An increasing number of Serbian consumers continued to switch to e-vapour products in 2018, with these being largely perceived as an aid to quitting cigarette smoking. However, at the same time, the category’s growth is slowing every year, not only due to sales growing from a higher base but also the advent of competition from heated tobacco products.
Philip Morris introduced its Iqos heated tobacco device to the Serbian market in 2017. The brand was launched in several of the largest cities and was heavily marketed via point-of-sale promotions and banners throughout 2017 and in 2018, with many kiosks carrying Iqos point-of-sale banners and this strongly contributing to a rapid increase in consumer awareness of both the brand and heated tobacco as a whole.
Sales of open vaping systems continued to be largely driven by e-liquids in 2018, with the category benefiting from an ever increasing range of flavours. Umbrella Corp continued to dominate e-liquids, mainly through its Joyetech brand, although the company also offers other brands such as Ole and Liqua.
Having pioneered the category in Serbia, Philip Morris continued to dominate heated tobacco in 2018. However, the middle of the year also saw the entry of British American Tobacco with its Glo heated tobacco device and Neo heated tobacco sticks.
With heated tobacco still a new concept in Serbia, Philip Morris continued to try and attract consumers in 2018 via deals such as giving them packs of HEETS heated tobacco for free when they buy an Iqos device within a given period of time. In addition, the company also started putting small promotional leaflets in its cigarette brands to promote Iqos.
E-vapour products continued to be dominated by the importer and distributor Umbrella Corp in 2018, with the company’s strong position down to its presence in both open and closed vaping systems through well-known multinational brands. These include Joyetech vapour devices and e-liquids, as well as e-liquids under brands such as Ole, Flavour Art and Liqua.
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