Loo roll hikes led by Andrex despite recent shrinkflation

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Index loo roll

As toilet roll emerged as one of the more surprising victims of shrinkflation this week, latest data reveals Brits are spending more pennies on the household essential than 12 months ago.

Toilet roll is on average 2% more expensive than it was last year across 85 SKUs in the major mults following big hikes on some branded lines [Brand View 52 w/e 25 July 2017].

Andrex - which has cut 19 sheets from its rolls since 2012, according to ONS statistics published on Monday - has been subject to the most significant price increases in the category. Average prices for the Kimberly-Clark brand are up 7% year on year across 17 comparable SKUs in the major mults, with some packs subject to double-digit increases.

A nine-pack of Andrex Quilts toilet tissue is now 17% more expensive than last year at an average of £4.85 in the mults, while a four-pack of Classic white toilet tissue is up 15% to £2.12 on average.

Prices for rival Cushelle are up 5% on average across the brand’s five SKUs in the major mults. A four-pack of Cushelle white toilet tissue is up 3% to an average of £2.04 in Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and Asda, while a 16-pack of Cushelle white toilet tissue is 25% dearer at £7.50.

The increase in shelf prices on branded toilet rolls was partly down to a reduction in promotions in the mults. Asda, Tesco and Sainsbury’s all have fewer promotions on Andrex packs than last year, for example. However, there have also been straightforward price increases on selected lines.

At the same time, supermarkets have been slashing the price of own-label toilet roll, with average prices down 2% year on year on average across 43 SKUs in the mults. Tesco has cut prices on a range of its own-label rolls by 50p, while Asda has rolled back prices on several packs by 25p and Sainsbury’s has wiped 20p off selected own-label SKUs.

A four-pack of own-label luxury aloe vera toilet rolls is down 2% to £1.61 on average, while a 9-pack of own-label quilted toilet tissue is 6% cheaper at £3.56.

A spokesman for Andrex said the brand couldn’t comment on changes to retail prices for its products, which were “solely the domain of the retailer.

However, he confirmed Andrex had reduced the number of sheets per roll, claiming the move had funded its investment in Andrex Classic Clean.

“With Andrex Clssic Clean we invested millions of pounds last year in our UK factories to make a significant improvement to our product and the way it is made, moving from a flat sheet to a thicker, embossed sheet with a design that features Andrex branding, as well as moving to stronger cores to improve product appearance and performance,” he said.

“Reducing the roll by a number of sheets has helped us make this multi-million pound investment in product performance possible.”

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