Trio of wet TPs fill a void

So what's the story?...

So what’s the story?

Bummed out about the lack of a good, moist bathroom tissue?

Well worry not. Three new brands of wet toilet paper are rolling out this year as manufacturers look to wipe up what they say is a significant demand in the marketplace.

Procter & Gamble, Kimberly-Clark and Georgia-Pacific have all developed pre-moistened product extensions of popular toilet-paper brands.

‘We’ve done a lot of consumer research around this. We know that 60% of consumers are already using makeshift methods,’ says P&G’s TP spokesman Terry Loftus, discussing the new Charmin Fresh Mates. ‘What we wanted to do was give them something that is convenient and in a familiar format – on a roll.’

And just what are these methods – beyond the local athletic club’s hot tub?

‘Some adults are using baby wipes because they’re handy, some are using dry toilet paper and sprinkling or wetting it with water. Some folks use washcloths and wet those.’

Loftus says P&G purchased the technology from a Boston-based entrepreneur who had been selling a brand called Moist Mates in New England for the past five years.

It is, according to a company announcement, ‘America’s first moist bathroom tissue on a roll.’

The new Charmin product will appear in the U.S. Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions in July, retailing for up to $3 US per package. No word yet on the new brand splashing down in Canada.

Meanwhile Kimberly-Clark has introduced Cottonelle Fresh Rollwipes, what it calls ‘America’s first and only dispersible, pre-moistened wipe on a roll.’

Fresh Rollwipes are available in the U.S. Southeast with a move north pending. No announcement has been made when the brand will enter the Canadian market.

Not to be outdone, Georgia-Pacific – maker of Dixie Cups – has entered the category with new Quilted Northern Fresh & Moist Wipes, ‘the first anti-bacterial personal moist wipes developed for personal use’ to ‘supplement dry bathroom tissue.’

‘More and more consumers,’ says Michael Burandt, G-P’s president, North American consumer products, ‘want added freshness and comfort that come from moist wipes.

Right you are, Mike. Here in Canada we get that clean feeling from showering, but these are harried times. Still, are there really enough people willing to fork over $2 or more for a fresh bum?

‘We believe there is a significant market for products like this and that moist wipes will continue to represent the fastest growing and most dynamic segment within the bath tissue products category,’ says Burandt.

For its part Kimberly-Clark estimates retail sales for Fresh Rollwipes in the first 12 months at $125-million US.

As for Charmin Fresh Mates, Loftus says its predecessor, Moist Mates, has sold 2.5-million units in New England over the past five years.

Loftus adds that P&G will launch the brand with TV and print in August, but a positioning and tagline are not yet finalized. Our suggestion: ‘More refreshing than a soda and less tingly.’