Other chewing tobacco is the only type of smokeless tobacco available in Venezuela; it is popularly known as chimó in the country, a traditional tobacco paste made from tobacco leaves which are boiled with baking soda and sugar until the mixture develops a consistency similar to caramel. Chewing chimó remained a custom throughout the years, extending from the most remote areas of the country to the main cities, where high school and college students started to chew chimó as a fashion trend.
In smokeless tobacco there is no clear segmentation, with most brands regarded as economy. Mid-priced or premium brands are not offered, presumably because chewing chimó is generally a habit among low-income groups, with high-income consumers very unlikely to adopt it.
The sale of e-cigarettes and vapour products became illegal in Venezuela from 2011. Products sold in the country will not have a permit from the Ministry of Health.
There were no significant movements in the competitive positions of the companies involved in smokeless tobacco in 2017. Fábrica de Chimó El Tigrito remained the leading player due to the performance of its brand El Tigrito.
Smokeless tobacco is a category in which innovation is rarely seen. In fact, no new product launches were detected over the entire review period.
Traditionally, smokeless tobacco products were not advertised at points of sale. Companies involved in chimó are usually smaller than those manufacturing cigarettes, so advertising expenditure is not included in the cost structure.
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