Despite facing extreme competition, key brands within the household paper category have achieved growth in 2013 by delivering value and concentrating on the USPs that enable them to stand out from the crowd
18 February 2014
AT A GLANCE: HOUSEHOLD PAPER
- Plenty household towel is the number one brand in the category with over 17% value share (Source: MAT Dec 2013)
- Cushelle holds 11% value share (Source: MAT Dec 2013) of the toilet tissue category
- Cushelle has achieved a growth in spend of 16.2% year-on-year (YOY)*,
- Approximately 80% of SCA’s consumers globally are women
- In October 2013 the Kittensoft brand was re-launched in the Irish market and now has a retail value worth over €12.5 million (Source: Kantar Worldpanel)
- Nicky was the only household paper brand to feature in Kantar’s Top 100 "Master Brands at Home" in 2014
- Nicky achieved over 14% volume growth (Source: Kantar Worldpanel) in 2013
- Regina saw market growth of over 5% YOY in the Irish market (Source: Kantar Worldpanel)
*(Source: Kantar WorldPanel, MAT Value Share w/e 8 Dec 2013)
Although individual brands recorded a strong performance in 2013, with continued year-on-year growth, the household paper category as a whole has struggled in recent years, faced with intense competition from the private-label market. Nevertheless, by focusing on their range USPs, such as strength and durability, luxury, valued skincare features, anti-bacterial properties and environmentally friendly credentials, and by investing in innovative marketing campaigns, key brands in Ireland have managed to achieve an impressive feat. They have performed well and increased their market share within their category. Leading brands have also responded to consumer demand by offering excellent value-for-money for budget-conscious households.
As Richard Caines, senior household care analyst at Mintel, points out: "While household paper products are essentially staple items that are mostly bought with the groceries when shoppers are focused on saving money, toilet tissue, kitchen towels and facial tissues all still offer opportunities for adding value to sales through product development. Consumers have shown themselves to be willing to pay a little bit more for these essentials if they think premium products offer them valuable benefits, and a greater focus on health, hygiene and personal care will help growth in all three product categories."
Positive paper performance
SCA is a global hygiene and forest company that develops and produces personal care products, tissue and forest products with sales being conducted in some hundred countries. SCA Ireland distributes and markets some well-known brands including Cushelle and Velvet toilet tissue, Plenty household towel, Velvet and Tempo facial tissue, Bodyform towels and liners, Demak’Up cotton pads and the world leading incontinence brand Tena.
Plenty household towel is the number one brand in the category with over 17% value share (Source: MAT Dec 2013). The focus for the Plenty brand in 2014 is to continue to focus on strong marketing investment through TV advertising and shopper marketing activity to drive rate of sale. In 2013, Plenty had a new line extension to the range with Plenty Super Strong which delivers the cleaning power of a cloth in a paper towel. For additional information on top cleaning tips or a consumer coupon to trial Plenty, visit www.plenty.ie.
Cushelle holds 11% value share (Source: MAT Dec 2013) of the toilet tissue category. Cushelle has performed well and has seen a growth in spend of 16.2% year-on-year (YOY)*, which has been driven by an increase in the number of shoppers and volume per buyer. In 2014 the brand will continue to drive growth with a new TV advert and strong shopper marketing activity. The consumer campaign will help explain ‘what makes Cushelle so irresistibly cushiony soft’. For more information, visit www.cushelle.ie.
Velvet will continue to support its campaign for trees in 2014, which has already seen four million extra trees replanted through the ‘three trees promise’ which states that for every tree used in the manufacture of Velvet, three more will be replaced. There will also be a new pack refresh taking place in 2014 in order to reinvigorate the brand and deliver stand out at shelf. For additional information around the Velvet campaign for trees or a coupon to trial the product, visit www.velvet.ie.
SCA is participating in the next round of the world Volvo Ocean Race in 2014-2015 with an all-female crew on a SCA branded boat. About 80% of SCA’s consumers globally are women, and this significant figure is behind SCA’s decision to sign an all-female crew for one of the sporting world’s most challenging events. The Volvo Ocean Race is one of the most demanding and challenging ocean races in existence. The teams will compete on a nine-leg race around the world, covering over 39,000 miles of the world’s most challenging oceans and conditions. See more at: www.sca.com.
*(Source: Kantar WorldPanel, MAT Value Share w/e 8 Dec 2013)
Bringing value home
The Homestead paper range continues to be one of the strongest categories within the Homestead portfolio. 2013 was an extremely competitive year in this category and the company states sales of Homestead Tissue continue year-on-year to be extremely positive.
Products like the Homestead Comfort 16 roll (RRP €4.99) delivered a quality product at a very competitive price to the consumer and it was promotions like this that ensured consumer support for the Homestead Tissue brand in 2013.
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 sourced from well managed forests. Homestead says the selection rivals any market leader while remaining well priced in order to compete successfully in the private-label market.
2013 also saw the Homestead Soft Toilet Tissue become a stronger and softer roll, allowing the consumer to benefit from increased quality at no added cost. The rebranding of the Homestead range and the introduction of price-marked packs (PMPs) has ensured continued day-to-day value for the consumer. These include Homestead Splash Kitchen Towel’s two roll and four roll packs along with the new Homestead Soft Toilet Tissue nine roll.
Homestead brand manager, Janice Gibney added: "As the market becomes increasingly competitive it is imperative that we review our pricing on a continual basis and we look forward to bringing more savings to our consumer in 2014 to ensure we continue to bring value home."
Kittensoft, one of Ireland’s favourite family toilet tissues, was recently acquired by the Sofidel Group. The move has seen the brand undergo a redesign to become bigger and softer than before.
In October 2013 the brand was re-launched in the Irish market with strong success and is now worth over €12.5 million in terms of retail value (Source: Kantar Worldpanel), endorsing the strength of the Kittensoft brand and the loyalty of its consumers.
The brand re-launch was supported by a hugely popular TV advert, online give-aways and in-store promotions. Following the re-launch, Kittensoft limited edition "Winter Snow" 18 and 24 roll packs were launched and will remain available until March 2014.
The brand states 2014 will bring even more exciting developments for Kittensoft. "Emma" the popular TV advertisement will be back in February and again later in the year.
Limited edition packs will be available throughout the year displaying different themes for different seasons and the group will also be launching some new super-premium variants in April to add to the current Kittensoft "Adorably Soft" product.
The company believes it will be an exciting year for the Kittensoft brand and the consumer will benefit from give-aways, in-store promotions, additional super-premium offerings and of course great quality, transforming Kittensoft back to one of Ireland’s most loved tissue brands.
In the nick of time
2013 proved another successful year for Nicky as it was the only household paper brand to feature in Kantar’s Top 100 "Master Brands at Home" in June. This coupled with over 14% volume growth in 2013 (Source: Kantar Worldpanel), shows the brand continues to grow in the Irish market.
This result confirms its loyal customer base in Ireland and demonstrates that the Nicky Brand continues to deliver quality, innovation and value for money to the Irish consumer.
Offering a product portfolio for all segments of the toilet tissue market, the Nicky paper brand states it is a must stock for all retailers.
From Nicky Soft Touch three ply toilet tissue to the new Nicky Elite three ply Aloe Vera premium variant, the consumer has a great choice offered by this quality brand.
In the kitchen towel sector, Nicky Lemon, a decorated kitchen towel with a lemon scented core is a hit with the Irish consumer. 2013 saw this popular product launched in a four roll pack size along with its two roll variant, as consumers demand larger size packs.
2014 celebrates Nicky’s 10th birthday in the Irish market and to mark this occasion the brand will become a partner of the Jack & Jill Children’s Foundation.
The Jack & Jill Children’s Foundation provides direct funding to families of children with brain damage who suffer severe intellectual and physical developmental delay, enabling them to purchase home respite care. These are children who as a result of their condition require intensive home nursing care.
The foundation gives these families the gift of time; time to do the things that we so often take for granted like shopping, taking their other children to the park, a night’s sleep etc.
The Nicky premium products will carry the Jack & Jill logo and a brief explanation on the back of pack of the great work carried out by the Jack & Jill Children’s Foundation.
"We are extremely humbled to partner with this great charity. The Sofidel Group is committed to social responsibility in the areas where we sell our brands and it makes us very happy to help make a difference to Irish families by partnering with the Jack & Jill Children’s Foundation," said Brian Clinton, country sales manager for the Sofidel Group.
For more information, visit www.nicky.ie.
Super-premium offering minus the premium price tag
The Regina tissue brand was launched in Ireland in 2007 and today takes its place as one of the leading premium brands.
2013 saw another strong year for Regina in the Irish market, showing growth of over 5% year-on-year (Source: Kantar Worldpanel).
Innovation is at the heart of the Regina brand, from Regina Blitz three ply household towel to Regina Softis four ply double quilted toilet tissue.
Regina gives the consumer a super-premium offering at an affordable price.
Regina Softis is a four ply double quilted patented toilet tissue which has air filled layers to promote softness, one of the key attributes for the Irish consumer. Since its launch in 2010, Regina Softis is now the largest selling toilet tissue in the Regina family.
2014 will see Regina Softis return to TV screens, and the brand believes that this along with continued promotional support in-store makes this product a must stock line for any retailer.
Regina Blitz household towel, another innovative product from the producers of Regina continues to perform in the household towel category. Year-on-year growth confirms that Regina Blitz is a welcome addition to any household and ensures consumer confidence when tackling tough jobs around the house.
The Regina paper range will be supported continuously in the year to come with TV advertising, in-store marketing and promotional campaigns, ensuring the consumer is rewarded by purchasing this hugely successful premium brand.
What prospects does the future hold for the household paper category?
At the start of the recession in 2008, growth in value sales of household paper products slowed, as consumers became more focused on price. They accordingly decided to turn more towards own-label products and special offers to fulfil their household paper needs. Since then, market growth has continued to be sluggish, but the big brands have managed to maintain their share of sales through new product launches and strong promotional support for their brands.
This is the conclusion reached in a recent UK study by Mintel on the household paper category, published in February 2011. The Mintel report which reflects similar trends currently occurring in the Irish market, also found that:
• Only one in ten main shoppers use moist toilet tissue and they account for just 2% of toilet tissue sales, but with personal hygiene high on the agenda and the population often on the move, this sector of the market has growth potential.
• Since 2008 shoppers have become more focused on special offers, and when buying toilet tissue a quarter of main shoppers go for whatever is on special offer and 15% only buy a branded product if it is on offer. Mintel states that during the current incomes squeeze, strong promotional support to brands that helps maximise value sales will be ever more important.
• Brands need to demonstrate the worth of paying a bit more for household paper products and trading up to value-added products. Just a quarter of main shoppers think it is worth paying more for quilted/extra layer toilet paper, while only 17% are willing to pay more for better quality kitchen roll and 15% more for better quality facial tissues.
• Much of the marketing focus for kitchen towels is on mopping up spills or messes, but the product in its existing form can be used for a range of other tasks. Modifying the product slightly to better cater for some of these other uses of kitchen roll could help an already trusted brand grow its sales (and the market) through moving into the territory occupied by other household care product suppliers.
• With incomes being squeezed during 2011, big-ticket spending on items for the home will once again come under pressure, so the luxuries people do buy are more likely to be small everyday indulgences.
• Being an environmentally-friendly product tops new product launch claims, but since 2008 fewer people have been prepared to pay a premium for such products. Only one in ten main shoppers buy toilet paper made from recycled paper, so improving a brand’s ‘green’ credentials is about more than just the physical product.
(Source: Mintel, Household Paper – UK – February 2011)