Kimberly-Clark Introduces Kleenex Hand Towels
DALLAS, March 10, 2010 - Kimberly-Clark Corporation (NYSE:KMB) today announced the national launch of Kleenex Hand Towels - an innovative solution that delivers one clean, fresh, dry towel every time consumers wash their hands in the home bathroom. The single-use, disposable bathroom hand towel from the Kleenex brand provides consumers a unique new product that addresses consumers' growing concern with hand hygiene and is a means to help maintain their families' health and wellness.
In the U.S. alone, people dry their hands on cloth bathroom towels approximately 200 billion times per year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for hand washing recommends hand drying with a single-use towel, but consumers have not had a practical alternative to traditional cloth hand towels in their home bathrooms - until now.
Kleenex Hand Towels are designed to address this unmet need. The product's unique, Cottony-Soft base sheet is free of inks, dyes and fragrances and highly absorbent - drying hands effectively, with enough capacity in the brand's proprietary, absorbent Dry-Touch fibers for secondary quick clean-ups around the bathroom sink. Kleenex Hand Towels' flexible packaging complements bathroom décor and space limitations, allowing the product to be placed on a towel bar or countertop. The Pop-Up delivery system always keeps one clean, fresh, dry towel conveniently at hand.
"Consumers know that even after they are washed, hands are only as clean as the towel used to dry them," said Gordon Knapp, president, Kimberly-Clark North Atlantic Family Care. "Kleenex Hand Towels are a first-of-its-kind solution that leverages K-C's and the Kleenex brand's strengths in translating consumer insights into product design and technology to offer a real alternative to less hygienic, shared bathroom cloth hand towels.
"The Kleenex brand created the facial tissue category more than 80 years ago by offering consumers a replacement for cloth handkerchiefs. Building on that legacy the brand is now delivering an alternative solution to cloth bathroom hand towels with Kleenex Hand Towels. This new solution represents genuine innovation and a solid growth opportunity for the brand, K-C and our retail customers."
Kleenex Hand Towels performed well in preliminary testing with consumers. Approximately two-thirds said they would use Kleenex Hand Towels as a substitute for cloth towels, and more than 90 percent reacted favorably to how the product and package design looked in their bathrooms.
"Based on early consumer feedback, we believe Kleenex Hand Towels will receive a positive reception from moms who are germ conscious, appreciate the convenience of disposable paper products, and make a clean and orderly bathroom a top cleaning priority," said Ann Vanevenhoven, Kleenex senior brand manager.
"In January, we tested consumer reception of the new Kleenex brand product by debuting it on the QVC shopping channel. During its first seven minutes of being on-air, we sold approximately 3,000 cases of Kleenex Hand Towels. A second airing yielded an additional 4,200 cases. By the time we complete this program we anticipate a total of 14,800 cases being sold on the QVC channel," said Vanevenhoven.
K-C plans to raise national consumer awareness and trial of the new Kleenex Hand Towels this Spring with an integrated marketing program that includes print and TV advertising, direct-to-consumer online communications and blogging outreach, sampling, FSIs, experiential marketing and public relations activities.
Kleenex Hand Towels will be widely available at major U.S. retail locations in March at a suggested manufacturer's retail price of approximately $3.00 for a box of 60 towels.
About the Kleenex Brand
The world's first and America's best-selling facial tissue, the Kleenex brand is recognized by families in more than 150 countries. Invented in 1924, Kleenex brand facial tissues were initially marketed as a sanitary way to remove cold cream and makeup. Once advertising was shifted to emphasize the product's use as a disposable handkerchief, however, sales soared. Always the innovative leader, Kleenex brand facial tissue has met the unmet needs of consumers for more than 80 years with products that provide the essential and uplifting touch that makes life better.
Kimberly-Clark and its well known global brands are an indispensable part of life for people in more than 150 countries. Every day, 1.3 billion people - nearly a quarter of the world's population - trust K-C brands and the solutions they provide to enhance their health, hygiene and well-being. With brands such as Kleenex, Scott, Huggies, Pull-Ups, Kotex and Depend, Kimberly-Clark holds the No.1 or No. 2 share position in more than 80 countries. To keep up with the latest K-C news and to learn more about the company's 138-year history of innovation, visit www.kimberly-clark.com.