Breakthrough Product Will Fuel Growth of Toilet Paper Category DALLAS, Jan. 16 -- Kimberly-Clark Corporation (NYSE: KMB) today announced the launch of Cottonelle Fresh(TM) Rollwipes -- America's first and only dispersible, pre-moistened wipe on a roll. This breakthrough product delivers the cleaning and freshening of pre-moistened wipes with the convenience and disposability of toilet paper. It is the most significant category innovation since toilet paper first appeared in roll form in 1890.
(Photo:http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20010116/DATU004, http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20010116/DATU004-b)In its first 12 months, retail sales of Cottonelle Fresh Rollwipes are estimated to reach $150 million. Over the next six years, retail sales of this category could exceed $500 million and, because usage of the product is almost entirely incremental to dry toilet paper, it should result in a significant increase in the $4.8 billion U.S. toilet paper market.
Research conducted by Kimberly-Clark shows that consumers agree that moist methods clean and freshen better than dry toilet paper alone. The results of a recent Kimberly-Clark survey showed that 63% of respondents have used a moist cleansing method after toileting and one out of four use a moist cleansing method on a daily basis.
Wayne R. Sanders, chairman and chief executive officer of Kimberly-Clark, said, "Kimberly-Clark is bringing a new dimension to the toilet paper category through consumer-driven innovation and proprietary technology. Cottonelle Fresh Rollwipes are another example of the company's ability to create significant new business opportunities that deliver top-line growth and offer incremental revenue to retailers. This advancement in moist cleaning, combined with the company's growing Cottonelle and Scott dry toilet paper brands, positions us to capture a greater share of a larger market."
Cottonelle Fresh Rollwipes will initially be available in early Summer 2001 to consumers in northeastern and southeastern states, representing approximately half of the U.S. population. The anticipated retail price of the Cottonelle Fresh Rollwipes starter pack (dispenser along with four rolls) will be $8.99, and a refill pack of four rolls will be $3.99.
Cottonelle Fresh Rollwipes' proprietary dispenser offers consumers the choice of pre-moistened Rollwipes and dry toilet paper, as the dispenser neatly holds rolls of both products. The pre-moistened product is dispensed from a sealed unit at the top of the dispenser. Dry toilet paper is dispensed from a conventional spindle at the bottom of the dispenser. The dispenser is easily installed in a bathroom -- no tools are required and it fits most toilet paper holders. Cottonelle Fresh Rollwipes are fully dispersible. This patent-pending technology causes the product to break up in water like dry toilet tissue, making it safe for sewer and septic systems. (For a look at Cottonelle Fresh Rollwipes, please visit http://www.rollwipes.com. For downloadable images, please visit PR Newswire at http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20010116/DATU004-a and http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20010116/DATU004-b ).
Kimberly-Clark invested more than $100 million in research, development and manufacturing to bring the product to market. The product and dispenser are expected to be covered by more than 30 patents that will lay the foundation for a global patent estate.
"Consumers tell us that using Cottonelle Fresh Rollwipes as a complement to dry toilet paper is easy and convenient, with the added benefits of superior cleaning and freshness," said Linda Bartelt, president of the Wet Wipes sector for Kimberly-Clark. "Rollwipes add significant value to our strong product portfolio by solidifying Kimberly-Clark's leadership role in the toilet paper category and by building on the equity of the Cottonelle brand. For consumers, this brand stands for the very best in cleaning and freshening."
Comprehensive marketing programs totaling over $40 million in 2001 will support the introduction of Cottonelle Fresh Rollwipes, making it one of the most significant launches in the company's history. Broadcast, print and Internet campaigns featuring Cottonelle Fresh Rollwipes will break in early summer.
Despite this incremental marketing expense and additional startup costs, Mr. Sanders said the company expects to achieve its target of double-digit growth in earnings per share from operations in 2001.
Separately, the company announced a significant improvement to its super premium Cottonelle dry toilet paper, a product based on the company's proprietary uncreped through-air dried (UCTAD) tissue technology. Cottonelle toilet paper with aloe and vitamin E will be launched nationally in the second quarter, replacing the company's Cottonelle UltraSoft product.
Kimberly-Clark Corporation is a leading consumer products company. Its global tissue, personal care and health care brands include Huggies, Pull-Ups, Kotex, Depend, Kleenex, Cottonelle, Scott, Kimberly-Clark, Safeskin, Tecnol, Kimwipes and WypAll. Other brands well known outside the U.S. include Andrex, Scottex, Page, Popee and Kimbies. Kimberly-Clark also is a major producer of premium business, correspondence and technical papers. The company has manufacturing operations in 40 countries and sells its products in more than 150 countries.
Certain matters contained in this news release concerning the business outlook, including new product introductions, cost savings and acquisitions, anticipated financial and operating results, strategies, contingencies and transactions of the company constitute forward-looking statements and are based upon management's expectations and beliefs concerning future events impacting the company. There can be no assurance that these future events will occur as anticipated or that the company's results will be as estimated. For a description of certain factors that could cause the company's future results to differ materially from those expressed in any such forward-looking statements, see the section of Part I, Item 1 of the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 1999 entitled "Factors That May Affect Future Results."