‘Who Gives A Crap’ set to capitalise on $62.6bn global household paper products market

Who Gives A Crap‘, the premium online-only toilet paper brand that spends 50% of its profits on providing toilets to those in need, is launching a limited-edition gift package in time for Christmas. The 48-roll Ato-Z edition will allow people to play Scrabble with the rolls in their bathroom, and taps into this year’s toilet paper boom, which saw the global household paper products value leap by 17.1%, from US$62.5bn in 2019, to US$73.2bn in 2020 driven by COVID-19 stimulus; toilet paper, notably, accounts for a 66% segment value share, writes GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Ryan Whittaker, Consumer Analyst aGlobalData, comments: “In many ways, 2020 has been a ridiculous year. Panic buying wiped out toilet paper stocks at the start of the year and it seems fitting that the year’s end could entail gifting toilet paperand it is this innovative brand leading the charge, combining experiential packaging, ethical priorities and premium experience.”

Since the company’s launch in 2010, about half of its million customers have gifted toilet paper. Each roll is packaged in sealed paper, keeping it hygienic, but maximally recyclable. Each bit of packaging is also covered in eye-catching design, with individual patterns and puns printed onas well as the scrabble gift package.

Whittaker continues: “It’s clear that this company wants to invert the taboo nature of the toilet to engage with consumers. This gets people talking about the toilet paper, which is unusual, and they end up sharing it through social media. The simplified and amusing packaging travels well on visual-biased social media platforms – it creates buzz. These successes would be admirable for any new toilet paper brand, but it’s the company’s quality and underlying ethical branding that seems to seal the deal.”

According to GlobalData’s most recent consumer survey (published 7 December), 43%* of global consumers consider how sustainable or ethical a product is to always or often influence their product choice, and 47%*2 of consumers said the COVID-19 pandemic had made ethical or sustainable production methods more important to them.

Whittaker adds: “Sustainability is critical to the product’s brand, which is why they use bamboo, which grows quickly and causes less soil erosion. The sustainability credentials alone carry ethical weight, but the company’s goal to take clean water, toilets and personal hand-washing to the poorest parts of the world, take it one step further. Sanitation is often an overlooked area when it comes to ethical consumerism because consumers tend not to think about it, due to it being pervasive in many countries and because the issue is taboo. However, in many developing countries, proper sanitation continues to require investment. People knowing the positive impact their purchase is having on the world will keep them coming back.”

* Covid-19 recovery tracker consumer survey, published December 7, combining responses “always” and “often”

*2 Covid-19 recovery tracker consumer survey, published December 7, combining answers “It is now my top priority”, “significantly more important than before” and “slightly more important than before”

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