Latvia’s tobacco industry had a good year in 2022 as demand for cigarettes increased, largely as a result of more stringent efforts to curb the clandestine trade in illicit cigarettes smuggled into the country from Russia and Belarus, while closed system single use e-vapour products and heated tobacco continued to gain ground. The rising popularity of closed system single use e-vapour products is based largely on the convenience that they represent, while heated tobacco is emerging as a trendy and novel alternative to cigarettes, not least due to its image as a less harmful form of nicotine use.
The most interesting trend in tobacco in Latvia during 2022 was the positive growth seen in retail volume sales of cigarettes. As mentioned above, rising retail volume sales of cigarettes are largely the result of the greater attention that the Latvian authorities are paying to curbing the clandestine imports of illicit cigarettes that have for many years flowed across Latvia’s eastern borders, which it shares with Russia and Belarus.
There were no major changes in the competitive landscape in either cigarettes or cigars, cigarillos and smoking tobacco during 2022. This is largely due to the complete ban on the advertising and promotion of all types of combustible tobacco products and the consequent lack of information that consumers have about different brands, which means that consumers have little reason to consider changing brands.
There were no changes in the retail distribution of combustible tobacco products during 2022, with supermarkets, convenience stores, hypermarkets and smaller local grocers accounting for the majority of sales in cigarettes. It is a similar story in cigars and cigarillos, although these products are also highly likely to be purchased from food/drink/tobacco specialists.
The big story in tobacco in Latvia during the forecast period is expected to be the more stringent regulation of e-vapour products. Following several years of strong sales growth, the consumer base for these products has now reached the size whereby the government can no longer ignore the potential for operators in the category to take advantage of lax regulation, which could potentially undermine the overall efforts of the government to minimise the harm caused by habitual tobacco use.
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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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