Ease of access to tobacco products due to weak law enforcement, and sales of cigarettes in single units, will support continued growth. Indeed, with the majority of consumers cash-strapped, it is easier and more affordable to buy three sticks of Gold Seal or one stick of Marlboro for XAF100.
The combination of expected price hikes, the low purchasing power of the majority of Cameroonian smokers, coupled with gradual increasing awareness of the health issues associated with smoking, will result in retail volume sales continuing to fall. Leading players such as British American Tobacco are exploring less harmful smokeless and cig-a-like options.
2018 saw aggressive campaigns by non-profit organisation the Cameroon Coalition to Counter Tobacco (CCCT). CCCT is highly vocal regarding smoking, and critical of the government’s failure to implement more stringent tobacco legislation.
While British American Tobacco remained dominant in the cigarettes category, Philip Morris International saw the greatest increase in retail volume share over 2017-2018, thanks to the performance of its Marlboro brand. Marlboro is the most commonly retailed mid-price brand, and performs well due to consumer loyalty to its brand image, affordable retail prices on a per-stick basis, coupled with its appealing flavour.
British American Tobacco continues to lead cigarettes due to its strong local positioning, effective distribution and a strong presence in the mid-price segment, thus appealing to Cameroon’s price-sensitive consumer base. Wide availability in of its brands in retail outlets drives the company’s strength, and underpinned the share gain seen in 2018.
Illicit trade negatively impacts the cigarettes environment. Porous borders – notably with Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea – corruption and unregulated imports all increase illegal cigarette imports.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Tobacco market research database.