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This Everyday Essential Is About to Get More Expensive, Companies Say

It might not be a shortage, but prices are going up due to increased material costs.

It will likely be a long time before anyone forgets the toilet paper shortages we experienced at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. And even though supply issues have mostly been figured out by now, there may be another major change coming that will affect how you buy everyday essentials. That's because toilet paper and some other items could become more expensive soon, USA Today reports. Read on to see what this could mean for your budget, and for more important household item updates, check out If You Have This Bottled Water at Home, Stop Drinking It Now, FDA Says.

Prices of certain brands of toilet paper may be going up in the coming months.

Man buying toilet paper

In a statement released on March 31, Kimberly-Clark Corporation announced it was notifying retail customers in the United States and Canada that it would be increasing prices on its products in the coming months, CNN Business reports. The company currently produces the Scott, Cottonelle, and Viva brands of paper products.

"The percentage increases are in the mid-to-high single digits," Kimberly-Clark said in the statement. "Nearly all of the increases will be effective in late June."

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Other paper products and baby care items could also see price increases.

Huggies diapers on the shelf of a store

But the changes could affect more than just toilet paper. Kimberly-Clark also announced that it would be raising prices on "a majority of its North America consumer products business," which means that other brands in its portfolio—including Kleenex tissues, Kotex hygiene products, and Huggies diapers—could also become more expensive at checkout.

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Retailers will have to decide how to pass along the increased cost.

walmart exterior at dusk

Despite the announcement, it's not clear exactly how the changes will affect prices in the aisles. That's because price increases set by Kimberly-Clark to its retailers, which include Walmart, Amazon, Costco, Target, and more, can either be passed along to customers in the form of a retail price hike or absorbed as a loss.

But some experts believe the major shock to the system will likely end with customers paying more for their products. Kevin Grundy, an analyst at Jefferies, tells CNN Business that he expects to see retailers ultimately raise their prices. He also believes this will lead major competitors such as Procter & Gamble to follow suit by increasing prices to retailers as well, causing price tags to jump up across most brands throughout the paper goods aisle.

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The global shipping crisis could also create new shortages of many products.

Shipping containers sitting in a port.

It also appears that some parts of 2020 could come back to haunt shoppers in the form of product shortages on shelves. Analysts point out that the rise in costs can be attributed to the current global shipping crisis, which stems from pandemic-related issues and was recently made worse by the Suez Canal's infamous blockage for six days by a large cargo ship.

Because of the international shortage of shipping containers, products like toilet paper could be in low supply in the coming months, Yahoo Finance reports. The disruption to the distribution chain could also mean increased prices on the items as a result. And for more effects of the Suez Canal situation, check out These Popular Products Are About to Disappear From Shelves, Experts Warn.

Zachary Mack
Zach is a freelance writer specializing in beer, wine, food, spirits, and travel. He is based in Manhattan. Read more
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