Businesses and consumer incomes started to recover in 2021 after the negative impact of COVID-19 on the local economy, however this recovery did not translate into retail volume growth in cigarettes, although sales of cigars and cigarillos did stabilise. Tobacco sales were negatively impacted by the impact of COVID-19 with the government’s ban on social gatherings, outdoor events and clubs, coupled with increased health concerns and economic constraints all serving to limit demand for tobacco.
Premium brands lost share following the outbreak of COVID-19 owing to consumers becoming more budget conscious and thus turning to cheaper mid-priced and economy brands. This was compounded by the annual increase in taxes which raised the price of cigarettes even higher.
Cigarettes in Kenya is dominated by two companies – British American Tobacco and Mastermind Tobacco – with Philip Morris International Inc being the only other player now present in the market. There were no new entrants in tobacco in Kenya in 2021.
Grocery retailers remains the most preferred retail channel for purchasing cigarettes. Very few consumers buy their cigarettes through online platforms, with most people looking to buy their cigarettes from convenient locations such as kiosks and street vendors and social places where they smoke.
Although e-cigarettes are not common in the Kenyan market, there are a small number of mid-income consumers who use them and who can afford to do so. There is a growing awareness of the potential use of e-vapour products to help smokers quit, with some people perceiving them to be less harmful.
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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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