Toilet paper panic buying has U.S. groceries stocking Mexican brands

Move over, Charmin, time for Pétalo.

The extended duration toilet paper panic buying spree inspired by the coronavirus pandemic has been so intense, "in order to keep their shelves stocked, retailers are buying up foreign toilet paper brands, mostly from Mexico," reports AP.

Across the country, chains such as CVS, Piggly Wiggly, Safeway, 7-Eleven, and others are carrying brands normally sold in Mexico and Latin America.


In recent weeks, a CVS in New York has been selling three Mexican brands: Regio, Hoteles Elite and Daisy Soft. Mexico's Petalo was on the shelves of a Piggly Wiggly in Sister Bay, Wisconsin. And a Safeway supermarket in Fremont, California, had those same brands, plus Vogue, whose label says in Spanish that it smells like chamomile.

The stores said they needed to get creative during the pandemic and started working with new suppliers to get shoppers what they needed. But don't worry about popular U.S. brands like Charmin — they aren't going to disappear. Supply chain experts expect the Mexican and other foreign-made rolls to be on store shelves only temporarily, until U.S. manufacturers catch up with demand.

Americans use much more toilet paper than other countries, according to Patrick Penfield, a supply chain professor at the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University — which is why Mexico can handle shipping more rolls to the United States. Stores have done this with other products during the pandemic, he said, bringing Mexican-made hand sanitizer to the U.S. when there was a shortage.

Read more at AP.