About 10 supermarket chains nationwide have made room for the brand in recent months as they reset shelves to accommodate changes in P&G's diaper lineup, said Drypers Corp. President Co-CEO Terry Tognietti.
The chains include Kroger Co. and Tops.
$10 MIL LAUNCH HELPED
A new Drypers baking-soda product, launched in May with a $10 million ad and promotion campaign, helped open doors with retailers, Mr. Tognietti said, but many waited until they had to change their shelves for P&G to make room for Drypers.
Even with added distribution, Drypers remains a distant third in the $3.6 billion disposable diaper market with a 3.3% share through September, up from 2.6% last year, according to Dean Witter Rey-nolds.
UP TO 12% SHARE
But Mr. Tognietti said the Drypers brand has an 11% to 12% share in stores where it has distribution.
He said that added distribution will help Drypers toward its goal of a 10% share nationally and let the company boost its $22 million marketing budget by an unspecified amount next year.
While Drypers' marketing has been focused largely on promotion, the company increasingly has turned to advertising, from Gerber Advertising, Portland, Ore.
The marketer's program includes print, radio and TV through co-op programs with retailers, Mr. Tognietti said.
Drypers also has increased frequency of free-standing inserts and direct-mail coupon drops in the past year.
The brand will expand its promotional tie-in with the Country Music Association in 1997, said Drypers VP-Marketing David Olsen, to include a radio campaign in conjunction with retailers in the brand's top 20 markets in June.
BIG CHANGE FROM YEAR AGO
Plans for growth are a big change from a year ago, when Drypers raised the possibility of bankruptcy after being buffeted by price cuts and promotional battles between P&G and Kimberly-Clark.
Fallout from repackaging and consolidation of its four regional brands into one also hurt.
"We went through our worst period in 1995, but it set the base for what we're doing now," Mr. Tognietti said.
"If you look at 1996, it's the business plan we laid out to happen in 1995."