Retail sales of cigars and cigarillos enjoyed an uptrend thanks to COVID-19 in 2020 as people have started to pay attention to the quality of their daily lives and are enjoying more sophisticated products. This trend has drawn more consumers to the cigar culture, benefiting cigar bars which have emerged in the cities.
Cigarillos recorded the strongest retail volume sales growth in 2020. The category continues to be dominated by brands available in convenience stores, such as Black Stones, Captain Black or Harvest, not least because the category has always been relatively small in comparison to cigarettes.
Unlike cigarettes or cigarillos, with brand and product information 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 to 2025, with COVID-19 having very little impact on the sales of these products thanks to the trend of taste sophistication. Smoking cigars and cigarillos has come to represent a more civilised and urban lifestyle in Taiwan.
Social media will continue to gain traction amongst companies as a new way to attract smokers. Due to the growing popularity and the modern image of cigars and cigarillos, their promotions have begun to flood social media and have even encouraged YouTubers and podcasters to introduce cigar brands and culture.
Cigarillos are expected to register the strongest volume growth over the forecast period thanks to the continued switch to cigarillos as they are relatively cheaper and can also 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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