“A significant number of smaller converters and importers are popping up throughout the industry… it makes for an interesting paradox. While distributors are getting bigger, manufacturers seem to be getting smaller.”

With distribution consolidating and M&As on the rise, tissue giant Cascades PRO targets opportunities in dispensers, towels and bath tissue. TWM talks to marketing director André Daviault.

TWM/1: What are the main opportunities for you in the north/northeast of America over the next five years? 
André Daviault: “For our PRO business, we expect that dispensers, towels and bath tissue will be important opportunities for growth in the north/northeast United States. For our retail business, we are a key player in private labels, and growth is accelerating.”

TWM/2: What are the main challenges in this region?
Daviault: “As per any regions, we relentlessly focus on meeting the needs of our customers and those of their customers. Then, we invest to boost the recognition of our branded products amongst customers in the region. Innovation also plays an important role in helping us differentiate from our competitors.”

TWM/3: Are you looking to grow or acquire further in this region, and if so, how? 
Daviault: “We are unable to discuss this confidential information.”

TWM/4: Which tissue sectors are you prioritising in this region, and what growth are they showing and why?
Daviault: “The overall tissue market is growing at a 1% to 2% rate and, more specifically, we see increased growth opportunities in hardwound towels and bath tissues. As the market continues to grow, the key to growing alongside it will be innovation.”

TWM/5: How important is product innovation and environmental sustainability? 
Daviault: “Innovation is key to improving market share, brand awareness and sales, and it is one of our priorities. Environmental sustainability is another must in today’s business landscape and is something we’re proud to say has long been at the core of what we do. Customers value innovation and sustainability and we make a valiant effort to deliver on both of these fronts.”

TWM/6: What structural changes are you seeing and how are they changing the tissue market? 
Daviault: “There is quite a bit of consolidation occurring on the distribution side. Mergers and acquisitions amongst distributors are on the rise within the north/northeast United States, as well as across the country. In addition, there is a significant number of smaller converters and importers popping up throughout the industry, making for an interesting industry paradox. While distributors are getting bigger, manufacturers seem to be getting smaller.”

TWM/7: Are you seeing a higher presence of private label products here, and why is this? What do you think of the European discount stores Lidl and Aldi coming to America – is it an opportunity? 
Cascades: “While private labels are certainly prevalent in the United States, they are still underdeveloped when compared to many countries in Europe. We think that European newcomers like Lidl and Aldi, built on private labels, can accelerate the trend on this side of the ocean.”

TWM/8: Is there overcapacity in the market and how are you dealing with it? 
Daviault: “There is a lot of new capacity being added into the market from new and existing players. Cascades will continue to prosper by relentlessly focusing on meeting the needs of our customers with quality, innovative and sustainable products backed by reliable and friendly service.”

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