Some sources say only 30% of the world consumes dry toilet paper – the rest use some type of bidet. Most of the world’s toilet paper is consumed in the United States, where bidets are not the norm. Although many Americans have embraced the bidet in the last two years, it’s still not a typical bathroom fixture. While you won’t find a stand-alone bidet in most American bathrooms, you might find a bidet toilet seat. This is a smaller, more compact version of a full-sized bidet that simply replaces an existing toilet seat. The seat comes equipped with a spray nozzle and usually a dryer. Some luxury units come with a heated seat. We can thank the toilet paper shortage of 2020 for introducing the bidet to the American family. Although most people knew what a bidet was prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, they didn’t have a reason to buy one until stores ran out of toilet paper. The COVID-19 pandemic triggered the demand for bidets When the toilet paper aisles were empty for long periods of time in 2020, people naturally started looking for alternative options. Baby wipes were a decent replacement, but were too expensive. Some brave families started sewing their own toilet paper, while others turned to the bidet. Many bidet companies reported sales increasing by up to 400%. Many struggled to keep up with online orders and had to ramp up production and hire more workers. Although the great toilet paper shortage of 2020 has passed, department stores like Costco and Walmart are still rationing toilet paper in some areas. This rationing, combined with current shortages and supply chain issues, is keeping the U.S. bidet marketing going strong. The U.S. bidet market will continue to grow One bidet manufacturer told MarketWatch that at least 85% of U.S. households lack a bidet. There’s definitely room for growth, but will that growth be realized? Many experts believe the bidet market is about to explode. The shipping container crisis will continue driving the bidet market Just when everyone thought the toilet paper crisis was over, we’re dealing with a new set of issues. This time, it’s not people panic buying toilet paper – it’s a multi-faceted shipping container crisis. Earlier in 2021, the problem began as a lack of shipping containers. A container shortage was causing shipping delays on all fronts. When containers became available, the price more than doubled. Since the wood pulp used to make toilet paper is imported from Brazil, the container shortage halted toilet paper production. However, this was only the beginning of the new toilet paper shortage. A shipping container shortage turned into a nightmare For several months, hundreds of shipping containers carrying tens of thousands of containers have been stuck at sea, unable to dock at the ports. The ports have been full of ships, but nobody is available to unload. Recently, some containers fell overboard into the ocean. Nobody knows when or if these container ships will ever be able to dock. Stores like Target, Home Depot, and Walmart have been chartering their own cargo ships to keep their stores stocked as much as possible. Although, many shelves remain bare and toilet paper is getting scarce once again. Expert economists expect these shipping container problems to last throughout 2022, if not longer. As more Americans notice the lack of toilet paper on the shelves, they’re going to look for alternatives, just like they did during the TP shortage in 2020. However, this time, more people will switch to a bidet because they don’t want to risk going through a third toilet paper shortage. Also, many people are starting to realize that there are shortages of everything and these shortages may last for a much longer period of time. If Americans don’t buy their bidet now, they may not get that chance later. It’s time for Americans to embrace the bidet Some might say America is overdue for embracing the bidet. It’s been a standard bathroom fixture in other countries for centuries in some form. For example, restrooms in France, India, and Japan all have some form of bidet as a standard. One thing is for sure – once Americans get a bidet, there’s no going back to dry paper.