It has been one of the enduring images of the COVID-19 pandemic: empty toilet paper shelves in stores around the world as fearful citizens stockpile staples for long home stays. But the head of Canada’s largest producer of toilet tissue says that despite a jump in demand, there’s no shortage of product in Canada.
“We’ve got all the raw material, we’ve got all the assets running, we have all the production, our sites are at full capacity to recover from this spike,” said Dino Bianco, chief executive officer of Mississauga-based Kruger Products LP, maker of Cashmere and Purex brand toilet paper, which has a 33-per-cent market share. (Kruger also makes Scotties facial tissues, the market leader in its category, and Sponge Towels paper towels.) “You’re going to see it catch up in days and weeks.”
He added: “We’re essentially selling it at exactly the same price to all our customers. Ethically, we do not want to take advantage of a situation that is of great consumer and community need.”
J.D. Irving Ltd. of Saint John, the No. 2 player in Canada and maker of the Majesta and Royale brands, said its tissue operations are running at full capacity. It did not provide any information on production, as it is a private company.
The run on supplies started two weeks ago after authorities including Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott warned citizens to prepare for possible extended quarantines. It has created some short-term uncertainty for Kruger and its publicly traded part-owner, KP Tissue Inc., with customers increasing order sizes 20 per cent to 50 per cent.
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