It was just about two months ago when the crisis hit. No, I’m not talking about the global pandemic that’s still raging and has so far claimed almost 320,000 lives. I’m talking about the Great Toilet Paper Crisis of 2020.
Of course, the Great TP Crisis was an outgrowth of the pandemic. Yet where COVID-19 was nature’s doing, the toilet paper crisis was entirely humanity’s fault. Whether we were doing it to secure an infantile comfort about the product embedded in us since we were young or because it made us feel in control in an uncertain time, the fact is toilet paper was the hottest product in America in March 2020.
For weeks on end, you couldn’t walk into most stores without seeing the TP aisle picked dry. But if toilet paper was so hot, why didn’t the TP companies just crank up the machines in the factories and print more of that soft gold? Now Angel Soft executive Andrew Noble has revealed that in most cases, that just wasn’t possible.
Talking to CNBC, Noble revealed that the machinery of toilet paper product basically never stops for a break, since it’s a commodity constantly in demand even during normal times. As Nobel explained:
Toilet paper is a business where we run all of our assets 24/7…, so it wasn’t like there was an opportunity to just say, ‘Oh, just run more hours.’ All the hours were already accounted for.
So when people began hoarding the soft stuff, there was no way for TP companies to just add additional hours of production to manufacturing lines. The only reason toilet paper stock became regularized in stores again is because people finally cut back on TP hoarding (or maybe they just realized that the pandemic wasn’t going to make them poop more).
But one good thing did come from the Great Toilet Paper Crisis of 2020. Humble toilet paper exec Nobel briefly rose to rock-star status usually reserved only for tech executives. “Friends and family who know I work in toilet paper never wanted to talk about that before,” Nobel told CNBC. “Suddenly everyone want to talk about [toilet paper] all the time. Even my own mother wanted to know if I had any toilet paper I could get her.”