The US is big on tissue hand towels – but in Europe carry your own on a night out

As research leader at Datamonitor’s Consumer branch, Amy Walker is based in Manchester, England, and goes for price and quality when buying tissue… wherever she is.

 

When deciding which tissue products to buy, my final decision is basically 50/50 cost and quality. I’m quite a lazy shopper; I want easy decisions made for me, but generally I have a tendency to just get the second cheapest. If I need something I’ll get it, cost wouldn’t put me off, but I’m unlikely to buy the most expensive in the category.

I buy loo roll, kitchen roll, anti-bacteria wipes for the kitchen and bathroom, paper napkins, insect repellent wipes and travel wipes for holidays. I use face wipes occasionally but more as a convenience as I don’t think they’re very good for your skin when you use them all the time. Some of these products are a necessity such as loo roll and kitchen roll, but the others I tend to buy for a specific reason (holidays, long car journeys, weekend away) and for convenience (e.g. kitchen wipes and bath room wipes). I just recently got back to the UK from my honeymoon in America. When I was there I noticed that public toilets in bars, restaurants and tourist attractions tend to use a lot of tissue for hand drying. If there is a hand dryer it tends to be very new and high quality, with an explanation about why it’s more environmentally friendly than tissue … very different to the UK, where useless hand dryers are the norm.

“I’m more likely to make a purchasing decision based on price and quality”

When I lived in France and when I’ve visited other places in Europe on holiday I noticed it’s a good idea to always carry tissues as public toilets don’t usually provide toilet paper. I always buy tissue products from the shops, I don’t think I’I’ve ever bought these types of products online. I am starting to buy much more personal care and pet care products online as they tend to be quite a bit cheaper, but am still buying paper products in the supermarket and at Boots and Superdrug, etc.

Unless animals are involved, I’m more likely to make a purchasing decision based on price and quality, so whether or not a product has green certifications doesn’t especially figure in my decision. However, obviously if my preferred choice is environmentally friendly that’s a bonus. If I think two products are exactly the same on price and quality and one has made a big deal of being environmentally friendly, I’d pick the latter. Essentially, I’m a lazy shopper. I want decisions made easy for me.

We get through an awful lot of paper towels at work. But for my hobbies, I don’t tend to need to use tissue products that much. Maybe the odd travel/baby wipe, but it’s very minimal. Having said that, I definitely use more wipes now that I did 5-10 years ago. They’re pretty convenient.

 

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