"Femtech" is a word that has become widespread in Japan. Its birth dates back 10 years. The term is said to have been coined by the CEO of Clue, a German venture company that develops menstrual management apps. At that time, when she tried to solicit investment for businesses related to women's health issues, she was often turned away because most of the investors were men. Therefore, we thought that if we categorized it more clearly, it would be recognized as a market and could expand, and the word "femtech" was born, which is a combination of "female" and "technology."
Nowadays, the femtech category is no longer uncommon, with many media coverage in Japan and various companies, both venture and major, entering the field as businesses.
So, how exactly does it permeate people's lives in other countries? I have been researching the current situation in Paris, France, which I visited for the first time in three and a half years.
*Femtech, strictly speaking, refers to products and services that utilize technology. Here, we will expand our coverage to the femme care category, which includes sanitary products.
Close to you, with a wide variety to choose from
The first place I visited was a supermarket located in a relatively large shopping center near where I was staying. First of all, supermarkets in Europe are much larger than those in Japan, but this one has an overwhelming selection of products. I immediately went to the sanitary goods section and found a variety of products, from tampons to menstrual cups to absorbent shorts, lined up on shelves so long you could almost run a foot race.
In Japan, it is still rare to see menstrual cups and water-absorbent shorts in the sanitary goods section of supermarkets, but in Paris, you can choose from everything from size to design. Of course, it's a big supermarket, but I've also seen smaller supermarkets carry it as well. Water-absorbing shorts are not that expensive at 10 to 20 € (approximately 1,450 to 2,900 yen) and are in the price range that can be incorporated into daily life.
There are many types of sanitary napkins, and I had the impression that there were plenty of options available so that I could spend my menstrual period in a style that I felt comfortable with.
In addition, in French shops, BIO (organic) products are almost always on display, whether it's food or cosmetics, and you can find BIO products even in water-absorbing shorts and soaps for sensitive areas.
The water-absorbing shorts also come in a T-back type, which you don't often see in Japanese-made products, and they also come in a wide variety of sizes, including XXL.
By the way, in France, taking care of sensitive areas is taken for granted, so in addition to soaps, there is also a wide range of deodorant products. Deodorant for sensitive areas is not very popular in Japan, but it is a popular item in France, where people are not accustomed to soaking in a bathtub.
In Japan, there are still few users of tampons due to concerns about insertion, but in France there is a huge selection of tampons! They are made from organic cotton and come in a wide range of sizes, including those that correspond to your menstrual blood flow.
In fact, even in France, a large percentage of people still use sanitary napkins, but tampons seem to be becoming more popular as an alternative.
TAMPAX, shown in the photo, is a long-established tampon manufacturer that was founded in the United States in 1931. In France, TV and web commercials are also being developed, and the product is popular with many people.
I was surprised to see this item displayed next to menstrual items. These are disposable incontinence diapers from the Swedish sanitary goods brand ``TENA.'' The women's version has a stylish packaging that makes it hard to believe that it's a product for urinary incontinence. And next to it are incontinence pads for men.
In Japan, I have never really looked at sanitary and care products for men, but in Paris, there are so many different types that I can easily see them, and they are often displayed next to women's products. felt. With this, you won't feel awkward even if you come to buy products of a different gender.
``TENA'' and ``TAMPAX'' can also be purchased online. If there is an item that interests you, why not try it out?
Next time, we will report on Love Store in Paris, which sells items related to sexual wellness!