If you have a toddler, sneeze every time you see a cat or watch far too many sad movies, you probably have a tissue box – or five – around your house. But now you’ll have one less brand to choose from, because Kleenex manufacturer Kimberly-Clark KMB-N says its facial tissue business is leaving Canada this month.
In a statement, Kimberly-Clark’s Canadian vice-president and general manager said the decision to pull Kleenex from Canada was a difficult one, prompted by a highly constrained supply environment and “unique complexities” faced by the brand.
Since its birth almost a century ago, Kleenex has become a household name. The brand even teeters dangerously close to “genericide” – when a brand loses its trademark because the product name has become synonymous with its function.
As with Band-Aid, Velcro and ChapStick, Canadians are likely to ask for a Kleenex to blow their nose with, not a “facial tissue.” It’s a habit consumers will struggle to kick as the well-known tissue boxes disappear from shelves this month.
But there’s no need to sniffle – Canada still has plenty of tissue retailers to choose from.
Despite Kleenex’s name recognition, the Canadian facial tissue market is actually led by Kruger Products and its Scotties brand. Known best for funky-patterned tissue boxes and sponsoring Canada’s top women’s curling tournament, Scotties has been manufactured in Canada since 1956.
If the idea of losing Kleenex’s two-ply, three-ply and aloe-infused offerings has left a gaping hole in your heart, Scotties may be similar enough to fill it.
Launched in February, 2022, Bonterra is a Canadian-owned and manufactured paper brand with a focus on environmentally friendly products. Its toilet paper, paper towels and facial tissues are made from 100-per-cent recycled materials – primarily office paper.
Bonterra has also partnered with non-profit organizations 4ocean and One Tree Planted to fund the removal of plastic waste from oceans and plant trees in Canada.
American company Procter & Gamble, maker of Charmin, Bounty and Vicks, also owns Puffs tissues. The brand’s offerings are pretty typical, apart from its Vicks-scented tissues, but Canadians will likely remember Puffs’ sweet commercials from the early aughts with nostalgia.
In 2000, Puffs introduced its “lovable” 3D illustrated mascots, the Puffs Pals, whose glowing bright red noses were instantly soothed by tissues in every commercial.
President’s Choice and No Name
What would a Canadian product guide be without some no-name offerings?
Both owned by Loblaw Co. Ltd., President’s Choice and No Name tissues purport to be less expensive alternatives to name-brand products.
Royale, the brand known for its fluffy kitten mascots, is a “PURR-oudly Canadian” company that produces toilet paper, paper towels, napkins and facial tissues.
Manufactured by Irving Consumer Products, Royale says it has planted more than one billion trees since 1957 and that its products are certified carbon neutral.