Cigars and cigarillos recorded another year of dynamic growth in 2021. Due to a lack of social activities during the pandemic and subsequent restrictions, local consumers searched for small luxuries that they could enjoy individually.
Despite growing sales, there are still challenges for further growth. Consumer awareness of cigars and cigarillos is still extremely limited in South Korea, and distribution channels are not active in terms of offering greater visibility.
Corporación Habanos SA remained the dominant player in cigars in South Korea in retail volume terms in 2021. The company benefits from steady seller brands including Romeo y Julieta and Cohiba.
While South Korean consumers view cigars and cigarillos as exotic, their high nicotine content prevents the market from expanding its consumer base. The smoking prevalence for cigars and cigarillos in South Korea is very low, meaning that the category is unlikely to grow substantially over the forecast period, despite predictions for a positive performance.
Cigar sales via the on-trade channel are expected to increase with cigar bars (which experienced poor sales during the pandemic) starting to welcome smokers. The South Korean government has eased social distancing rules and restrictions on entertainment bars have been cleared.
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Cigars, Cigarillos and Smoking Tobacco
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