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    There's a new niche in toilet tissues. Super-premium is where it's at, and Scott and Kimberly-Clark are doing all they can to satisfy demand for softness and super-absorbency.

    THE TWO giants of toilet tissue are four months into a fight to establish a new, super-premium niche in the |pounds~604m market.

    Dominated by Andrex and Kleenex, respectively part of Scott and Kimberly-Clark, both brands are doing all they can to satisfy consumer demands for softness with the latest fad of super absorbency.

    Not only are prices higher in the new niche, but the number of sheets per roll have declined from around 280 to 200.

    So, as the reality filters through to buyers, the latest battle in the bathroom may prove to be driven by price rather than paper technology or quality of product.

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    Signs of a price battle are already visible. In September the wraps came off Andrex Gold, the ultimate in quality and comfort, four rolls cost |pounds~1.85, a 7% premium on regular Andrex four-roll packs. Kimberly-Clark's competitor, Kleenex Quilted, with super-absorbency, cushioned softness and bonded strength, was |pounds~1.89 for four rolls.https://www.facebook.com/Top-Best-Fl...4292116276986/

    Although Kleenex Quilted has been the more successful in getting itself on the supermarket shelves, the four-roll price has recently come down to |pounds~1.65. Scott is putting |pounds~2m of advertising behind Andrex Gold in its first six months, but had a difficult decision to make regarding the creation of a more upmarket image. It felt that the famous Andrex puppy would not be able to achieve this, linked as he is to lovable stupidity and thoughtless children.

    But fears of a consumer uprising mean that the puppy, a television star of over 70 commercials in 21 years, couldn't be condemned to the kennel in the sky. Instead, his appearances are now limited to the |pounds~2.5m promotion of the regular brand.

    Technology was bound to influence the toilet tissue market sooner or later. With 98% of the market, soft tissue had only been growing by around 3% in recent years.

    Andrex, originally launched in 1942, sees itself as leading the development of the premium toilettissue market, which now accounts for 59.7% of total market value, according to Scott marketing manager Paul Duncanson.

    The last major change in the market came from Kimberly-Clark, however, when it launched air-dried Kleenex Velvet in 1982. It used a technique that effectively fluffed up the tissue fibres and made for what it called a "velvety" softness. This was brought about through air drying, a significant innovation, with warm air being blown through each sheet to remove moisture, instead of the high pressure and heat. treatment that had been employed before.

    Kimberly-Clark says it continued to improve product quality, and pushed its brand share to 12% -- at the expense of Andrex, at its lowest ever level, according to the Nielsen Retail Audit, points out Kimberly-Clark.

    Its answer to Andrex Gold is Kleenex Quilted, backed by |pounds~4m of TV advertising from last October, entering the market with a 10% retail price premium over Andrex. The paper technology is different in that two sheets of tissue are effectively quilted together, giving a thicker look to the packaged product.

    Both Andrex Gold and Kleenex Quilted represent real advances in paper technology, but research suggests that the new Kimberly-Clark product is the best performer in terms of softness and absorbency.

    Super-absorbency is unlikely to prove as significant to market development as the patenting of the perforated sheet in 1871 which led to the first toilet roll in the 1880s.

    It has emerged from the demands for 'softness' which have driven the market since the 1950s and 1960s when Scott and Kimberly-Clark took on, and trounced the medicated, shiny toilet papers made by Bronco and Izal.

    The 'shinies' had always claimed a health advantage, but aggressive advertising played on comfort so successfully that Bronco disappeared in 1989. Izal is still manufactured, but for a dwindling market dominated by the over-65s. LISTINGS

    THE NEW super-absorbent products haven't established themselves on supermarket shelves to the extent that their advertising launch budgets might justify.

    Premium brands still dominate with Andrex's brand-leading 32.2% share maintained by an on-pack Puppy Tales promotion involving four hardback books written by Gerald Durrell.

    Similarly, Kimberly-Clark has continued to support Kleenex Velvet and Kleenex recycled toilet tissue, both of which had record 1993 sales in an area that has become increasingly price- and promotion-sensitive.https://medium.com/@toiletszones/how...t-1297a73dd4df

    Kleenex Recycled was 20% up last year against 1992. Quality does not approach that of the regular premium brands, but products are being continually developed and improved.

    The biggest growth in paper products is in moist toilet tissues, currently only 4.1% of the market, according to AGB for the 24. weeks to June 1993. It is a |pounds~9m market, but expanding faster than any grocery product, bar descalers, up 72.5% since the 1992 launch of Andrex Moist.

    According to Nielsen, for the six months to June 1993, Andrex Moist had 35.8% of this market, behind Jeyes Hakle Moist with 52.1% and ahead of Courtaulds Freshtex's 12%.

    Significantly, moist tissue is currently more popular in Holland (33%) and Germany (21%). Scott put |pounds~2.5m behind marketing Andrex Moist in 1993, has launched a refill and expects the market to approach |pounds~30m by 1997.

    Competition is not quite so fierce in other sectors of the paper products market. One significant development is the launch of Scott's new kitchen towel, Andrex Ultra, the first time the brand name had been used for paper towels. Andrex Ultra was launched in 1993 with |pounds~5m worth of advertising and promotional support, more than the total advertising spend in the sector for the previous three years.

    This put something of a bomb under the |pounds~129m market dominated by what Scott calls a "proliferation of small towel brands focusing on short-term market exploitation".

    Again, improved technology influenced the product, adding to its absorbency, softness and strength with a 120-sheet single roll replacing its standard 60 to 70 sheet two-roll pack.

    * The super-premium toilet tissue market will settle down and establish a significant slice of the total market, but there will be increased advertising activity among regular brands where the biggest battle will continue to be fought on price with value per sheet being even more significant than before

    * Continuing spectacular growth in the moist tissue market, particularly among women who, having tried the products, often prefer them

    * More branded activity and promotional support in paper towels with some of the market smaller fry trying to snatch the initiative away from Scott

    Name of company: Scott Name of products: Andrex. Brand leader in toiler tissue, with Andrex Gold in the super-premium market, Andrex Moist and Andrex Ultra in kitchen towels. Comment: "Andrex Gold is designed to develop a super-premium niche in toilet tissue while Andrex will continue to meet the traditional expectations of softness, strength and value for money, notably in younger households with children, the heaviest users of toilet tissue" -- Paul Duncanson, marketing manager, toilet tissue.

    Name of company: Kimberly-Clark Name of products: Kleenex. Pushing ahead with Kleenex Quilted in the premium market, but continuing to develop Kleenex Velvet and Kleenex recycled toilet tissue. Comment: "Kleenex Quilted has, so far, been more successful in getting on the shelves than Andrex Gold. Indeed, our recent increases in market share have all been at the expense of Andrex" -- Sam Brabender, senior marketing manager, toilet tissue,

    Name of company: Jamont UK (formerly British Tissues). Name of products: Dixcel, Dixcel Kitten Soft, Thick and Fast Kitchen Towels, Dixcel Regular and Mansize Facials, and the Beatrix Potter Kitchen Towel and facial tissue range. Launching a nonchlorine bleached environmental brand this month (January). Dixcel Family Value 100% Recycled was the first complete range of 100% recycled tissues in Britain. Dixcel Extra, launched in September 1993, was the first major branded compact bathroom tissue that has 400 sheets per roll but is the same size as a normal toilet roll. Comment: "The two luxury premium products are, as yet, a very small sector in the market and it's too early to say exactly how things are going to go. Softness has always been the key, but with the number of sheets in a roll down from the usual 280 to 200 in a premium product, the argument may eventually be price rather than the undoubted quality" -- Stephen Raher, marketing manager brands.Website:http://toiletszones.com
    Last edited by producer anh; 2018-03-31 at 08:12.

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