Following the excise tax increase in mid-2017, 2018 was the first full year to experience the rise in retail prices of cigarettes that this resulted in, with many changes being observed in the tobacco market as a whole. Retail volume showed a sharp decline, as expected, although value levels were maintained, buoyed in part by the price increases.
Due to the rise in excise tax, the retail price of cigarettes has jumped since mid-2017. Although the rate of price growth had begun to even out at the end of 2018, prices were already extremely high and many people were unable to cope with this sudden rise in their daily expenditure.
In mid-2017, due to the rise in excise tax, most companies had to raise their retail prices accordingly. The most popular brand, Mevius, which accounts for more than a third of retail volume sales in Taiwan, saw the price of its most popular series increase to NTD125 per pack.
The tax-induced rise in cigarette retail prices generated a lot of complaints among the smoking population. To respond to these complaints, president Tsai Ing-wen proactively called for a new product development from Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor Corp, asking the company to launch an economy-priced cigarette that could help address smokers’ pain points.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Tobacco market research database.