Cigarillos recorded a double-digit volume growth rate in 2018, mainly thanks to a strong performance for economy products. Due to lower excise tax being applied to cigarillos than to cigarettes, economy cigarillos are perceived as a good value-for-money option by lower-income consumers, who increasingly find cigarettes to be prohibitively expensive.
Fine cut tobacco is another category from decreasing volume sales of cigarettes. As with cigarillos, fine cut tobacco carries lower excise tax than cigarettes and the category’s retail prices are subsequently cheaper.
The cigars category remained a niche in Lithuania in 2018. Historically there is not a tradition of smoking cigars in the country, with most Lithuanians perceiving cigars as luxury items or as being primarily for celebratory occasions.
JTI continued to dominate fine cut tobacco in Lithuania in volume terms in 2018. The company was able to maintain its dominant position throughout the review period thanks to the strong reputation of its Winston brand, which is widely available via key retail chains.
Philip Morris remained the dominant player in cigarillos in volume terms in 2018 thanks to the success of its eponymous price fighter brand. This brand has a favourable reputation in terms of quality, and is a flagship brand for cigarillos in general.
Although it remained a relatively niche category with a luxury image, as opposed to one that was popular for daily consumption, cigars continued to perform positively in Lithuania in 2018. This was partly due to the growing efforts of players in the category to develop the local cigar-smoking culture.
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