Contraband continued to be significant in 2021, accounting for over a quarter of volume sales of cigarettes in Uruguay. This number has been consistently going up over the review period, with most contraband particularly from Paraguay.
Local company Monte Paz continued to dominate cigarettes in retail volume terms in 2021, and remained the only player in the category to produce its brands in Uruguay. Its only real competitors are Abal Hnos, a Philip Morris subsidiary, and British American Tobacco Uruguay.
Flavoured capsule cigarettes are gaining value share, mainly driven by female smokers. An example of a product that that is gaining traction is the menthol-flavoured Ice Ball brand from Philip Morris.
Uruguay’s strict anti-tobacco policy has been highly effective in its goal of reducing the prevalence of male and female smokers. Since the establishment of the anti-tobacco law in 2016 and including all the further regulations, including the plain packaging law which was passed in 2020, smoking prevalence has dropped from 27.
Further tax increases are on the horizon. In January 2022, the Domestic Specific Tax (IMESI) on cigarettes will increase by 6.
Multinationals are expected to intensify their investment in developing the flavoured cigarettes segment over the forecast period. This is with the aim of differentiating from local brands, which have not been as successful in this segment, despite the launch of products by local player Monte Paz.
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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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