Kleenex is relaunching its Ultra Soft facial tissues with a softer texture that it claims will encourage consumers to stop using kitchen towels and toilet roll to wipe their noses.

Kimberly-Clark said it had invested "significant sums" in manufacturing to increase the softness of the tissues, because they had been losing sales to other tissue products. It is also revamping packaging with a more female-friendly design and a new 'Feel me, I'm gorgeous' strapline.

The new product, which launches this week, would stimulate 10% sales growth for Kleenex Ultra Soft within six months, predicted brand manager Martina Jezdikova.

"We are targeting women who are looking for an everyday indulgence," she said. "Retailers are very excited about the relaunch as it has the power to stop people using substitute tissues and drive value in the facial tissue category."

Kimberly-Clark is investing £2.5m in above-the-line marketing support, kicking off later this month. Sales of Kleenex increased 5.5% to £94m last year [Nielsen 52w/e 26 December]. Ultra Soft is Kleenex's third-biggest-selling SKU.

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