Sales of toilet paper are declining in the US. This is because the panic purchases that motivated Americans to empty supermarket shelves to guarantee essential products at the beginning of the pandemic generated overstock of toilet paper in their homes.
According to the Wall Street Journal, toilet paper sales in January were 4.3% lower than in the same month in 2020, before the pandemic began.
In addition, there was an annual drop of 14% in February and 33% in March, the newspaper reported, quoting data from NielsenIQ.
While Americans mostly still work and study at home, as well as at the beginning of the pandemic, some now have excess stock of toilet paper. According to the report published by the newspaper, they now wait for that volume to decrease before they can buy more rolls.
“They just kept amassing,” Marjorie Greenburgh, a resident of New Rochelle, New York, told the Journal, noting that she has 54 rolls in her home. “I’m not thinking of buying for now,” she added.
The scenario has also changed for tissue manufacturers: factories now operate at 90 to 95% capacity, after operating at 100% for most of last year, reports the Journal.
However, consumers continue to buy other tissue products: sales of paper towels increased 10% over the previous year, in January, according to the report.
Unlike manufacturers of hand sanitizing products, the Journal indicates that toilet paper producers have not been able to easily expand their capacity during rising demand due to the pandemic, because this process is expensive and time-consuming.
The rolls used in public restrooms (Away from Home), which were mostly closed due to social isolation, do not support supply in stores, as they are made in different factories and pass through another value chain, the publication adds.