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Retail Tissue in Asia Pacific

August 2020

Asia Pacific is currently the largest and fastest growing retail tissue market in the world and still has huge room for growth due to its fast-growing economy. Rising urbanisation and average disposable income coupled with growing hygiene awareness will be the key to strong growth over the forecast period. This trend is further supported by the Coronavirus pandemic in 2020 which sees retail tissue impacted positively and likely to benefit over the long run.

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Key Findings

Low per capita consumption leaves room for expansion in less-developed cities

While Asia Pacific has recorded the strongest growth in retail tissue sales for the past five years, it will continue to expand due to low per capita consumption. The region’s economy is still growing fast, with increasing disposable income and urbanisation. Manufacturers are also looking to expand to smaller cities and rural areas.

Affordable innovations as main driver of growth

Most consumers in developing markets are still price sensitive. Hence, manufacturers are working on affordable innovations to attract low- and middle-income consumers, having value for money as a priority in product development.

Increasing hygiene awareness and home seclusion due to COVID-19

During the COVID-19 pandemic, most people are forced to spend their work, study and leisure time at home, and it has resulted in increased usage of retail tissue products. Hygiene awareness is growing across Asia Pacific due to fear of virus and disease. This trend helped boost sales of retail tissue products in 2020, and the trend is set to carry on even after the pandemic ends.

E-commerce to gain huge traction during COVID-19 pandemic

While consumer habit still brings many to offline grocery retailers, e-commerce started gaining huge traction during the pandemic due to fear of contracting the virus or “out-of-stocks” in offline stores.

Understanding local needs remains crucial due to conflicting views and habits

While Asia Pacific overall has the largest growth potential, each country has its own uniqueness with different consumers’ views and preferences. This brings a huge advantage for local manufacturers and private label who understand these needs and create suitable marketing campaigns required to gain share.

Soft pack facial tissue gains popularity in the region

This trend is particularly strong in developing markets such as Indonesia, Vietnam, and Thailand as products offer convenience in terms of carrying and have lower unit prices. Post-COVID-19, more people will carry such products in their daily activities.


Key findings

Regional Overview

Asia Pacific’s fast-growing economy drives growth
Increasing hygiene awareness and disposable income will dictate growth
China’s growth supported by low per capita consumption
Rapid growth in Asia Pacific’s developing markets
Boxed facial tissues and paper towels are the biggest winners
Toilet paper and boxed facial tissues lead value growth
Toilet paper as an all-purpose product in developing markets
Traditional grocery retailers maintain presence in developing markets
E-commerce gains momentum in mature markets

Leading Companies and Brands

Key players thrive as new entrants struggle to gain share
Strong local presence and knowledge is key to growth
Leading companies focus on five Asian markets
Product innovation remains key to growth

Forecast Projections

China has yet to reach saturation
Huge growth potential remains in Asia’s developing markets
COVID-19 to affect the industry positively over the long run
Home seclusion and hygiene awareness drive growth in the region
COVID-19 set to create shift in consumers’ lifestyles

Country Snapshots

China: market context
China: competitive and retail landscape
Japan: market context
Japan: competitive and retail landscape
South Korea: market context
South Korea: competitive and retail landscape
Indonesia: market context
Indonesia: competitive and retail landscape
Vietnam: market context
Vietnam: competitive and retail landscape
Taiwan: market context
Taiwan: competitive and retail landscape
Thailand: market context
Thailand: competitive and retail landscape
India: market context
India: competitive and retail landscape
Hong Kong, China: market context
Hong Kong, China: competitive and retail landscape
Malaysia: market context
Malaysia: competitive and retail landscape
Philippines: market context
Philippines: competitive and retail landscape
Pakistan: market context
Pakistan: competitive and retail landscape
Kazakhstan: market context
Kazakhstan: competitive and retail landscape
Singapore: market context
Singapore: competitive and retail landscape
Azerbaijan: market context
Azerbaijan: competitive and retail landscape
Uzbekistan: market context
Uzbekistan: competitive and retail landscape


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