How diaper manufacturers 'add' 'value'


I'm the mama who looks at the vast selection of generic and brand-name diapers and wipes at the supermarket and wonders, "why would anyone ever pay for Huggies?" But this month's Fortune investigates exactly why someone might be convinced to pay extra for, to be specific, Huggies Supreme Natural Fit diapers. They fit more like underwear (underwear "is a comfortable product!" say the Kimberly-Clark development people). There's a special intake layer of material to catch the "insult" (a.k.a. poop, or pee) and deliver it to the super-absorbent polymers below. There is "continuous flexibility" through the back waistband of the diaper and "more active" Winnie-the-Pooh graphics to distract baby while he's being changed (and, as any experienced mama knows, to get the kids hooked on, and asking for, the Pooh diapers).

While I ask myself questions such as, "why would anyone put their baby through diaper leak-testing?" and "isn't the diaper's purpose in life to receive 'insults'? Should they perhaps be titled 'welcome offerings' or something?" -- the real question is, should you help contribute to Kimberly-Clark's profit margin, paying extra for Huggies top-of-the-line diapers?

In my opinion, no. Any small savings in laundry bills from caught leaks, or your ability to use fewer diapers because they're so absorbent, won't make up for the much higher price (often 10 cents or more per diaper compared to generic brands). Keep your insults to the off-brands and you'll end up richer, in the end.