Coronavirus: Bidets make a splash in US as toilet paper flies off shelves

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The bidet, an alternative to toilet paper, has yet to take off in the US, though it has been around for centuries since its invention in France. But the bidet may now gain popularity in America amid the outbreak of coronavirus.

Stores in America are selling out of toilet paper as customers buy them in large quantities in reaction to the spread of coronavirus in the country. Tushy, a New York-based bidet startup that sells $79 bidets that attach to toilets, has seen an uptick in sales.

The company’s revenue from bidets tripled this past week, and “shows no signs of slowing,” Tushy CEO Jason Ojalvo told Crunchbase News. “I think it’s definitely the toilet paper hoarding, no question.” He added that he thought it’d be the 'hygiene angle' that would sway people to buy bidets.

Sales for the company’s bamboo toilet paper have also doubled, but it hasn’t seen the surge in popularity like Tushy’s bidets. The company isn’t as known for its toilet paper and doesn’t advertise it as much, Ojalvo said.

Toilet paper startup Who Gives A Crap has sold out of its inventory in Australia and the US and is expecting to sell out in the UK by the end of the week. “We had virtually no time to react,” Co-founder Danny Alexander was quoted at Crunchbase News. “By the time we caught up to the number of sales we had to turn off sales.”

Who Gives A Crap, which has had a few brief periods where it’s been out-of-stock, has never seen such panic buying in the past, he added.

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