My Google-fu is not strong enough for this question
August 23, 2017 11:22 AM   Subscribe

Not asking you to do my homework but... I'm trying to find the volume (in US$ terms) of diaper rash creams and baby lotions sold in the USA each year and I'm unable to find it. Most leads point me to paid report such as this one. Does anyone know how to frame the question in order to obtain good results? or which Search Engine is most appropriate for that kind of search?
posted by Kwadeng to Grab Bag (4 answers total)
My initial thought would be to see if the Consumer Price Index, um, indexes, the items in question.
posted by Automocar at 11:25 AM on August 23, 2017

How exact does this need to be? E.g., if this were homework, would the question be more about how you arrived at your estimate, rather than whether or not you had the google skills to find an official industry report?

If it's the latter, see Automocar's comment.

If it's the former, you could ballpark a number by, for example, googling for info re diaper rash cream and baby lotion use (i.e., how much/how often do parents report using either - and make a per child guestimate based on what you read on discussion forums). Then multiply by that by the number of kids under 2.
posted by she's not there at 12:05 PM on August 23, 2017

this is probably not going to be discoverable. Any data you find is going to be both expensive and incomplete, as Wal-Mart and other big retailers don't share their data with the scanner companies that will sell you the data, and the CPG guys don't tend to disclose either. It is too niche an item for census or someone like that to collect the data.

You would be better off approximating it via "babies*guess at consumption/baby*price". Most of the paid documents are going to be doing just that while waving their hands around alot explaining about how they came up with their inputs.
posted by JPD at 12:44 PM on August 23, 2017

From 2011, The Economy's Latest Casualty: America's Baby Bottoms, includes two things that might be of interest: 1) Information on the number of babies 2 and under came from data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, and 2) "P&G research finds U.S. babies get their diapers changed on average 6.3 times daily." The Mayo Clinic says, "If your baby gets rashes often, apply a barrier ointment during each diaper change to prevent skin irritation." The CDC doesn't track diaper rash, though this piece from UpToDate says "According to the 1990-1997 National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, there were 8.2 million pediatric visits for diaper dermatitis, and the calculated risk of developing diaper dermatitis throughout childhood was one in four [7]. In infants, the estimated prevalence of diaper dermatitis ranges from 7 to 35 percent " The report you mention bases sales on a 4 oz. tube, so you'd have to consider how much cream each use requires.

I agree that this number is not discoverable without paying for the report you mention. But maybe some of this info can help you arrive at a wild-ass guess?
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:27 PM on August 23, 2017

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