In 2018, the Zewa brand remained the tissue sales leader in Latvia and Estonia with a share of 20.3% and 20.4% respectively. Having a wide portfolio of products under the Zewa name in the Baltic region, brand owner Essity offers various price options for bath tissue consumers from eco-friendly recycled 3-ply Zewa Deluxe to 4-ply premium Zewa Exclusive.
In Lithuania, the domestic brand Grite by Grigeo leads retail sales taking over one third of the market with Zewa just behind (18.9%) followed by local supermarket private label names Favorit (Maxima), Optima (Maxima) and Rimi. Lithuania is the only Baltic country where Portuguese brand Renova (known for distinctive coloured toilet paper) gained significant presence, especially in paper towels offering wide variety in sizes. In Estonia, European brands Serla, number two (12.4%), and Lambi, number three (10.8%), made by Metsä Tissue (Finland) and sold via local branches of trading company Antalis (France) are very popular and highly rated due to regular advertising campaigns and reputed high product quality. Lambi and Serla are also well-liked in Latvia and are ranked among the top five brands in 2018.
The toughest competition among brands taking place within such a mature category as toilet paper is resulting in a decline in average unit prices in 2018. Despite a continuing pursuit for added-value (inclusion of aloe vera or moisturisers) and premium products by local consumers, price promotions based on extensive cost discounting prevail in Baltic States.
With higher personal income consumers having increasingly demanding lives, there has been growing use of paper towels. While private labels from Maxima, Rimi and Coop chains offer economical and ecofriendly recycled options, the Zewa brand presents wider range of kitchen towels from Zewa Premium for value motivated users to Zewa Nature Lover for those concerned with environmental impact.
Even though the Baltic region’s economic climate is positive, anxiety about any new geo-economic or political crisis is present and not anticipated to go away in coming years. With the low unemployment rate and despite dwindling population the outlook for essential tissue products such as toilet paper remains positive with the low single digit growth rate for the next five years.