Toilet Paper Math and Product Labeling

IMG_0354 IMG_0361 - Copy IMG_0360 - Copy IMG_0359 IMG_0358 TP Marketing Marketing TPToilet Paper Math - Product Labeling at its Worst

I watched a shopper at Price Chopper today trying to figure out where the best deal was while buying the simplest of items. I heard her mumbling that she couldn't figure out which one to buy. As I stalked my shopper I realized how TP companies get you to spend $1.50 per roll. That's right, $1.50 per roll!  Did you even realize that one roll of TP costs $1.50? Probably not. Who pays attention to these prices anyway? You need toilet tissue. It is not as if you have a choice. But the competition for your shopping dollars is fierce! The difficulty of comparison shopping is quite intentional through the use of product labeling. Unique product labeling has shifted the focus on price comparisons by removing the ability to compare apples to apples. And, you'd go crazy trying to figure out the best value by calculating determine square footage or number of sheets per dollar. To understand this, let’s step back to the days of laundry soap.

It All Started With Laundry Detergent

For decades, we’ve been watching laundry detergent transform itself into a high-priced commodity right before our eyes. Do you remember when powdered laundry soap got reinvented every year?  New & Improved TIDE made colors bolder, whites whiter and had a long line of NEW fresh-smelling scents. Every month it seemed you could buy a new fresh scent or could suddenly "bleach" colors. This was all made possible with their new space-age formulas. Next came liquid laundry detergent to make it more convenient. Then came pods - even more convenient. What's next? I'm sure we'll know soon. What I do know is today we pay $17.99 for laundry detergent pods, and that’s quite an investment.

The same way laundry detergent has become an $18.00 purchase, TP and paper towels are also nearing the $20.00 mark. With a few more "features" we should hit that mark soon and by then, you still won't know which is the best value. But one thing I can assure you is that toilet paper math will still be interesting - and amusing!




About the Author


Bill Ackerman is the Chief Marketing Officer at Green Mountain Marketing & Advertising. Prior to joining Green Mountain, Bill was a Certified Hotel Administrator, and spent 34 years in senior leadership at hotels, restaurants and conference centers across the country from Texas to New England, and most recently as the Head of Retail at The Vermont Country Store for over 9 years. Bill has dedicated his effort to promoting Vermont’s unspoiled way of life and its natural beauty as a four season destination. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Vermont Chamber of Commerce, Rutland Region Chamber of Commerce, Vermont Convention Bureau, Hospitality Advisory Board of Stafford Technical Center, and is an advocate-leader for Vermont’s Aging Worker Initiative. Bill can be reached at