Products in the cigars and cigarillos category only have limited availability in Cameroon, with most purchases tied to social occasions and the country’s nightlife. The easing of COVID-19 related restrictions has allowed consumers to return to these habits following the closure of clubs, bars and restaurants at night during part of 2020.
Smoking tobacco, however, is perceived to offer good value for money and is on general sale in convenience stores, supermarkets and hypermarkets, all of which remained open even during the COVID-19 lockdown. Many low-income smokers are likely to consider trading down from cigarettes to smoking tobacco in order to save money during periods of economic difficulty, as cigarettes are more expensive than smoking tobacco.
Most cigars and cigarillos sold in Cameroon are imported by small tobacco shops, while the majority of these are smuggled into the country. Tobacco shops in the cities are generally not subject to quality control checks and proofs of purchase of products.
Over the forecast period, cigars, cigarillos and smoking tobacco is projected to register continued growth. As a relatively niche category, there is still plenty of room and opportunities for growth in this category.
Over the forecast period, the Cameroonian Government may use tobacco taxation increases on smoking tobacco to help pay for its response to COVID-19, as well as to deter people from smoking. This may result in price rises and may lead to some consumers quitting smoking completely.
Over the forecast period, the economic ramifications of the COVID-19 crisis are expected to outlast the epidemiological threat of the pandemic. As such, even though life is returning to normal, it is likely to take lower income consumers longer to recover from the difficult financial conditions of the global health crisis.
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Cigars, Cigarillos and Smoking Tobacco
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