One of the country's largest paper product manufacturers has announced that it will increase the cost of its toilet paper brands in North America, as well as other consumers products.
Kimberly-Clark, a Fortune 500 company and the maker of Cottonelle and Scott, said in a statement that the percentage increases range from the middle to high single digits and will go into effect in late June. The company's baby, child and adult care products, such as Huggies, Pull-Ups, Depend and Poise, will also see price increases.
The change "is necessary to help offset significant commodity cost inflation," the company explained.
Other consumer product industries have also been affected by higher commodity costs as of late, CNBC reported. J.M. Smucker increased the price of Jif peanut butter in August 2020 and competitors followed. General Mills, the maker of Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Cheerios and more, announced plans in late March to hike prices in the coming months.
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Last week, outlets reported that a toilet paper shortage could be looming due to the cargo ship called Ever Given that blocked the Suez Canal, a route that accounts for about 12% of global trade, for six days. But supply chain experts told TODAY this isn't exactly the case.
"The vast majority of the toilet paper supply chain for the USA is domestic," Kevin Zweier, vice president of transportation at supply chain consulting firm Chainalytics, explained via email. "Toilet paper is produced from softwood and hardwood trees, and the trees used are primarily from the USA and Canada. Of course, not all of the raw material comes domestically, as some does come from China, India and Brazil. But the majority of TP is coming from domestic sources and is manufactured domestically."
He added that he doesn't believe the country will go through another toilet paper shortage, unless there is another shutdown where everyone must return to spending most of their time at home.
NBC News previously reported that the impact of the Ever Given blockage in the U.S. will likely be limited and indirect.
For those looking to buy toilet paper ahead of the price increases — or to make sure you're not buying more than you need after they do take effect — keep in mind TODAY's reporting from the Great Toilet Paper Scare of 2020. The average two-person household needs about nine double rolls or five mega rolls to last two weeks when staying home most of the time; the average four-person household needs 17 double rolls or nine mega rolls.