Premium paper towels launch

Scott Paper and Procter & Gamble are hoping to wipe up Canada's new premium paper towel category.Scott began shipping a premium product called ScotTowel Ultra in September and will begin tv advertising in the New Year. After testing its Bounty brand...

Scott Paper and Procter & Gamble are hoping to wipe up Canada’s new premium paper towel category.

Scott began shipping a premium product called ScotTowel Ultra in September and will begin tv advertising in the New Year. After testing its Bounty brand in Vancouver for the last year or so, p&g is in the process of rolling the brand out to the rest of Canada.

The premium segment features towels that are generally thicker, tougher and more absorbant than regular paper towels.

The competing brands are entering the fray at a time when the paper towel category as a whole is experiencing healthy growth.

Over the two years ending in July, rolled paper towel sales grew more than 7% to $121 million, according to Nielsen Marketing Research.

Sales in the category increased more than 5% in the last year alone.

Scott’s line of paper towel products, which includes White Swan, Viva, and ScotTowels, holds the dominant share of the category in Canada according to Don Pettit, Scott’s vice-president of consumer marketing.

Larger

Pettit says the new Ultra product is larger than regular brands and has a greater capacity for wiping up spills.

The product was developed in response to Scott’s market research, which showed consumer interest in a premium paper towel, and uses what Pettit will describe only as a ‘unique’ technology.

‘The competition is limited in what they can do in response to this,’ he says.

Ad agency J. Walter Thompson will develop the advertising for the product, but Pettit is not willing to discuss what form it will take, except that it will incorporate a variety of media.

Although Canadians have long been aware of Bounty through spill advertising from the u.s., this is the first time the 30-year-old brand, long touted as the ‘quicker picker-upper’, will be available north of the border.

p&g will not comment on why it has waited until now to introduce the product in Canada.

‘At this point, we’re not prepared to talk about anything other than that we’ve introduced the product to our retailers,’ says Jacqui D’Eon, p&g’s group manager of external relations.

‘It’s really, really premature, and our competitors would love to hear about Bounty,’ D’Eon says.

Leo Burnett has developed a 30-second television spot for the product featuring former sctv actress Andrea Martin.

President’s Choice also offers a product that could qualify as a premium product by virtue of having three layers as compared with the regular two-ply.