Cigars and cigarillos were significantly impacted to the COVID-19 restrictions as cigars and cigarillos are often smoked when socialising and with socialising events severely curtailed, volume sales fell dramatically. In 2021, with society opening up, volumes sales increased, but were still well below pre pandemic levels.
Corporación Habanos continued to dominate cigars and cigarillos again in 2021, offering a number of well-known international brands, the most popular of which include Cohiba in cigarillos and Cohiba, Boliva, Montecristo and Romeo y Julieta in cigars. The company’s products continued to be sold via local exclusive distributor Vegas del Caribe, and its chain of outlet subsidiaries under La Casa del Habano franchise, itself owned globally by Corporación Habanos.
Volume sales continued to be relatively low in Ecuador in 2021. Beyond tourists, cigar and cigarillo smoking remained the preserve of a small number of affluent Ecuadorean consumers, who could afford the high unit prices of these products in their search of sophistication and status.
It is mainly the older generation that purchase cigars and cigarillos In Ecuador and within that cohort, it is higher-income consumers. Therefore, the consumer base is expected to shrink over the forecast period.
A key consumer bases of cigars and cigarillos is foreign tourists, particularly at airport duty free outlets. With foreign tourists expected to travel once again to Ecuador over the forecast period, as COVID-19 restrictions are fully lifted, this will support volume sales over the forecast period.
Domestic producers have an opportunity to exploit the local hipster trend, marketing to new and younger consumers with an interest in product area. These consumers are often willing to move away from the traditional international brands consumed by the older generation, and towards artisanal Ecuadorean cigars and cigarillos.
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Cigars, Cigarillos and Smoking Tobacco
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