After an increase in the Internal Consumption Tax on tobacco in January there was a further rise in prices in 2020, building on the increase from 2019. This had a particularly pronounced effect on volume sales of cigarettes, causing the sales to decrease faster.
As well as affordability, the pandemic had a notable impact on accessibility of cigarettes. There was an initial spike in sales as consumers stockpiled cigarettes, concerned that there might be supply issues.
Société Marocaines des Tabacs continued to dominate cigarettes in 2020. The company enjoys strong expertise and awareness of the local tobacco category, with it previously holding a monopoly.
In 2020, the smoking prevalence in the country fell as the pandemic prompted heightened health concerns. Whilst some continued to smoke out of stress and habit, many used the pandemic to attempt to stop smoking or transfer to less harmful tobacco products, such as e-vaping products.
With cigarettes already suffering because of three consecutive tax increases – in January 2018, January 2019 and January 2020 – it is likely that the measures taken to control COVID-19 will further hinder its development. Consumers’ purchasing power has been weakened by the economic impact of the pandemic and unemployment levels will continue to be higher for the next few years than they were pre-pandemic.
With the country predicted to recover from the pandemic by the end of 2021, the government is expected to place greater focus on controlling illicit tobacco trade. This will likely revolve around border control and identifying illegal hidden imports.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Cigarettes industry in Morocco with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
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This report originates from Passport, our Cigarettes research and analysis database.
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