With 2020 COVID-19-driven channel shifts, consumer tissue and disposable hygiene not surprisingly saw a surge in e-commerce. Discount retail and private label also saw increases in purchasing, as affordability became top of the agenda for many households affected by depressed incomes. This report analyses shifts in retail channels in consumer tissue and disposable hygiene in 2020, and reviews brand, private label and retailer shifts in 2020 and post-pandemic.
Due to their essential nature, especially in developed regions, retail tissue and disposable hygiene products overall posted positive growth in 2020. However, a number of less income secure developing regions saw the pace of growth slow, as households pulled back from spending. For the most part, tissue and hygiene products are sold through retailers which were deemed essential and remained open during 2020, with sales also boosted by a surge in e-commerce.
With many households looking for cost saving solutions in an uncertain economic environment, retailers that sell at a discount saw a rise in sales. These included discounters, variety stores (mainly dollar stores), and warehouse clubs. As consumers continue to show signs of caution in 2021, affordability is likely to remain a key consideration in spending decisions.
While already rising ahead of store-based growth, e-commerce surged further in 2020, providing an additional platform for brand engagement and changing the competitive environment, as many DTC brands acquired large numbers of new customers in 2020, and succeeded in raising brand awareness and sales within a marketplace typically led by a few key global and regional players.
With digitalisation accelerating rapidly amidst COVID-19, consumers are increasingly comfortable with online shopping, which will contribute to robust e-commerce growth in the coming years. Store-based channels will, however, remain dominant, as consumers will still wish to consult with staff, and try and immediately receive products. It is important that consumers are given a range of purchasing channels, and businesses will need to expand their options.
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