On the paper trail
Offering value for money and adding value in functionality and innovation will move products in this category, which analysts say consumers “do not actively shop
15 April 2009 | 0
At a glance: HOUSEHOLD PAPER
- The household towel category is worth over €25 million
- Plenty is the number one brand in the household towel category with a 25% value share (Nielsen Mat 52 weeks 02 November 2008)
- Andrex is the number one bathroom tissue, averaging a 20% share
- The Kleenex share of the tissues market is over 60%
- The Homestead paper range had sales amounting to almost €4million in 2008
The household paper market, including toilet, kitchen and facial tissue is mature with near universal penetration. However market analyst Mintel finds growth is being achieved due to the shift towards added-value products. In an earlier 2006 report, Mintel stated that “consumers do not actively shop the fixture”, but instead are merely “picking up what readily comes to hand.” Subsequently, “building a raft of added-value brands with USPs has been a holy grail for many manufacturers in this market,” the researcher states.
USPs such as strength and absorbency, when combined with a creative advertising campaign, have helped brands to create higher levels of engagement. Mintel has also stated however that “many consumers make their purchase decisions based solely on price.” However, even for this group, strength and softness are still perceived as important qualities. The researcher therefore claims that consumers are tending to trade up to premium products but are also seeking value for money. And in its latest report, Mintel stated that, “spend on above-the-line advertising is decreasing, but extra-free product remains a key promotional mechanic.”
Consumers are also becoming increasingly concerned about environmental issues. This means that they need to be reassured about product origins, and manufacturers are attempting to address this area. Brands such as SCA’s Velvet toilet tissue have adopted environmental programmes to minimise the impact of their product. This includes the ‘three trees’ programme, where three trees are planted for every one used, and an initiative where packaging now contains a minimum of 10% recycled materials.
Plenty of investment
SCA has announced a major re-invigoration of its popular Bounty brand which is being unveiled under the new name of Plenty. Plenty, which has been available since February and is the number one brand with a 25% value share (Nielsen Mat 52 weeks 02 November 2008), will be supported with a heavyweight through-the-line spend, including a brand new TV advertising campaign. This features the strapline, “Bounty is now called Plenty – same great towel, brand new name.”
The new TV campaign will kick off on 16 March, featuring the memorable housewives, Brenda and Audrey. It will be supported with a strong media campaign including nationwide outdoor, in-store point of purchase and Aircoach advertising. Significant below-the-line activity will also take place, supported by a consumer PR campaign, including broadcast and online activity, and a national road show beginning on 23 March. Trade marketing plans are in place to support retailers through the re-brand period.
Following SCA’s recent acquisition of the Bounty brand from P&G, Plenty will still continue to deliver sales performance and value for money. It has also received the Good Housekeeping Institute seal of approval.
On a roll
Andrex is the number one bathroom tissue, averaging a 20% share. New innovations should enable Andrex to grow sales even further. These include recent pack changes, and continued promotion packs and price promotions. This marketing activity will also be supported by an ongoing TV spend throughout the year. Promotions that are available across Andrex ranges, include four rolls for the price of three, 12 rolls for the price of nine, and a two roll case deal (20 rolls for price of 15).
There are several sub-brands available within the Andrex range, including Puppies on a Roll, Aloe Vera, Quilts, and the mainstream range, in White, Natural, Aqua and Pink varieties. Andrex Long Roll, is the longest Andrex yet, providing more toilet paper in less space. It has the same base-sheet as mainstream Andrex with 50% more sheets, and 10% wider roll. There will be continued support for Andrex Long Roll throughout 2009 with heavyweight TV Advertising and promotions.
Andrex Moist Wipes, are available in an Andrex Fresh variant, in both tub and refill formats. There is also an Andrex Kids variant, which again comes in tub and refill formats, with fun packaging for children aged four to 11 years. Promotions and point of sale materials are available for these products.
The Kleenex brand has been steadily growing since the 1930s, to the extent that today the Kleenex share of the market is over 60%. Kleenex has a wide variety of tissues available for the consumer to choose from. Kleenex Mansize has been the brand-leading variant for over 40 years, helped by Mansize boxes, historically accounting for around half of all sales. Regular, cube and pocket packs combine to make up the remainder.
The Kleenex brand has expanded to include a variety of ranges such as Anti-Viral, Balsam and Ultra Soft. Kleenex Disney packs, in both cube and pocket packs, are also available. “High School Musical” is currently featured on packaging.
The unique Kleenex ‘Let it out’ TV and press campaign continues, including sponsorship of the new Gabriel Byrne Emmy award winning programme, “In Treatment,” on 3e from March 2009.
Fiesta provides high quality kitchen towel products at a value for money price. Fiesta Ultra offers thicker sheets with more stretch and 30% more absorbency. These improvements tackle the main usage for kitchen towels; dealing with mess-management efficiently. Continuous improvements have also enhanced the feel and texture of these thicker rolls.
Fiesta Jumbo is in a large roll format. It is ideal for multi purpose usage around the home and in work environments, such as catering and mechanics. Fiesta Jumbo is long, strong, hygienic and offers value.
Bringing value home
The Homestead paper range continues to be one of the strongest categories within its portfolio. Sales at the end of 2008 showed growth in both value and volume, which Homestead brand manager Janice Gibney says she is very proud of, considering the amount of promoted and extra fill brands within the paper category which were available during the year.
With sales amounting to almost €4 million in 2008, accounting for nearly a quarter of overall Homestead sales in that year, the brand is truly enjoying the success of this category. The paper range, which includes a variety of toilet rolls, kitchen towels and mansize tissues, is produced to the highest quality using 100% virgin pulp paper. The selection rivals any market leader while remaining well priced in order to compete successfully in the private label market.
With the move in the market from smaller convenience pack to larger family packs Homestead has introduced a new 12 roll pack with an RSP of €5.99 which the brand states is truly the success story of the Homestead paper range for 2008. The market has also seen a move away from cheaper kitchen towels to the more premium higher absorbent products, making Homestead Absorb the brand’s number one kitchen towel.
Questions and answers with…
Category insight manager, SCA
What will make a product stand out on shelf?
Creative packaging is central to creating shelf stand out and differentiation. It is extremely important to utilise the front of pack to ensure that consumers instantly recognise the product and that the key messages of the brand are clearly communicated within seconds. For example, new packaging was introduced for Velvet in January 2009 to communicate the product’s environmental attributes. Effective. innovative POS is a great way to help create stand out, and is vital for ensuring that products do not get ‘lost in the crowd’
What innovations have developed within the category in recent times?
SCA is committed to environmental sustainability and the Velvet brand has focused on a pioneering environmental programme ensuring that three trees are replanted for each one used, a first for the category. In addition, Velvet’s poly packaging now contains a minimum of 10% recycled materials, in a further move towards environmentally responsible products. Consumers like to experience different products in different ways, so SCA customises each activity to capture this. For example, kitchen towel consumers are interested in product performance, whereas toilet tissue consumers are interested in the touch and feel.
How important are environmental issues? How can they be addressed?
While value and price have become very real driving factors for consumer purchasing in recent times, it is important to note that people are not just grabbing the cheapest item on the shelves. Recent research suggests that the trend towards buying environmentally friendly products actually eclipsed price in importance to the customer in January 2007. Due to the current economic downturn people have again placed price over environment but its importance is still streets ahead of its position in the early 2000s, proving that it is still a very real concern for consumers.
How important is promotional discounting within this sector in establishing brand loyalty?
Even in economically stronger times, promotions were an important volume driver. While promotional discounting will work in gaining some new consumers, and rewarding existing customers, investing in other activities will reach out to other consumers not actively shopping the household paper aisle. The new Plenty brand activities focus on communicating the performance and value message to consumers, moving consumers away from pricing only value. Paying a bit more for a product that does a better job, saves money by using less. As Plenty is so durable, one sheet will do the whole job.