Taiwan Executive Yuan reveals cause of TPapocalypse: 'Out of control marketing'

Executive Yuan blames great Taiwan toilet paper panic of 2018 on 'out of control marketing tactics'

Toilet paper contest at Kaohsiung travel fair.

Toilet paper contest at Kaohsiung travel fair. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Taiwan's Executive Yuan has gotten to the bottom of last week's hysteria over toilet paper and it believes that "out of control marketing" is to blame for the panic, reported ETtoday.

After questioning three manufacturers and five major distributors, Executive Yuan Cabinet secretary-General Cho Jung-tai (卓榮泰) yesterday (March 7) announced the results of an investigation into the panic buying of toilet paper. After taking into account the trend in global raw materials, he concluded that the panic was caused by "out of control marketing tactics."

Reporting the results at a regular meeting of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) that day, Cho frankly said that the chaos that ensued over panic buying of toilet paper was caused by reckless marketing by the companies involved. Cho said that after carrying out an investigation of the three main manufacturers and five distributors, and factoring in global trends in raw materials, the environment had not reached a stage which necessitated the berserk buying of toilet paper seen last week.

What toilet paper shelves looked like on Feb. 25. (CNA image)

As to the concern by consumers that toilet paper prices could fluctuate substantially, Cho stressed that the Executive Yuan has instructed the Fair Trade Commission and the Ministry of Economic Affairs to continue to monitor product prices. Currently, consumer product prices are at the "low and stable" state described by Perng Fai-nan (彭淮南), former governor of Taiwan's central bank, and should continue to remain steady, said Cho.

Whether the toilet paper panic was by design or accidental, many companies have sought to cash in on the craze. For example, owners of claw vending machines have decided to start stocking their contraptions with packages of toilet tissue and guaranteed success for only NT$20 (US$0.68).

Over this past weekend at the Kaohsiung International Travel Fair, a competition was held with the prize being packages of toilet paper, as can be seen below:

Toilet paper competition announced at Kaohsiung International Travel Fair. (CNA image)

Video of customers at a Costco in Taiwan bum rushing a fresh pallet of toilet paper packages.