Retail sales of cigars and cigarillos have enjoyed an uptrend during the pandemic as people have started to pay attention to the quality of their daily lives and are increasingly choosing to consume more sophisticated products. This trend has drawn more consumers to the cigar culture, benefiting cigar lounges which have emerged in the cities.
Cigarillos has also performed strongly during the pandemic, particularly through rising interest in portable and sharing cigarillos. These items have become popular as smokers are keen to taste new flavours and try them socially with friends.
Unlike cigarettes or cigarillos where brand and product information is relatively easy to access, cigar (or potential) cigar smokers used to learn about cigar brands and products only from cigar shops or word-of-mouth recommendations. However, more online discussion forums, as well as the growing importance of social media, have enabled cigar users to access information about products more easily.
Both cigars and cigarillos are expected to record consistently positive growth throughout the forecast period, with COVID-19 having little impact thanks to smoking cigars and cigarillos representing a more civilised and urban lifestyle in Taiwan. In addition, the customer base for these products is mostly older affluent men who were generally less affected by the economic effects of the pandemic than younger lower-income consumers.
If the new proposed act under the amendment of the Tobacco Hazards Prevention Act is upheld, cigar lounges might be further limited in terms of locations and time constraints. For example, people are currently allowed to smoke throughout cigar lounges after 21:00hrs, but this would be prohibited under new regulations, with smokers restricted to smoking only in certain ventilated areas.
Cigarillos are expected to register the strongest volume growth over the forecast period thanks to the continued switch from cigars to cigarillos as they are relatively cheaper and can be easily found in convenience stores. The internet is also helping as a vehicle to spread the word about cigarillo brands and products, spreading information about them and attracting smokers to try the products.
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Cigars, Cigarillos and Smoking Tobacco
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