Unhappy Nappy Purchasers, Including a Levittown Mom, Wrinkle Their Noses Over High Diaper Prices

Bucks County rise in diaper prices
Image via Mickey_Liaw at Creative Commons.

A shortage in the chemical compound used to make diapers is driving their prices up. Samuel Willings covered the supply-chain cause for NewsTrends 7. 

Acrylic acid is the propylene-based compound that gives diapers their absorbency. Its production relies on a crop-based component that was negatively affected by a February cold snap in Texas. 

COVID-19 delays in transport and shipping further bunched up the diaper supply chain. 

The result is a current 9 percent jump in U.S. diaper costs from a year ago. Two leading U.S. manufacturers, Kimberly-Clark and Procter & Gamble, assure consumers that the rise shows no signs of abating. 

The effect is being felt locally. 

Karen Clear of Levittown has seen — and felt — the shortfall in her weekly budget resulting from diaper purchases. That is, when she can find them. The extra-large pull-ups her six-year-old son wears are often vacant from store shelves. 

She tries to buy in bulk, thereby driving down the price of each individual diaper. But large-count packages are especially rare these days. 

“Almost daily I have to check every store just to see if I can find them,” she said. “It’s sad, and it’s getting very expensive.” 

More on the current diaper shortage and price spike is at NewsTrends 7.