From: Sukanya Jitpleecheep, Bangkok Post
Published July 19, 2005 12:00 AM

Paper Product Firm Adds More Recycled Goods

THAILAND — Kimberly-Clark Thailand Ltd, the producer and marketer of facial tissue and Huggies baby diapers, plans to spend 100 million baht to expand its waste paper recycling facility in Pathum Thani by the end of this year.

David Osborn, the company's newly appointed managing director, said the investment would enable the company to increase its production of recycled goods by 50 percent. He declined to disclose the company's current production level of recycled products.

From the production of recycled products, Kimberly Clark will primarily export hard rolls to Hong Kong, the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia, and sell rolled tissue in the local market.

Apart from the recycling facility, the company sees good potential to expand its production in Thailand because of the country's good educational standards, work skills and distribution networks and close proximity to lucrative export markets, Mr Osborn said.

The household penetration rate in Thailand is currently 90 percent for bathroom tissue, close to 50 percent for facial tissue and 20 percent for paper towel products.

"There is a huge potential for [paper] towel and facial tissue products in Thailand because the penetration rate is still low when compared to other countries," Mr Osborn said.

The company plans to educate consumers about the benefits of paper tissue products as well as introduce innovative products through a marketing campaign to boost local sales.

Currently, Kimberly Clark is the market leader in all tissue segments.

Through its Scott brand, it has a 40 percent share of the bath tissue segment and a 60 percent share of the towel segment while its Kleenex brand holds a 60 percent share of the facial tissue segment.

In the estimated three-billion-baht baby diaper market, Kimberly Clark is ranked number five with a market share of less than 10 percent.

Mr Osborn admitted that the baby diaper market in Thailand was very tough but said the company aimed to become either the market leader or a strong number two within the next five years by launching innovative products.

The company is also looking to import Huggies DryNites from Australia and New Zealand following the product's success in those

Huggies DryNites are diapers for children aged 7-12, who suffer from enuresis, unable to control the discharge of urine. The product absorbs urine when the child is sleeping.

Recently, the company launched Huggies Pull-Ups Pants for the diaper market with a new marketing campaign and a prize draw.

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Source: Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News

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