Well it’s a bit of time since the first part of this series was written, but Blog is pleased to have waited, since Consumer recently published a report on domestic toilet paper including the cost per metre, which is the only reasonable way of comparing products. The Tork Jumbo Junior roll has a length of 230 metres, and the price when you purchase a bulk pack of 18 is around $75, which means one roll comes to about $4.15 and the price per metre of paper is 1.8c, which is definitely quite a low price. However, this is single ply paper, and a 2 ply roll of the same type of product has a length of 115 metres, so the cost per metre then is 3.6 cents, which is not especially cheap compared to domestic toilet rolls – it is close to the top of the price range.
Compare this with a 12 pack of Value Marine rolls with 180 sheets selling for $2.99. Each roll is 9 cm wide and each sheet is 0.103 m long. The lineal length of 1 roll is therefore 18.5 metres and the 12 pack has a total of 222 metres, so this pack size is approximately equal to two of the 2-ply Jumbo Junior rolls at less than half the cost per metre. It would seem that there isn’t a cost advantage to large commercial rolls and the main benefit is that they are of a size that is suited to large commercial premises with the rolls lasting for days at a time so there is less time spent changing the rolls when they run out. A likely scenario is that the manufacturer is leveraging their proprietary dispenser and roll format to reduce price competition and increase profits. Since dispensers are available to fit the domestic roll format there is an advantage in that format for small business premises given the lower price of some brands of domestic rolls, or even commercial formats that as has been mentioned previously, can be bought in pack sizes as large as 48 rolls, and often with longer lengths than the small 180 sheet domestic rolls that are quite common at present.