For instance, according to Nielsen figures compiled by Dean Witter, Green Forest's dollar shares rose from 3.9% to 4.1%-including a 4.7% share by the fourth quarter in toilet tissues. In a paper towel category dominated by Procter & Gamble Co.'s Bounty, Fort Howard's share rose from 4.9% to 5.4% in 1995, including a 6.2% share in the fourth quarter.
Overall, Fort Howard says its combined share in categories where it competes, including facial tissues and napkins, has risen from 6% to 9% since 1985.
Fort Howard has relied on consumer research and strong trade marketing, says Jim Riehl, VP-marketing. Filling consumer niches and using low-cost production to provide retailers and consumers a better value have been keys to Fort Howard's success, he says.
One example is Fort Howard's 6-year-old Green Forest brand of paper products, made from 100% recycled fibers, priced generally 10% or more below premium brands at retail and targeted to educated, environmentally conscious consumers.
"The key is reaching a small but very committed group of consumers who believe that by closing the loop and utilizing products that contain recycled paper we can really make a difference," Mr. Riehl says.