Cigarette volume sales continued to contract in 2018 and are expected to continue doing so over the forecast period. Growing health awareness backed by government campaigns and stronger proposed anti-tobacco legislation are encouraging consumers to migrate towards alternatives such as fine cut tobacco or e-vapour products, with many perceiving these to be healthier.
Illicit trade in cigarettes continued to be problematic for the cigarettes category in 2018 as illicit volume sales recorded dynamic growth to account for nearly one third of overall retail volume sales. This was despite stronger law enforcement, as police operations lowered the volumes of illicit cigarettes available, which subsequently led to a rise in unit prices.
At the beginning of 2018, the Commission of Health of the Chamber of Deputies voted in favour of the implementation of generic packaging for cigarettes, in line with that promoted by the World Health Organization (WHO). It is now expected that at its next session the Commission will forward the vote that will modify the law on tobacco.
The competitive landscape in cigarettes in Chile remained largely unchanged throughout the review period. British American Tobacco Chile maintained a virtual monopoly, with Philip Morris Chile Comercializadora accounting for the remaining small share of retail volume sales.
Philip Morris Chile Comercializadora remained the only visible competitor to British American Tobacco in cigarettes in Chile in 2018. The company’s product portfolio is structured around three brands, namely L&M, Marlboro and Philip Morris, each with a distinct price positioning.
Illegal cigarettes are a major problem for the category and the profit levels of legitimate players within the industry. Such illegal sales continued to grow in 2018, and at a higher rate than the legitimate cigarettes category.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Tobacco market research database.