From east to west – the sun is rising on tissue’s New Year

A Happy New Year to you all. I don’t know whether you gave Auld Lang Syne a burst as the clock ticked down to the midnight hour on December 31, but we gave it a run for its money here at TWM.

As befits tissue’s most globally devoted magazine, we are acutely aware that many of tissue’s personnel, in whatever capacity, will not have heard of the Scottish poet Robbie Burns’ ode to friendship old and new.

So however you celebrated the ushering in of 2019, may it be one of the best.

What will be the next advance?
TWM’s coverage spans the world, so I’ve taken the sun rising on the first day of the New Year and as it spreads westerly across the nations as a record of that coverage. I hope you’ll bear with me.

The first rising sunshine of the New Year always falls on Australia. They deserve the honour, we say. TWM was well ahead of the ticking clock as we had already lined up a special report from that very region.

In ExitIssues, Tim Woods, managing director of consultancy Industry Edge,
details how steady population growth, an ageing population and rising per capita consumption have combined to push tissue production in Australia and New Zealand to capacity.

The question is, when, where, and what will the next manufacturing development be, he asks? He’s not alone.

We also have news from Japan, China, Thailand, India, and Russia, from where Greg Grishchenko reports in this issue’s MarketIssues that there are encouraging signs of the retail sector, particularly in second and third level cities and towns, beginning to make major improvements in the number of outlets, display, marketing and pricing. Morning is also breaking in Italy, Spain and Portugal, and we have the latest news from there too.

From the home of private label
Our Country Report analyses Germany, one of the most developed and saturated markets – the third most in western Europe – across
the industry. Hendrik Otto, chief operating officer of the WEPA Group, tells us about key ‘produce where you sell’ policy.

Germany has no overcapacity issue; production and sales are essentially level. Balance is very much the word, and while growth is no more than 2%, it is stable. The search for key innovation is intense, and has niche potential.

Domenico D’Angelo, line of business director – private label, Sofidel Germany, says: “The main opportunities are related to innovation. That’s how we can create more value in a mostly price-driven industry, with the
possibility to enlarge the market size.

“Just to give you an example: if you succeed to launch a household towel to be used outside the kitchen, you have created a new market that simply did not exist before.”

Germany is the home of private label, as our dramatic front page image shows … in retail tissue value terms its share is more than 75%, the highest in western Europe.

At day’s end in the east, production is getting under way in the west in Brazil and the US. We report, and to conclude our global coverage, TWM’s annual Projects Survey which charts an impressive 115 new tissue
projects being added, ordered or in final planning stages during 2018-2019. Make it a great one for all.

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