Seeking to wipe out potty discomfort,
Kimberly-Clark Corp. is plunging into the market with a new
product: moistened toilet paper on a roll.
The maker of Kleenex, Huggies and Kotex believes its latest
creation could be the biggest advancement in toilet paper in a
century since someone thought to sell tissue on a roll.
The Irving-based company said Tuesday it plans to spend $40
million marketing Fresh Rollwipes under the Cottonelle brand name,
one of its biggest product introductions ever. Company officials
say annual sales could hit $150 million within a year and $500
million in six years.
"Using a moist product cleans and freshens better than dry
toilet paper alone," said Peggy Nabbefeldt, a Kimberly-Clark
marketing director. "They have to realize this should be a normal
part of a universal task."
The product will be introduced in early summer in the Northeast
and Southeast, the company said.
But the advertising must also be, well, subtle.
"There's only so much people want to hear about with a product
like this," Nabbefeldt added.
For several years, Kimberly-Clark has sold flushable moistened
toilet paper that comes in a tub similar to baby wipes, except
the fibers break apart in water, like ordinary tissue. The rapid
growth of the wet-paper market persuaded company officials to see
if they could refine the product.
The company surveyed 2,000 consumers and found that 63 percent
of them occasionally used something wet often a baby wipe or
regular toilet paper sprinkled with water after going to the
toilet. About a quarter did it daily.