hitting parents hard, but there are ways to save — WINK NEWS. https://winknews.com/2022/02/14/increasing-cost-of-diapers-hitting-parents-hard-but-there-are-ways-to-save/ Accessed 16/03/2023.

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