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.

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2019 demands.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.