The continuation of restrictive social measures for a significant proportion of 2021, notably working from home orders, meant that consumers in the UK had greater opportunity to smoke, whilst others were simply bored or stressed. This dynamic contributed to an uptick in volume growth in 2021, coupled with the fact that although smoking prevalence continued to decline on a net basis, evidence suggests some smokers relapsed, particularly amongst younger adults.
In terms of distribution channels, 2021 can be interpreted as a normalising year, with most edging their way closer to pre-pandemic volume levels. The reopening of non-essential stores meant traditional grocery retailers such as food/drink specialists, tobacco specialists and newsagent-tobacconists/kiosks commenced recovery, although they were unable to achieve a full return to the 2019 distribution shares.
Downtrading remained the prevailing trend in cigarettes in 2021, given the pressures of inflation, tax increases and economic malaise, none of which are expected to ease in the future. Hence, this consumer behaviour is anticipated to remain sticky.
Phillip Morris Ltd has been a key driver in the transition from cigarettes to less harmful alternatives. Its executives used 2021 to spell the end of sales of cigarettes in the UK, in as little as 10 years’ time.
According to Euromonitor International’s 2021 Nicotine Survey, a major factor behind cigarette choices in the UK is price, reinforced by plain packaging regulations and the tightening of belts due to COVID-19. With inflation expected to reach levels which have not been seen for decades, and a recession on the horizon, this consumer preference will become even more evident.
Although the UK government previously established long-term plans to tackle cigarette smoking, with the ultimate goal of reducing smoking prevalence below 5% by 2030, the legislative milestones which would enable this target to be achieved have experienced delays. The Tobacco Control Plan was meant to be reviewed in 2021, but is now due to be reviewed in late 2022, with legislation unlikely to be enacted until 2023.
Files are delivered directly into your account soon after payment is received and any tax is certification is verified (where applicable).
This report comes in PDF with additional info in Excel included.
Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Cigarettes industry in United Kingdom with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
Key trends are clearly and succinctly summarised alongside the most current research data available. Understand and assess competitive threats and plan corporate strategy with our qualitative analysis, insight and confident growth projections.
If you're in the Cigarettes industry in United Kingdom, our research will help you to make informed, intelligent decisions; to recognise and profit from opportunity, or to offer resilience amidst market uncertainty.
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.
If you purchase a report that is updated in the next 60 days, we will send you the new edition and data extraction Free!