Due to the addictive nature of tobacco, the inconvenience caused by COVID-19 did not stop smokers from purchasing tobacco, and 2021 witnessed a continued increase in value sales. The overall tobacco industry recorded mid-single-digit growth in current value terms, mainly driven by cigarettes and cigars.
Premiumisation continued to be an important value growth driver for cigarettes and cigars in 2021. With superslim cigarettes successfully being repositioned as a “classier smoke”, many manufacturers launched premium superslim cigarettes, and many have been well-accepted by consumers, especially high-end consumers.
The competitive landscape in cigarettes and cigars remained stable in 2021, with China National Tobacco Corp (CNTC) accounting for almost all sales at the top level. Meanwhile, e-vapour products continued to concentrate, with RELX Technology accounting for almost two thirds of value sales.
Although COVID-19 caused great inconvenience to the operations of offline stores, manufacturers of e-vapour products had no choice but to expand the number of such stores, due to the ban on online selling. Under generous financial and operational support from brands, nicotine outlets (non-grocery specialists) continued to gain share in 2021, and remained the most important channel of all.
China’s tobacco industry is projected to continue growing in current value terms in the next five years, driven by solid demand for cigarettes. Due to consumption upgrading, the forecast for hand-made cigars is also promising.
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Passport Tobacco covers the seven major tobacco categories: Cigarettes, Cigars & Cigarillos, Smoking tobacco (made up of Pipe tobacco and RYO tobacco), Smokeless Tobacco (snuff and chewing tobacco), E-Vapour Products (closed and open); Heated Tobacco; and Tobacco Free Oral Nicotine. Smoking paraphernalia such as pipes, rolling papers, lighters or matches, etc., are not included, nor are nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products, which are part of Euromonitor's Passport Consumer Healthcare database.See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Tobacco research and analysis database.
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