In the weeks after lockdown measures were first imposed in Ecuador in March 2020, demand for toilet paper surged as concerns that COVID-19 disruption would cause product shortages led many consumers to engage in panic buying and stockpiling. This behaviour soon subsidised once consumers gained confidence in the resilience of supply chains.
Paper towels was by far the most dynamic performer within retail tissue in volume growth terms in 2020, and the only category to post growth in current value sales. As was the case with toilet paper, paper towels benefited from panic buying and stockpiling during the early stages of the pandemic, and subsequently saw demand remain higher than normal due to the home seclusion trend.
With the economic fallout of COVID-19 driving up unemployment and eroding purchasing power, 2020 saw many Ecuadorians attempt to save money by trading down to cheaper retail tissue products. This trend enabled more competitively priced local brands to gain ground in most categories, as did the fact that some international players experienced logistics and supply chain challenges due to border closures and other lockdown measures, especially during the early stages of the pandemic.
Growth in toilet paper volume sales is expected to slow in 2021 as the threat from COVID-19 recedes and consumers start spending more time outside the home. Volume growth should subsequently pick up in 2022 as demand stabilises, and then remain steady over the remainder of the forecast period.
Facial tissues was the retail tissue category worst affected by weakened purchasing power among Ecuadorians and the home seclusion trend in 2020. However, it is expected to see volume sales rebound strongly from 2021 as economic conditions improve and consumers start spending more time outside the home in line with the anticipated easing of the pandemic.
It may be several years before the Ecuadorian economy fully recovers from the damage caused by COVID-19. Accordingly, over the forecast period it is expected consumers will continue to migrate towards more affordable retail tissue products.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Retail Tissue industry in Ecuador with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
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This report originates from Passport, our Retail Tissue research and analysis database.
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