Demand for cigars, cigarillos and smoking tobacco continued to witness significant growth in 2020, although this was from a much lower sales base compared to cigarettes, therefore offering high growth potential. Beyond providing a perception of high social status due to their higher average unit price, cigars and cigarillos also benefited from a new more sophisticated and relaxing experience whilst more affluent consumers were confined to their homes for long periods of time due to the pandemic.
Major distribution channels which offer cigars, cigarillos and smoking tobacco recorded positive sales in 2020, with tobacco specialists dominating demand, although these stores were forced to close for several months during the lockdown. This resulted in share gain for forecourt retailers in terms of sales of cigars and cigarillos, whilst both categories also gained volume share through e-commerce as some consumers refrained from leaving their homes during the lockdown, making the switch to online sales.
JPB Trade SRL retained its overall leadership of both cigars and cigarillos, where it dominates sales of cigars through globally-renowned brands such as Cohiba and Romeo y Julieta (for Corporación Habanos SA), Villiger (for Villiger Söhne AG) and King Edward (for Swisher International Group Inc) amongst many others. The competitive environment of cigarillos is more fragmented with smaller players under “others” dominating, although JPB Trade also managed to gain further volume share where it represents the leading six brands including King Edward and Café Crème.
While the virus remained in circulation heading into the forecast period in Romania, the ongoing rollout of the country’s vaccination programme and falling numbers of cases is leading to a gradual relaxation of restrictions, resulting in consumers spending longer periods of time outside of the home, including socialising, over 2021. Whilst remaining a small category overall, cigars and cigarillos still offers growth potential as it enjoys a number of loyal more affluent smokers.
Increasing prices of cigarettes over the forecast period due to the likely rise in excise taxes will result in consistent declines in terms of demand for cigarettes, a trend which will further benefit fine cut tobacco in addition to the further penetration of new lower-priced brands as witnessed in 2020. Fine cut tobacco is predicted to record further strong volume growth over the forecast period and will only trail heated tobacco in terms of performance in the market, as an alternative for cigarette smokers, especially in the case of younger adults, for whom rolling their own cigarettes is perceived to be fashionable whilst also offering greater affordability.
Distribution is also expected to expand over the forecast period, with modern grocery retailers benefiting from an increasing number of cigar and cigarillo smokers, and by default increasing demand for more brands covering a wider price range. The tremendous growth of e-commerce during the pandemic is also set to lead to further share gain and dynamic growth; pure e-commerce stores are likely to become more visible and sought after as the offer improves but modern grocery retailers could also continue to benefit from their expansion into e-commerce as noted during the lockdown.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Cigars, Cigarillos and Smoking Tobacco industry in Romania with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
Key trends are clearly and succinctly summarised alongside the most current research data available. Understand and assess competitive threats and plan corporate strategy with our qualitative analysis, insight and confident growth projections.
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This report originates from Passport, our Cigars, Cigarillos and Smoking Tobacco research and analysis database.
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