SEOUL, Oct. 24 (Korea Bizwire) – Menstrual cups, touted as safer, more durable and more eco-friendly alternatives to sanitary pads or tampons, will soon hit the South Korean market provided companies can successfully pass the requirements set by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety.
As menstrual cups are categorized as medical products domestically, local manufacturers or importers must have their products pass a safety inspection conducted by the authorities.
With the national furor surrounding the supposed presence of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) in a number of sanitary pad product lines still vivid in recent memory, the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety intends to carry out a thorough inspection for potentially harmful components in menstrual cups.
Menstrual cups boast the advantage of durability and affordability; it is possible for a cup to last as long as 10 years, while the going rate is somewhere between 20,000 and 40,000 won. Women who wanted to use them in South Korea have previously been forced to rely on the method of overseas direct purchase from foreign markets due to their unavailability.
Awareness of the product category is believed to be considerable. According to a survey on Korean women’s opinions on menstrual cups in April, 41.4 percent of the 1,028 participants responded that they knew what menstrual cups were.
Actual users remained few and far between, with only 1.4 percent identifying themselves as menstrual cup users.
Younger women in their teens and 20s were found to be the most aware of menstrual cups (61 percent).
In more positive news for potential sellers, 82.4 percent of previous users of menstrual cups responded that they would recommend them to someone else. The positives associated with menstrual cup use were related to their affordability, environmental-friendliness, and ability to prevent skin allergies.
The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety on October 24 announced that so far, four businesses – one local manufacturer and three importers – had applied for licenses to sell menstrual cups. Among them, one importer’s paperwork has been approved, and its product is undergoing a safety inspection. If the product passes its inspection successfully, the product will be approved for sale.