In spite of rising regulation around the consumption of tobacco in Peru, including an increase in taxes and prohibition on smoking in enclosed public places, consumption of cigars and cigarillos continues to rise. This can be attributed to the fact that this type of product is popular among consumers with high purchasing power and who are very knowledgeable and understand the health risks associated with this product.
Smokers of cigars and cigarillos comprise a narrow group of knowledgeable consumers who often form communities and go to events that are communicated through social networks such as Facebook. Generally, these events are promoted by Vegas del Caribe to launch new products or celebrate anniversaries of brands and are a good opportunity to attract new consumers.
Smoking tobacco sales remain negligible in Peru. The high level of informality in the Peruvian market allows consumers to easily switch to illegal cigarette brands when the price of established brands rises as a result of tax increases.
Vegas del Caribe dominates cigars and cigarillos sales in Peru by a wide margin, selling and promoting products via its four La Casa del Habano outlets. The company is the leading distributor of cigars and cigarillos, working closely with Corporación Habanos SA and its brands.
The most popular brands in Peru are Montecristo, Romeo y Julieta and Cohiba. These brands target premium consumers with high purchasing power concentrated in Lima.
Distribution of cigars and cigarillos remains limited in Peru, with availability mainly being restricted to specialist stores in urban areas operated by Vegas del Caribe, the main importer of products in this area. However, in recent years, there has been an increase in sales via the online channel through sites such as Mercado Libre, an important market place in Peru and Latin America.
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