TORONTO -- Scenes of panic-buying around the world since the outbreak of COVID-19 has prompted some consumers to stockpile toilet paper, leaving some store shelves across Canada bare.

But the country’s largest manufacturer of toilet paper, Kruger Products, has reassured Canadians there is no danger of toilet paper running out.

Kruger’s chief executive officer Dino Bianco told in a phone interview that a number of factors were contributing to this spike in demand.

“One is that people are preparing for self-quarantine so they’re stocking up,” he said.

“People are staying home more because they’re not travelling… so they’re going to use more and then you’ve got this third piece which is panic-buying. These people when they see an empty shelf their fear is that there’s no more toilet paper and they start stocking up more.”

Bianco said some stores are out of stock for the short term and that his company was trying to catch up with demand with extra production runs.

“Toilet paper is a big product, it takes up a lot of space on the shelf… and when it’s empty it’s very visual,” he said.

“So people started snapping pictures…that I think sets of a little bit of panic. You have social media also inflating this, so I think it’s a whole part of this cycle of fear and concern and misinformation that is out there.”

He said Kruger was working 24/7 at its seven facilities across Canada to make its toilet paper brands, including Cashmere and Purex, and its other products which include facial tissue brand Scotties and its paper towels.

“There isn’t a structural shortage of toilet paper in the country, we’re not going to run out,” Bianco added.

He believes the tissue industry should be able to recover “soon” and added that availability for shoppers depends on location and the time of day they visit a store because of the timing of deliveries.

Demand has been consistent across the country, he said.

“We have pulp in Canada, we have the raw materials available to make the product,” Bianco said.

“We’re not importing tissue from another country that has to cross the border and takes a long time to get here, so it’s a pretty controlled supply chain. For the most part we are controlled within the country of Canada with respect to supply and production.”

Bianco asked people to be calm and patient while stocks are resupplied in the coming days and weeks.

Kruger produces about a third of all tissue products in Canada.

“Toilet paper usage doesn’t change whether there’s a pandemic or not,” Bianco said.

“It’s an interesting place where we are right now.”