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US stores temporarily meeting demand with Mexican brand toilet paper

US stores temporarily meeting demand with Mexican brand toilet paper
© Greg Nash

CVS, Safeway, 7-Eleven and other major convenience store chains have begun buying foreign brands of toilet paper in order to meet demand amid the coronavirus pandemic, The Associated Press reported on Thursday

Most foreign toilet paper is coming from Mexico, according to the AP. Stores in New York, Wisconsin, California and elsewhere have begun carrying an array of Mexican toilet paper brands, including Regio, Hoteles Elite, Daisy Soft, Petalo and Vogue, whose label says in Spanish that it smells like chamomile.

Supply chain experts told reporters that the reliance on Mexican products is only expected to be temporary, and U.S. companies like Charmin will soon catch up with demand. 

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Patrick Penfield, a supply chain professor at the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University, told the newswire that Americans use a significantly large amount of toilet paper compared to other countries, which he said explains why Mexico is able to ship so many rolls to the U.S.

U.S. stores saw record profits when the pandemic hit the country, prompting panic purchases of toilet paper, hand sanitizer, face masks and other products. In May, CVS reported a 41 percent jump in profits in its first quarter. 

Stores also relied on Mexican companies when there was a hand sanitizer shortage in the U.S. The Food and Drug Administration in June announced it would allow for some impurities in alcohol-based hand sanitizer in order to increase production and quickly supply stores with the health product. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were almost 41,500 new U.S. coronavirus cases reported Thursday and more than 1,200 deaths. In total, the CDC has recorded more than 6.6 million positive cases in the country.