Sales of cigars and cigarillos in Ireland declined steadily over the course of the review period, due to two main reasons. First, the ban on smoking in restaurants had a negative effect on the category as these products have traditionally been smoked in restaurants after meals while, nowadays, and with the often inclement Irish weather in mind, few cigar smokers have the patience to sit outside in the wet or cold simply to smoke a cigar. Second, before the emergence of vapour products in Ireland in 2012, many consumers were shifting away from cigarettes towards cigars and cigarillos in order to reduce their smoking as cigars and cigarillos take longer to smoke and are also perceived as more sophisticated choice than cigarettes. However, with the use of vapour products growing significantly in Ireland over the course of the review period, it seems that many have chosen vapour products as an alternative to cigarettes in their attempt to stop or reduce the amount that they smoke.
There were two main players in cigars and cigarillos in 2015, namely John Player & Sons and Gallaher (Dublin) Ltd. Each of these two rivals has one of the two leading brands in cigars, with Gallaher’s Hamlet holding a 41% volume share in the category in 2015, while John Player’s Henri Wintermans recorded a 34% volume share. Hamlet suffered a decline in its volume share in cigars over the course of the review period, while Henri Wintermans registered a steady increase, a trend which was reflected in the four percentage point decline recorded by Hamlet in the category in 2015 and the two percentage point increase registered by Henri Wintermans in the category over the course of the year.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Tobacco market research database.