Products: The Great Diaper Battle

U.S. businessmen collect and collate countless minor statistics—not the least of which is the fact that American mothers change their babies' diapers about 25 billion times a year. While pondering that vital information 13 years ago, executives of Cincinnati's Procter & Gamble Co. decided that there was money to be made in diapers. That was the genesis of what has become one of the best-selling new consumer products in years.

In 1966 P. & G. was ready to introduce a disposable diaper called Pampers. Since then, sales have climbed to more than $30 million a year, and the company has...

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