Small Households Want Gigantic Rolls of Toilet Paper

The Wall Street Journal says single-person households are on the rise, and consumer-goods companies are responding:

As Procter & Gamble Co. researchers watched the rise of single-person households, they noted two major segments within the group: urban millennials and aging consumers. A giant toilet-paper roll appeals to both segments, P&G found. Young people appreciate the convenience of not having to change the roll so often, and aging consumers find a bigger roll easier to handle, the company says.

….Its new Charmin Forever Roll is 8.7 or 12 inches in diameter, compared with roughly 5 inches for conventional rolls, and includes a free-standing stainless-steel holder. It can sit between toilet and wall—unused space in nearly any bathroom, P&G researchers found. “For a lot of the single-user households we hear from,” Mr. Reinerman says, “this will last two or three months.”

Wait. It’s a foot wide? Now millennials have ruined toilet paper. What comes next on their relentless mission to destroy everything that boomers hold dear?

Anyway, it turns out that single-person households are willing to pay for convenience. In the case of Brobdingnagian toilet paper, it provides 1,700 sheets at 0.59 cents a sheet, compared to 0.43 cents a sheet for an old fashioned roll that you can pick up with one hand.¹ Likewise, Betty Crocker’s four-serving Mug Treats pencil out at 75 cents per serving compared to 15 cents per serving for ordinary cake mix. Tiny appliances are also becoming popular, and I’ll bet they cost at least as much as traditional appliances.

But what can you do? Small households are taking over the country. One and two-person households now make up 40 percent of all households in America:

¹Of course, these colossal rolls also feature a fair amount of inertia, so be careful with them. You need a smooth, slow motion to accelerate them to a proper rotational speed. The usual quick jerk will just leave you with a single sheet in your hand.

HERE ARE THE FACTS:

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ONE MORE QUICK THING:

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As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

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