2021 witnessed superslim cigarettes maintain a double-digit growth rate and reach a double-digit share of sales within overall cigarettes in volume terms. This sustained high growth is closely related to upgrades in the image and consumption occasions for superslim cigarettes, which successfully broadened the user base.
COVID-19, guidance from China’s State Tobacco Monopoly Administration (STMA) and the aim of achieving high-quality development have all contributed to manufacturers slowing down the launch of new products. According to STMA guidance, the cigarette industry should limit the number of new products per year.
In 2021, slim to regular cigarettes (mainly referred to as “Zhong Zhi” in Chinese) priced at CNY200-300 per stick performed particularly well. This indicates that such cigarettes are moving beyond being a hit concept to create solid sales.
Smokers’ need for cigarettes proved to be solid even during COVID-19, and a low positive CAGR is also expected for the next five years. One of the drivers of growth is expected to be an increase in the average number of sticks of cigarettes each person smokes, due to the popularity of superslim cigarettes, which contain less nicotine per stick.
Reaching higher maturity, superslim cigarettes is expected to concentrate amongst top brands such as Nanjing and Yellow Crane Tower, due to brand equity and the effects of scale. However, with a continuous high growth rate, superslim cigarettes is set to remain dynamic, and the product variety is expected to keep increasing.
Premium cigarettes saw a solid mid-digit retail volume CAGR in the review period, and is forecast to maintain a similar strong performance in the next five years. This positive forecast is based on dynamism thanks to the increasing variety of products and sizes available.
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RETAIL SALES OF DUTY PAID CIGARETTES The definition of cigarettes for the purposes of this study is duty-paid, machine manufactured white-stick products. This does not exclude brands of cigarettes that do not use white paper but it is designed to exclude the volume of non-machine manufactured products such as bidis/beedis (India) and papirosy (Russia), and other smoking products made with tobacco but that either do not resemble cigarettes as recognised in the US or Europe, or those that are not machine manufactured. The exclusion of these products is intended to give a more accurate picture of the "true" market for cigarettes and cigars which has been distorted in official statistics and published reports because of the inclusion of hybrid products. NB Please note that due to its central importance and integration into the industry mainstream, Indonesia’s market data does include hand-rolled kreteks DUTY-FREE sales are excluded from retail sales, as are herbal cigarettes. ILLICIT TRADE CIGARETTES Not included in retail sales, but split out separately in volume terms only. Defined as non-duty paid cigarettes (includes smuggled & counterfeit/fake products combined). Legitimate cross-border sales are considered duty-paid. Sales arising from a foreign national purchasing cheaper cigarettes in bulk in a neighbouring country for personal use and exported back are attributed to the country where the purchase is made (e.g. bulk cigarette sales by British nationals in France are attributed to France).See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Cigarettes research and analysis database.
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