2021 saw a further decline in demand for cigars and cigarillos, a trend that started over the review period and continued in the year due to the spike in cigar prices at the end of 2020. Also, cigars and cigarillos remains a niche category in the country, only consumed by a limited number of loyal smokers who can afford them and who in most cases have their set routines and preferred brands and locations to buy from.
The Egyptian government continued to raise awareness of the hazards of smoking in 2021. However, this is only one factor that prevented growth in smoking tobacco as well as in cigars and cigarillos in the year.
Eastern Co SAE continued to dominate cigars and cigarillos in 2021, leading both categories. Its José Bartolo brand remained the leader in cigars and Verona stayed top in cigarillos, despite stagnancy and slight decline in their respective shares.
Over the forecast period, the market for cigars, cigarillos, and smoking tobacco in Egypt is expected to see stagnant volume growth. Cigars and cigarillos will continue to be a niche, serving a wealthier group of consumers, with affordability for other consumers now especially difficult owing to the financial impact of the COVID-19 crisis.
Pipe tobacco is the only category that is set to see growth over the period to 2026 as horeca outlets reopen and smokers can return to smoking socially in hookah bars. The ingrained culture of hookah smoking will continue to support the performance of this category over the forecast period.
While smoking tobacco has a mildly positive outlook, cigars and cigarillos will be unable to post growth in the forecast period, and it is possible that some smokers who gave up their habit during the lockdown will not return to either category in the forecast period. In addition, the increased focus on respiratory health in the longer term could lead to lower demand for such products in the future, as some consumers could quit or shift to alternatives such as reduced-harm products instead.
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Cigars, Cigarillos and Smoking Tobacco
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