- Procter & Gamble says it’s ramping up toilet paper production as demand soars, per the WSJ.
- Evidence is growing that Americans are starting to stockpile as the Delta variant spreads.
- Small retailers say they’re struggling to keep key items in stock.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
American shoppers are starting to stockpile toilet paper again, and it’s pressuring manufacturers to boost production.
According to a Wall Street Journal report, Procter & Gamble, the largest toilet paper maker in the US, is speeding up its production lines and running its factories 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to meet demand.
Evidence is growing that consumers are starting to stock up on home essentials as concerns grow over the spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus across the US.
Last month, Insider reported that Costco customers were complaining on Twitter that some of its stores were out of toilet paper and water. These tweets date back to early July.
Other shoppers said that Costco was also limiting the number of products customers could buy, a tactic used by grocery stores in the early days of the pandemic to prevent shoppers from stockpiling.
One retailer supplied by P&G told the Journal that the company was limiting what it could buy. A spokesperson for P&G declined to comment to the newspaper on this. Insider reached out to P&G for more details but did not immediately hear back.
Toilet paper stock levels are nowhere near as low as they were in March 2020, according to data from market research firm IRI, cited by the Journal. However, they are below the average in-stock levels for consumer products overall.
Some smaller retailers say they’re struggling to keep toilet paper in stock.
“Customers are asking a lot of questions,” Arthur Ackles, vice president of merchandising and buying at Massachusetts-based grocery chain Roche Bros, said of product shortages in his stores, per the Journal. P&G imposed limits on orders last week, he said. Roche Bros has 21 stores in total.
It’s not only soaring demand causing these bottlenecks, however. The ongoing labor crunch is battering the US supply, causing delays and shortages across the board.
“I don’t think we fully recovered from when the supply chain got a massive hit,” Ackles said.