Anna Königson Koopmans, Marketing Director at Essity Professional Hygiene talks to Asian Trader about cleaning and hygiene giant Tork in the wake of a pandemic that has prioritised cleanliness and made hygiene a social duty.
Can you please give an overview of your brand?
Tork is the leading global professional hygiene brand, supplying a multitude of quality hygiene products, such as paper towels, dispensers, and soap, to a range of industries. Retailers, restaurants, schools, and healthcare organisations, to name a few, have relied on Tork’s knowledge for over 50 years.
Through expertise in hygiene, functional design, and sustainability, we have become a market leader that supports businesses to get the job done. We are also part of Essity – a leading global hygiene and health company that develops, produces, and sells Personal Care, Consumer Tissue and Professional Hygiene products and solutions. Think brands like Bodyform, TENA, Cushelle and Plenty.
How is your brand currently performing?
Our aim at Tork is always to save businesses time, money, and effort so they can focus on what matters most to them and their customers. Whatever you need to wipe, dry, clean or polish, we take care of it! With such attention on hygiene recently, we have also been working to share the knowledge we’ve built up over the years to help keep everyone safe and protected, which is all contributing to continued growth.
How is the hygiene market currently performing?
As you’d expect, the hygiene market has seen significant growth over recent weeks. The COVID-19 pandemic is rapidly evolving, and we all must do what we can to help.As global experts in professional hygiene, we want to support workers on the front line with information on how to maintain proper hygiene practices in the workplace.That’s what is driving our current focus on sharing knowledge and resources – and we want to ensure we include the independent sector, too.
Do you have any new product development to talk about?
Yes! While we as Tork have historically played a ‘behind the scenes’ role for independent retailers, we expect there to be a shift in focus with customers paying much more attention to hygiene in general – making hygiene practices and knowledge even more of a priority.
That’s why we have developed a new Safe at Work toolkit to provide businesses with trusted guidance and advice. It hones-in on four key areas – hand hygiene, personal hygiene beyond hand washing e.g. cash handling and the implementation of plastic shields, surface cleaning and dispenser placement –to provide independent retailers with clear,digestible, and crucial information to continue safely.
For example, payments and the transaction of cash has been under recent scrutiny, with many independent retailers moving towards contactless payments. Where this is not possible, simple changes such as wearing gloves or sanitising hands before and after can be very effective.
How are you supporting the new NPD?
To make it easy to access, Tork’s Safe at Work toolkit is available to download via the Tork website, for free. As hygiene guidance for independent retailers can often be sporadic, we’re aimingto combat this bybringing together simple yet effective tips with a range of resources, all in one place.
How important are independent retailers to your brand?
Independent retailers have become increasingly important to Tork, and this is reflected in our commitment to support the sector with our toolkit to help create a safer in-store experience for employees and customers. As hygiene continues to take centre-stage, we want to ensure that hygieneresources are widely available for the independent sector, as understanding new lifestyles and hygiene needs can have a big impact on your bottom line.
What trends are occurring in the sector that retailers should be aware of?
Overall, COVID-19 has a had a significant impact on the way we all go about our day-to-day lives. For independent retailers, we can expect for this to be translated through a few key areas. Firstly, we suspect there will be increased interest towards hygiene in general, whether that’s a demand for more household cleaning products to be readily available on shelf, or customers taking more consideration into the hygiene practices of an establishment when visiting.
As we all adapt to the “next normal”, independent retailers need to be confident and knowledgeable about hygiene – beyond the routine clean – to ensure their business is future-proofed. For hygiene, it will no longer be enough to meet hygiene standards but exceed them. By publishing a wealth of advice and resources on the Tork website, we hope to arm independent retailers with the guidance and information they will need to stay safe,protected, and successful.
What three words would you use to describe your brand?
Always thinking ahead.
You can download the Tork Safe at Work toolkits at: https://www.tork.co.uk/torkcampaigns/corona-virus