Tissue paper production is one of the most invested industries. The very first tissue was introduced in the United States in 1924 and it has been almost a century since then. Technological developments and the changes in demand created major changes over the years.
The US-based company, Kleenex introduced the first tissue, which was a facial tissue, in 1924. Even though it was made to use by Hollywood make-up artists, people loved and accepted the product easily. Nowadays when someone wants a tissue they simply say “Can you hand me a Kleenex?”. But this dominance left its place to China. Today, China is the number one paper producer in the world, followed by the United States of America. Cheap workforce and availability of cheap materials let China grow easily.
After China and the US, Japan comes as third with its two world’s biggest tissue companies. Oji Paper and Nippon Unipac Holding dominate the industry in Japan. Finland as the seventh country on the list also has two companies which are Stora Enso (1998) and UPM (1996). They are important for trade and therefore Finland’s economy. Another Scandinavian company is Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget. The Swedish company was established in 1929 and it has approximately 4,000 employees and a turnover of approximately SEK 15.4 billion (€1.6 billion). Germany comes as the fourth, followed by Republic of Korea, Brazil, Canada and Italy…
Tissue manufacturing continues to receive interest in almost all geographic sectors and the resulting competition is creating a highly challenging business environment. According to Smithers’ study, there are five trends that are influencing the way tissue manufacturers’ production and how they will do it in the coming years. Those five trends are sustainability, fibre sourcing, sustainable non-virgin wood tissue fibres, water consumption, and energy savings. As in any other industry, the ones who follow the trends will survive and succeed while others fade.