Sheetless in Wailuku

The Wall Street Journal had an interesting story this week about how some companies increase their profits without seemingly increasing prices.

Basically, they just give you less of their product for the same price. The product looks the same, but there’s less candy, cereal or – gulp – toilet paper in the package.

With one of the companies cited in the story, Kimberly Clark, paper products are involved. Through a practice known in the industry as “desheeting,” there will be fewer Kleenexes in a box and fewer sheets of toilet paper on a roll. Now, we can see how a consumer with the sniffles can easily survive a few sneezes without a tissue, but . . .

It just seems that one’s confidence as well as personal hygiene could be seriously compromised by the misjudgment of a desheeted roll of toilet paper.

Kimberly Clarks’ Quilted Northern toilet tissue isn’t the only one to have been desheeted, either. Proctor & Gamble’s Charmin’s rolls also have been similarly downsized. So you don’t have to squeeze the Charmin – they already did it for you in the factory.

Now spokespeople for these products said production techniques have made their toilet paper bulkier and more absorbent, offsetting this desheeting.

For those of us who where taught in childhood to use a specific number of sheets, bulkiness and absorbency don’t enter into the equation.

It just seems sneaky to us and it seems to give an even more sinister take on these companies “bottom line.”

* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.