Greater home seclusion and the shift towards work from home arrangements benefitted cigars, cigarillos and smoking tobacco sales in 2020, particularly in the largest category, fine cut tobacco, which saw an unprecedented recovery as consumers had more time to prepare roll-your-own and make-your-own tobacco at home or in private outdoor spaces such as gardens or balconies.
Cigars, cigarillos and pipe tobacco continued to see positive growth in 2020. The rising popularity of premium cigars was fuelled by an increased demand for long filler cigars and Cuban cigars, alongside limited editions.
Imperial Tobacco Austria Marketing Service retained an undisputed position as the largest player in smoking tobacco with the John Player, Golden Virginia and Drum brands, ahead of British American Tobacco (Austria), with its popular Pall Mall brand. Both companies made gains in 2020, as one of the largest brands in fine cut tobacco, Austria Tabak’s Smart, was discontinued in the category as part of a wider strategy for its parent company JTI Austria to focus primarily on global brands rather than local Austrian brands.
Fine cut tobacco sales are expected to decline in the forecast period, following the unusually high demand seen in 2020. The surge in demand in 2020 was primarily caused by factors linked to home seclusion, which are expected to be only temporary.
Demand for cigars and cigarillos is expected to remain resilient over the forecast period and will be less affected by the rising competition from smokeless tobacco, e-vapour and heated tobacco products than products such as cigarettes which are consumed more habitually on a daily basis.
Despite strict legal restrictions on marketing covering all tobacco products, cigars and cigarillos manufacturers are predicted to focus on product innovations to widen their target audience. For cigarillos, new products are likely to compete with cigarettes.
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