An ageing population twinned with rising obesity rates will drive  growth of new categories and product ranges, RN has been told.

Essity, the company behind brands including Bodyform and Tena Lady, said 15% year-on-year growth in the bladder weakness category results from this combination of factors which is unlikely to change in the future.

The company has launched a new range of gender-specific undergarments – Tena Lady Pants Plus and Tena Men Active Fit – alongside a £1.7m marketing campaign to capitalise on the sales opportunity.

Anne McCrory, brand manager for Tena Lady said: “Gender-specific bladder weakness products have already launched in the US and quickly became the majority of the market.”

But retailers suggest other products and categories are likely to see demand grow in the over-50s age range. Anita Nye, of Premier Eldred Drive Stores in Orpington, said: “More than 50% of customers are elderly and this demographic has increased by 10% in the last year.

“Steradent denture cleaners and Tena Lady are popular. The elderly are living longer and I see this base only increasing in the next few years.”