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Household Paper Products - US - February 2015

“While a budget-conscious mindset among household paper product purchasers has kept sales growth in check, opportunities exist for brands and retailers to offer value in the form of superior quality, added benefits, and new use occasions.”
– John Owen, Senior Household Analyst

This report looks at the following areas:

  • Leveraging new use occasions and partnerships to drive super-premium
  • Private label potential
  • Who says you can’t take it with you?
  • Cleaning up with push-and-wipe cleaners

The household paper products market experienced almost no growth in 2014 and has increased by only 6% over the last five years. However, while getting the best value is as important as ever to budget-conscious category shoppers, national brands and retailers have an opportunity to grow sales by redefining value through improved quality, added features, and new use occasions.

Household paper brands have a stake in the success of this emerging new surface cleaner subsegment, especially in its potential to generate incremental volume for both surface cleaners and paper products. Joint promotions that feature push-and-wipe cleaners and paper products together at retail might be a good way to introduce more consumers to this new approach to quick cleanups.


Paper brands might also consider new products or dispensers to pair with push-and-wipe cleaners. Kleenex Hand Towels, marketed as a more sanitary way to wash and dry hands in the bathroom, for instance, could be repurposed as one half of a new quick cleanup duo.

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
        • Data sources
          • Sales data
            • Consumer survey data
              • Abbreviations and terms
                • Abbreviations
                  • Terms
                  • Executive Summary

                      • The market
                        • Amid economizing, an opportunity for premium-quality products
                          • Figure 1: Total US sales and fan -chart forecast of household paper products, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2009-19
                        • Three biggest segments dominate category but generate minimal growth
                          • Figure 2: Sales of household paper products, segmented by type, 2012 and 2014
                        • Top three companies control nearly three quarters of sales, but store brands on the rise
                          • Figure 3: Manufacturer sales of household paper products, 2013 and 2014
                        • The consumer
                          • Usage slips for facial tissues and paper napkins
                            • Figure 4: Household usage of paper products, by product type, 2009-14
                          • Household size drives usage frequency
                            • Figure 5: Household usage rate of paper products, by household size, August 2013-September 2014
                          • What we think
                          • Issues and Insights

                              • Leveraging new use occasions and partnerships to drive super-premium
                                • The issues
                                  • The implications
                                    • Private label potential
                                      • The issues
                                        • The implications
                                          • Who says you can’t take it with you?
                                            • The issues
                                              • The implications
                                                • Cleaning up with push-and-wipe cleaners
                                                  • The issues
                                                    • The implications
                                                    • Market Size and Forecast

                                                      • Key points
                                                        • Sales and forecast of household paper products
                                                          • Figure 6: Total US sales and forecast of household paper products, at current prices, 2009-19
                                                          • Figure 7: Total US sales and forecast of household paper products, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2009-19
                                                        • Amid economizing, an opportunity for premium-quality products
                                                          • Figure 8: Total US sales and fan-chart forecast of household paper products, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2009-19
                                                        • Fan chart forecast
                                                        • Market Drivers

                                                          • Economizing mindset keeps sales growth in check
                                                            • Figure 9: Paper product shopping behaviors, December 2013
                                                          • Household income stabilizes but remains weak
                                                            • Figure 10: Median household income, in inflation-adjusted dollars, 2003-13
                                                          • Rising consumer confidence could help market
                                                            • Figure 11: Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment, 2009-15
                                                          • Households with kids decline as a percentage of all households
                                                            • Figure 12: Households, by presence of children, 2003-13
                                                          • Growing influence of Hispanic market
                                                            • Figure 13: Households with own children, by race and Hispanic origin of householder, 2013
                                                            • Figure 14: Population, by race and Hispanic origin, 2010-20
                                                        • Competitive Context

                                                          • Paper towels face competition from other cleaning products
                                                            • Toilet paper not immune to competition from durables
                                                              • Sales of sponges and scouring pads outpace paper towels by small margin
                                                                • Figure 15: Total US sales and forecast of sponges and scouring pads, at current prices, 2009-19
                                                              • Disposable wipes poised to gain, possibly at the expense of paper towels
                                                                • Figure 16: Total US sales and forecast of cleaning cloths/wipes, at current prices, 2009-19
                                                              • Competition across segments
                                                              • Segment Performance

                                                                • Key points
                                                                  • Biggest segments dominate category but generate minimal growth
                                                                    • Paper napkin sales slip amid declining usage
                                                                      • Flushable wipes and hand/face towelettes grow from small base
                                                                        • Opportunity to build all-family use of wet wipes
                                                                          • Sales of household paper products, by segment
                                                                            • Figure 17: Sales of household paper products, segmented by type, 2012 and 2014
                                                                            • Figure 18: Sales and forecast of household paper products, segmented by type, 2009-19
                                                                        • Retail Channels

                                                                          • Key points
                                                                            • Value-focused channels continue to gain share
                                                                              • Subscription services gain momentum
                                                                                • Sales of household paper products, by channel
                                                                                  • Figure 19: Sales of household paper products, by channel, 2012 and 2014
                                                                                  • Figure 20: Sales of household paper products, by channel, 2009-14
                                                                              • Leading Companies

                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                  • P&G share slips, but company holds lead
                                                                                    • Kimberly-Clark manages slight gain
                                                                                      • Manufacturer sales of household paper products
                                                                                        • Figure 21: Manufacturer sales of household paper products, 2013 and 2014
                                                                                    • Brand Share – Toilet Tissue

                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                        • Private label continues to advance, but pace of gain slows
                                                                                          • National brands place emphasis on specific features
                                                                                            • Manufacturer sales of toilet tissue
                                                                                              • Figure 22: Manufacturer sales of toilet tissue, 2013 and 2014
                                                                                          • Brand Share – Paper Towels

                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                              • Viva Vantage helps to expand super-premium niche
                                                                                                • New super-premium entry from Bounty
                                                                                                  • Flexible sheet size options gain momentum
                                                                                                    • Manufacturer sales of paper towels
                                                                                                      • Figure 23: Manufacturer sales of paper towels, 2013 and 2014
                                                                                                  • Brand Share – Facial Tissue

                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                      • Leading brands turn to packaging to reenergize slumping sales
                                                                                                        • Private label continues to advance
                                                                                                          • Manufacturer sales of facial tissue
                                                                                                            • Figure 24: Manufacturer sales of facial tissue, 2013 and 2014
                                                                                                        • Brand Share – Paper Napkins

                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                            • Private label expansion puts squeeze on mid-tier brands
                                                                                                              • Manufacturer sales of paper napkins
                                                                                                                • Figure 25: Manufacturer sales of paper napkins, 2013 and 2014
                                                                                                            • Brand Share – Flushable Wet Wipes

                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                • Cottonelle’s dual use promotion may be benefiting overall segment
                                                                                                                  • Manufacturer sales of flushable wet wipes
                                                                                                                    • Figure 26: Manufacturer sales of flushable wet wipes, 2013 and 2014
                                                                                                                • Brand Share – Hand/Face Moist Towelettes

                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                    • Private label gains, but opportunities exist for innovative niche brands
                                                                                                                      • Figure 27: Manufacturer sales of hand/face moist towelettes, 2013 and 2014
                                                                                                                  • Marketing Strategies

                                                                                                                    • P&G brands equate quality and strength with value
                                                                                                                      • Charmin Ultra Strong
                                                                                                                        • Figure 28: Charmin Ultra Strong, “Airport Security” TV spot, 2014
                                                                                                                      • Charmin Ultra Soft
                                                                                                                        • Figure 29: Charmin Ultra Soft, “Binoculars” TV spot, 2014
                                                                                                                      • Bounty
                                                                                                                        • Figure 30: Bounty, “Pizza Party” TV spot, 2014
                                                                                                                      • Sparkle offers an alternative take on value
                                                                                                                        • Figure 31: Sparkle paper towels, “Kerry the Fairy” TV spot, 2013
                                                                                                                      • Cottonelle promotes dual usage
                                                                                                                        • Figure 32: Sparkle paper towels, “Kerry the Fairy” TV spot, 2013
                                                                                                                    • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                      • Household Usage Trends

                                                                                                                        • Usage slips for facial tissues and paper towels
                                                                                                                          • Figure 33: Household usage of paper products, by product type, 2009-14
                                                                                                                      • Household Usage – Key Demographics

                                                                                                                        • Facial tissue, paper napkin usage lowest among 25-34 age group
                                                                                                                          • Figure 34: Household usage of paper products, by age, August 2013-September 2014
                                                                                                                        • Usage incidence increases with household income
                                                                                                                          • Figure 35: Household usage of paper products, by household income, August 2013-September 2014
                                                                                                                        • Largest households a little less likely to use paper towels, facial tissues
                                                                                                                          • Figure 36: Household usage of paper products, by household size, August 2013-September 2014
                                                                                                                        • Black, Hispanic households less likely to use facial tissue
                                                                                                                          • Hispanic and Asian households more likely to use paper napkins
                                                                                                                            • Figure 37: Household usage of paper products, by race/Hispanic origin, August 2013-September 2014
                                                                                                                        • Usage Frequency

                                                                                                                          • Household size drives usage frequency
                                                                                                                            • Figure 38: Household usage rate of paper products, by household size, August 2013-September 2014
                                                                                                                        • Brands Used Most Often

                                                                                                                          • Toilet paper brands show modest demographic skews
                                                                                                                            • Figure 39: Brand of toilet paper used most often in household, by demographics, August 2013-September 2014
                                                                                                                          • Bounty tops paper towel usage across demographic groups
                                                                                                                            • Figure 40: Brand of paper towels used most often in household, by demographics, August 2013-September 2014
                                                                                                                          • Kleenex dominates facial tissue usage
                                                                                                                            • Figure 41: Brand of facial tissue used most often in household, by demographics, August 2013-September 2014
                                                                                                                          • Private label paper napkins prevalent across demographic groups
                                                                                                                            • Figure 42: Brand of paper napkins used most often in household, by demographics, August 2013-September 2014
                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Other Useful Consumer Tables

                                                                                                                          • Household usage rate of paper products
                                                                                                                            • Figure 43: Household usage rate of paper products, by age, August 2013-September 2014
                                                                                                                            • Figure 44: Household usage rate of paper products, by household income, August 2013-September 2014
                                                                                                                            • Figure 45: Household usage rate of paper products, by household size, August 2013-September 2014
                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Trade Associations

                                                                                                                            • American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA)
                                                                                                                              • Sanitary Supply Wholesaling Association (SSWA)
                                                                                                                                • Manufacturers Representatives of America, Inc. (MRA)

                                                                                                                                Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                • American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA)
                                                                                                                                • Family Dollar Stores, Inc
                                                                                                                                • Manufacturers Representatives of America Inc (MRA)
                                                                                                                                • Sanitary Supply Wholesalers Association
                                                                                                                                • Walmart Stores (USA)

                                                                                                                                Household Paper Products - US - February 2015

                                                                                                                                £3,199.84 (Excl.Tax)