With more than more than 41,000 employees worldwide and some of the world’s most trusted brands, Kimberly-Clark is an indispensable part of life for people in more than 175 countries. Fueled by ingenuity, creativity, and an understanding of people’s needs, Kimberly-Clark is always working to improve essentials for a better life.
Find out more about new Red Oval partner Kimberly-Clark and its commitment to IGA’s independent retailers in this interview with IGA Senior Director of Red Oval Partnerships Heidi Huff and Denny Belcastro, VP of industry affairs and customer development for Kimberly-Clark.
Kimberly-Clark makes a lot of iconic brands. Tell us about your products and their global reach.
Kimberly-Clark actually invented five of the eight major categories we now compete in.
Our portfolio of brands—including Huggies, Kleenex, Scott, Kotex, Cottonelle, Poise, Depend, Andrex, Pull-Ups, GoodNites, Neve, Plenitud, Viva, and WypAll—hold No.1 and No.2 share positions in 80 countries. In 2018, Kimberly-Clark generated 51 percent of its net sales in North America and 49 percent in international markets.
How is the company focusing on innovation and growth in new and existing products?
First and foremost, we are constantly advancing our commitment to sustainability.
In 2022, Kimberly-Clark will have been in business for 150 years—and as we pave the way for another 150 years, sustainability must be at the heart of our business strategy. From source to shelf, we are working with our partners to foster innovative ideas that create long term change in the areas of social impact, forests and fiber, waste and recycling, energy and climate, supply chain.
Related to innovation on specific products, Huggies® is a great example. We have re-invented the brand with new absorbing materials and complete packaging innovation to capitalize on the growth opportunity with premiumization within the diaper category.
We also continue to innovate our “essential for living” product lines while simplifying and streamlining our Cottonelle®, Scott®, and Viva® paper lines. Kleenex® recently introduced Kleenex® Wet Wipes, which are alcohol-free, hypoallergenic, and paraben-free.
Our three biggest growth pillars are all consumer-centric, from elevating our core businesses and accelerating growth in developing and emerging markets, to driving e-commerce and digital marketing.
Why is the independent sector important for your business?
At Kimberly-Clark, we have a long-standing relationship and commitment to the independent and family-owned retailer segment of our customer development. Independent retailers are more agile and have terrific in-market opportunities to better understand consumer needs and respond with the right solutions to build bigger baskets. Driven by their entrepreneurial spirit, independent retailers have the agility to shape and adjust to marketplace dynamics quicker than chains do while helping us provide the best solutions to shoppers at the best value possible. That makes working with IGA as a Red Oval partner particularly exciting.
How do you plan to help IGA retailers increase their sales in the categories you serve?
With our company’s increased focused on digital marketing—and all of IGA’s new tools to connect with IGA retailers and their shoppers—it seemed obvious that the time was right for us to work with IGA to better promote our products to IGA shoppers. We’re looking forward to sharing category insights around our new products with IGA Learning Bites, and getting our products in front of shoppers through the new National Digital Ad.