The demand for cigars continued to grow at a steady rate in 2021. Indeed, the retail volume sales trajectory of cigars proved not to be affected by the circumstances of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, as the indulgence element traditionally linked to cigar-smoking remained an important factor in consumer choices.
Following strong growth through the review period, including in 2020, fine cut tobacco registered a slight decline in retail volume sales in 2021. This was mainly due to the slowdown in the migration trend from cigarettes to cheaper fine cut tobacco in 2021.
The competitive landscape remained unchanged in smoking tobacco in 2021, with the top three manufacturers, Philip Morris Italia, Imperial Tobacco Italy and British American Tobacco Italia, accounting for a dominant share of retail volume sales. However, innovation was limited, with these players shifting their focus towards e-vapour and heated tobacco products.
For many years, fine cut tobacco has benefited from the migration from cigarettes trend. This trend is linked mostly to price.
The demand for cigars is likely to continue to grow over the forecast period, following the trends observed during the review period. Uncertainty, however, might hinder the performance of the category from 2024.
Premiumisation is expected to remain a key factor in cigars, as the demand for high-quality, exclusive products is predicted to increase. Consumers of higher-end products tend to be more affluent and less affected by the economic recession in the wake of COVID-19.
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Cigars, Cigarillos and Smoking Tobacco
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