Alva Review-Courier -

Toilet paper


March 13, 2020: the beginning of the Great Toilet Tissue Panic. According to Arist Mastorides, president of Cottonelle and Scott, toilet paper sales grew by 734% in dollars, from the same day the year before.

Why toilet paper? As quarantines began, people would need 40% more toilet paper at home for “occasions,” as the industry refers to bathroom breaks. Shoppers became preppers and hunkered down as a run cleared the shelves. Even Amazon was wiped out. The Wall Street Journal, unaware of the term “lean industry,” announced that, “There is one coronavirus fear that we can alleviate: the idea that America is running out of toilet paper.” Wrong.

The politically correct word for hoarding is “forward buying” and Americans bought into it. A lean industry is ultra-efficient, with the supply meeting demand with only a small stockpile for emergencies that usually affect a region. The pandemic was worldwide.

Now, about toilet paper itself: Cottonelle is cottony soft but not made of cotton. Toilet paper grows on trees – Eucalyptus trees mostly in Brazil where they can grow 100 feet tall in 6-7 years. They grow faster than corn! So, as demand for the finished product increased, the price for virgin wood pulp skyrocketed, increasing by $500 a ton and you can’t raise the price of TP, there would be an insurrection.


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