KUALA LUMPUR -- Oji Holdings will start selling disposable diapers for babies in Vietnam and Cambodia, the Japanese paper company's latest effort to expand its Southeast Asian footprint.
An Oji diaper plant in Malaysia that opened in spring 2016 will supply the two new markets. The plant, which produces the Genki brand of underwear-type diapers, already serves Malaysia and Myanmar.
Vietnam's sharply growing diaper market has fewer competitors compared with Malaysia and elsewhere. DSG International controls more than 20% of the Malaysian market, while Japanese rival Unicharm has a 40-50% share in Thailand and Indonesia.
The disposable-diaper market in Vietnam is seen growing 140% from 2016 to $974 million in 2021, according to British research company Euromonitor. Myanmar's market is expected to expand 30% over the same period, to $97 million.
To cement its presence in these growing markets, Oji will unleash major sales promotions via television commercials in Southeast Asia to boost recognition of the Genki brand. The company will market the diapers by touting their feel and high level of absorption.
Oji aims to sell 100 million disposable diapers in the four countries this year. It will consider exporting to India and the Philippines and expanding the Malaysian plant.