TP Shortage: What’s Going On?

There is no shortage of trees, and surely we’re are not going to the bathroom more often.  So what’s up?

While hoarding, panic buying, and herd mentality does play some role, the real reason is much more down-to-Earth.  Toilet paper comes in two different styles:  Commercial and Home.  With so many people working at home, and increasingly not working at all, the demand for Home style has exploded, and the demand for Commercial style has correspondingly shrunk.

The two styles are very different.  Commercial comes on huge rolls which do not fit your bathroom’s dispenser.  It’s thinner, and the texture is different, less … um … comfortable.  More importantly, the materials come from different mills in most cases.  It takes time to make the switch over and get the distribution chains in synch, not like flipping a switch.

So, the shortage is real, not just caused by bad consumer behavior.  But the good news is that the manufacturers are working hard on it, and things will be getting better.

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