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How will 2020 be remembered? There are a lot of aspects of life that are memorable since COVID-19 came on the scene but what about the toilet paper? We’ve seen all the memes and even Christmas ornaments that commemorate the TP shortage. But, how did we get there? And will it happen again?


There are two reasons, we feel, for the empty shelves in March and April. First off, people were panicked and loaded up to ensure they had it when they needed it. Ironically, this caused stores to not have it when people needed it!


Secondly, demand was higher than usual because most people were sheltering-in-place at home. Therefore, using far more toilet paper than when kids were at school and parents were at work.


Many people assumed there were disruptions to the supply chain, but it seems that simply was not the case. This was a demand-driven scenario. Typically, grocery stores and other retailers only hold stock for several weeks’ worth of need. So, when consumers started snatching up large quantities, it quickly depleted the stock in stores.


This type of situation becomes a vicious cycle. There was a spike in demand as people bought extra supplies and, naturally, the media reported on it. Consumers heard the reports and as they were at the store felt compelled to stock up because it might not be there next time. Fortunately, things have leveled out and people are probably still using the stash they purchased months ago!


There was a similar but not as dramatic story with paper towels and with increased cleaning regimes in most homes, schools and businesses, paper towels have become a popular item. However, we do not feel that these paper products are in short supply and are confident they will be available when you need them. 


We recommend buying for your needs and being prepared - but not stockpiling. If your family is spending more time at home and using more toilet paper than a year ago, adjust your purchases. If you’re using more paper towels for cleaning, alter your shopping list. But, there is no need to fill your basement shelves.


If you are a small or medium sized business that is wondering the same questions, MCL can meet your needs with our Tork Universal 2-ply toilet paper. Each roll is overall wrapped, ensuring sanitary protection and has an easy start tail seal to prevent waste. The rapid break-up capabilities are ideal for all plumbing systems and it’s ECOLOGO certified.


As for paper towels, our Cascades PRO Select kitchen roll towels are the economical and sustainable option for classrooms, cafeterias, kitchens, break rooms and facilities. The 2-ply individual perforated roll towels are durable and quick-absorbing. These Canadian-made towels are 100% recycled fiber making them a sustainable and practical choice. They are ideal for food service, retail locations and schools. 


If you’re interested in setting up an auto-delivery to your inventory to ensure you always have what you need, contact our MCL team. We can help you evaluate your needs and trends to set up a schedule that is unique to your business.