Cigars and cigarillos were negatively impacted by the pandemic and subsequent restrictions implemented by the government in an attempt to control the spread of the virus. The distribution of these products is dominated by tobacco specialists and food/drink specialists, both of which were deemed to be non-essential businesses and forced to close during the lockdown for part of 2020, therefore reducing availability.
The niche of pipe tobacco continued to experience declining demand in Colombia as part of a trend already evident over the review period. The habit of smoking a pipe continued to be exclusively associated with older experienced smokers, while fine cut tobacco remained a cheaper alternative preferred by younger adults who prefer to roll their own cigarettes.
The competitive landscape of cigars in Colombia continued to be dominated by Corporación Habanos SA offering a wide brand portfolio including renowned names such as Montecristo No 5, Cohiba and Romeo y Julieta. Amongst smaller players, local manufacturer Cigarros Chicamocha is the most notable although it follows the leader at a significant distance with its brands Chicamocha Dalia and Chicamocha Torpedo.
Demand-wise, cigars, cigarillos and smoking tobacco were adversely impacted by the response to COVID-19 in 2020, due to the closure of the main distribution channel tobacco specialists and other specialist stores located in shopping centres during the lockdown. A lack of tourism due to border closures and limited travel as a result of the pandemic also impacted demand.
Producers and distributors of cigars are likely to continue to struggle to attract all but the most affluent of local consumers, especially as their average unit prices are predicted to rise further over the forecast period. Overall demand is therefore expected to remain flat, a scenario that is set to benefit the smaller but more affordable category of cigarillos, offering an alternative luxury to consumers who wish to occasionally smoke.
Cigars, cigarillos and smoking tobacco will continue to rely on their ready availability through major distribution channels in the form of tobacco specialists and food/drink specialists which consumers are more likely to visit if they are looking for new brands or products. Even though promotion is tightly regulated, players may find e-commerce a valuable tool to increase visibility and expand their consumer base, especially for fine cut tobacco by offering greater differentiation in terms of flavours or brands.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Cigars, Cigarillos and Smoking Tobacco industry in Colombia with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
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This report originates from Passport, our Cigars, Cigarillos and Smoking Tobacco research and analysis database.
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