On a Roll

During the recent COVID-19 problems and lockdown worries, there was a rush for all sorts of essential supplies, including pasta, tinned food and possibly not the top of everyone’s list – toilet rolls, which quickly ran out!

There are alternatives! This was the situation with early innovators too. It wasn’t easy to find a market when there was cut up newsprint on a nail for free. Early toilet paper originally came as flat packs, but the market really took off with rolls; first patented and marketed by the Scott Paper Company (now part of Kimberley Clark) in the 1890s. The need to keep sewage systems flowing helped push the market forward, but even in the early 1930s, some companies had a USP around being splinter free.

There lies the main driver – we all have our own favourite loo roll, whether it be for softness, durability or lack of splinters and we can’t risk a pandemic interfering with that. It also shows that early innovators, even of the most basic of products, keep rolling if they can keep wiping away better than the competition!