Understanding the Pricing of Wet Wipes
The cost of disposable wipes has fluctuated quite a bit over the last two years due to the pandemic. What are the factors that influence the pricing of disinfecting wipes? Are more expensive wipes worth the money? And where can you find the best value on cleaning wipes?
During the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, demand quickly outstripped supply as consumers and businesses emptied the shelves of both household and personal cleaning products. Since then, demand has remained strong while supply has increased as new entities entered the market. Some of these new entrants into the wet wipe sector are quite good, while some don’t live up to their advertising claims. When selecting wet wipes for personal or household cleaning, make sure you understand the factors that drive wet wipe pricing and how to tell the difference between a reputable supplier and a cheap knockoff.
Why Does Cost Vary So Greatly Between Wet Wipe Brands?
With the increasing demand for disinfectant wipes, you most likely -at some point- have experienced frustration with purchasing some yourself. Factors such as inflated prices, product scarcity, and the emergence of less recognized brands have caused inaccessibility. The lack of product availability from household name brands has caused consumers to stray away and search for similar products elsewhere.
Average Cost and Quantity Comparisons
The first factor that impacts the cost of wet wipes is the package count. The more wipes are in the package, the more expensive it will be. However, when you look at the “per wipe” cost, you will typically see that you get a discount for purchasing a larger pack.
On average, a higher-priced pack of wipes can retail for $14.00 more than an inexpensive pack.
The Average Cost for Expensive Wipes: $14.00 – $25.00
Count Per Pack: 70 – 100 count
The Average Cost for Inexpensive Wipes: $2.00 – $4.00
Count Per Pack: 5 – 30 count
However, when comparing the number of wipes you receive in each of the differently priced packs, the expensive wet wipes offer—on average—more than double the count of wipes you would get in an average package of inexpensive wipes.
Breakdown of the Costs to Produce Wet Wipes
What factors influence the manufacturing cost of wet wipes? There are three main components to a package of wipes:
- The substrate (the base material, typically a nonwoven fabric that may or may not be biodegradable).
- The cleaning fluid, which is usually a solution of water and various chemical cleaning or disinfectant agents (e.g., alcohol, ethanol, peroxides, etc.). The solution may or may not contain additional components such as surfactants, fragrance, and aloe or other skin softeners.
- The packaging, which is often a plastic envelope or tube.
75% of costs come from substrates.
The majority of the manufacturing costs come from the substrate for four reasons.
1. It determines the thickness and weight of the cloth.
Typically, a thicker and heavier wet wipe tends to be more efficient. Companies that manufacturer thicker disinfectant wipes prioritize the quality of their products. Substrates used to create a heavier-duty wipe are more costly, raising the consumer’s cost.
2. Texture is affected by the type of substrates chosen.
Cleaning wipes can have a variety of different textures. The wipe can be made to have smoother surfaces or grittier ones. Manufacturers have even created wipes with two different textured sides,; although, this is more costly.
3. The substrate material chosen.
There are many different types of substrates that exist. Less commonly used are substrates made from expensive fibers that are only found in certain parts of the globe. These rare substrates are pricier than substrates that we see being used more frequently.
4. The size of each wipe and the count of wipes in the pack.
The size of each sheet and the count of wipes in a pack will greatly affect the quantity of total material in a pack which directly correlates to the cost. For example, an 80ct of 6” x 8” wipes has a total square area of 3,840 inches while an 80ct of 10” x 15” wipes has a total square area of 12,000 inches. When comparing those two products, you will get at least 3x the ‘mileage’ because there is more than 3x the material in the pack.
20% of costs come from the packaging.
Packaging makes up around a fifth of a wet wipe’s production costs. The amount can vary greatly depending on which features the manufacturers want to include.
For example, if a brand decides to package its wet wipes in a rigid plastic container, it will be more costly than simpler flexible packaging. Other decisions such as the type of closure used and the amount a brand has invested in the packaging technology can affect the cost.
5% of costs are from the cleaning solution.
A simple solution of water and alcohol will be cheaper than a more complex formulation that includes surfactants, skin softeners or fragrances. However, these additives can substantially influence the cleaning or disinfecting properties of the wipe as well as skin safety, comfort and scent appeal.
Other Factors to Consider
Consumers often fail to realize that the purchasing of materials only makes up a fraction of the pricing decisions made by a brand. You may have a warehouse full a finished good, but with out a well- planned manufacturing process, marketing approach, and public image it is difficult to successfully attract the appropriate buyers.
Brands may choose to acquire help in some or all stages of manufacturing. Outsourcing can mean purchasing a material(s) needed for the product from a foreign supplier. Hiring an outside manufacturer to complete one or more steps in the manufacturing process is also a way of ouutsourcing.
In contrast, brands may prefer to complete all the stages within their supply chain. Vertically integrating a company can be costly, but it can be highly beneficial and offer the brand complete creative control and decision-making.
The Best Value in Disposable Wipes
The cheapest wet wipes aren’t necessarily the best value. Cheap, poor-quality wipes may cause more problems than they solve.
- The substrate may fall apart or may not be thick or absorbent enough to do a good job cleaning.
- The solution may not clean or disinfect as advertised or, worse, may be harsh or damaging to skin.
- The product may not have appropriate regulatory approvals for legal sale.
- Ingredients may not be as advertised, leading to safety or allergy concerns.
- The wipes may simply not work.
On the other hand, some expensive brands artificially inflate prices to appear “premium” without having the quality to justify the cost. The best value wipe is one that does the job, is safe and comfortable to use even without gloves, and has the material and manufacturing quality you are looking for.
If you’re looking for the best value in disposable cleaning wipes, you can find it right here at Crocodile Cloth. Our premium disposable wipes give you the best value for the money in a high-quality product that won’t let you down.
If you’re interested in becoming a Crocodile Cloth distributor, contact us at (855) 552-5684 for pricing.