Sales of toilet paper dropped 32.7% in the 12 weeks ending April 3 from the same period a year ago, according to market research firm NielsenIQ, which tracks point of sale data from retailers.
In the same period, purchases of paper towels fell 18.3%, and multipurpose wet wipes sales are down 15.7% versus a year ago.
NielsenIQ said that, overall, sales of household and cleaning products remain higher than they were pre-pandemic, but they have come down from the early pandemic months as consumers are buying at a more normal pace instead of hoarding. This has also allowed suppliers to replenish inventory to keep up with demand.
Toilet paper was the only category to show a sales decline in the 52-week period ending April 3. Sales fell 0.2%.
While some toiler paper producers were able to accelerate production and reallocate inventory to meet the demand spike, others were hamstrung in their efforts to boost output because their factories were already operating at fixed capacity.