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GP Sees Ten-Fold Increase in Demand for Sanitizer Products

Print Article Contributed by BSM Staff

ATLANTA -- While “away from home” sales activity is expected to decline as business travel and vacation plans change, along with companies encouraging employees to work from home when it makes sense, Georgia-Pacific in recent weeks has seen a 10-time increase in demand for sanitizer products.

“Given the current situation surrounding the coronavirus/COVID-19, and just cold and flu season in general, we anticipate more hand washing – especially given how everyone is focused on and talking about good hand hygiene and preventing the spread of germs,” said Eric Abercrombie, a spokesperson for paper products manufacturer Georgia-Pacific.

In its retail business, the company has seen a significant increase in orders over the last several weeks.  As it relates to toilet paper, these increases have been as high as two times normal demand.

“We are quickly responding to our customers’ needs by expediting product that optimizes our existing inventory, increasing production, and utilizing a managed distribution process to smartly manage through this unusual period,” said Abercrombie.  

Use of Toilet Paper Stats:
Based on IRI panel data, along with the US Census, the average U.S. household (2.6 people) uses 409 equivalized regular rolls per year. Using our own calculations, staying at home 24-7 would result in a 140 percent increase vs. average daily usage.  Therefore, to last approximately 2 weeks, a 2-person household would need 9 double rolls, or 5 mega rolls. A 4-person household would need 17 double rolls, or 9 mega rolls to last approximately two weeks.

*IRI panel is syndicated data similar to a Nielsen panel

Supply and Demand: 
Over the last couple of weeks we’ve seen significant demand pull, specifically in Retail (Tissue and Towel) and Sanitizers (GP PRO), and we expect to see those trends continue for the time being, added Abercrombie. “As a company, we have teams working closely together (category, sales, operations, transportation and supply chain) to deliver as much product as we possibly can. In addition, we have been working with key suppliers to ensure we have enough packaging supplies to maximize the quantity of product we can deliver to customers.

Inventory levels across GP’s system remain healthy, and we are working hard to maximize the number of deliveries we can load and ship out of our facilities – you can just load and unload so fast.

Last week GP mills and regional distribution centers managed to ship out 120 percent of normal capacity. 

We also are working with customers to have direct shipments when possible to reduce distribution time. We currently don’t have any issues with carrier capacity (trucks and trailers) to ship. 

When will retail store shelves be restocked?
“While the timing is uncertain due to many variables in the supply chain process, our primary focus is to do all we can to meet consumer demand,” Abercrombie added. “We’re quickly responding by expediting product that optimizes our existing inventory, increasing production, and utilizing a managed distribution process to smartly manage through this unusual period.”

Based in Atlanta, Georgia-Pacific and its subsidiaries are among the world’s leading manufacturers and marketers of bath tissue, paper towels and napkins, tableware, paper-based packaging, cellulose, specialty fibers, nonwoven fabrics, building products and related chemicals. The company operates more than 150 facilities and employs more than 30,000 people directly and creates approximately 89,000 jobs indirectly.

For more information, go to gp.com.




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