Home seclusion informed an increase in smoking among smokers in Greece during the first lockdown, as the opportunities for outdoor activities were scarce and consumers found themselves with long hours to fill in the home. Moreover, stress and anxiety due the pandemic increased a tendency to smoke, although some consumers were turned off by heightened health and economic concerns.
COVID-19 did not impact distribution strong, as most retailers of tobacco products were open during both lockdowns and operated as normal. Tobacco specialists were more affected by COVID-19 measures, losing some retail volume share, while there was a significant shift to e-commerce.
Fine cut tobacco posted stronger retail volume growth in 2020, compared with 2019, when the category arrested the decline in sales through the early-to-mid-review period. Some consumers smoked more during lockdowns to fill in long hours in the home and cope with the stress and anxiety of the pandemic.
Fine cut tobacco is projected to see further strong retail volume growth in 2021. The category is set to benefit from the ongoing migration from cigarettes and increasingly price-sensitive smokers, as COVID-19’s deleterious effect on the economy and disposable incomes becomes more evident.
There is little or no sign that consumers are smoking less for health reasons in the wake of COVID-19. While some smokers are likely to have been pushed to quit the habit by the pandemic, the fall in smoking prevalence is not perceived to have accelerated as a result of the public health crisis.
Given the strong impact of COVID-19 on the economy and consumer disposable incomes, price fighter cigarillos is expected to gain sales from cigarettes. Price fighter cigarillos are increasingly under the spotlight in terms of new product development, with more launches anticipated as the consumer base grows.
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This report originates from Passport, our Cigars, Cigarillos and Smoking Tobacco research and analysis database.
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