In 2018, the tobacco industry in Ukraine saw another year of mixed performances. Cigarette retail volume sales continued to fall sharply as a result of both an ongoing decline in smoking prevalence but particularly a significant increase in taxation.
Although the number of smokers in Ukraine continued to fall in 2018, smoking prevalence remained high, particularly among men. However, smoking continued to become increasingly unaffordable due to a sharp increase in tax, while consumers’ purchasing power remained low.
In 2018, the cigarette competitive landscape remained almost completely in the hands of the four multinationals Philip Morris, British American Tobacco, Japan Tobacco and Imperial Brands under their local subsidiaries, with the only other manufacturer with a measurable presence being local player Vinnykivska Tyutynova Fabryka. Philip Morris retained its leading position and further increased its retail volume share but also saw the gap between itself and second-ranked British American Tobacco narrow considerably due to gains made by the latter thanks to its well-performing Pryluky and Rothmans brands.
There were no major changes in the distribution of cigarettes, cigars and cigarillos and smoking tobacco in 2018. Independent small grocers and newsagent-tobacconists/kiosks continued to account for nearly three quarters of overall cigarette retail volume sales, while the majority of cigars, cigarillos and smoking tobacco were purchased in tobacco specialists due to these outlets offering the widest range of products, with newsagent-tobacconists/kiosks also accounting for a notable share.
Retail volume sales of cigarettes are predicted to continue to fall sharply over the forecast period, with the category’s ongoing contraction driven by falling smoking prevalence as a result of increasing health awareness and rising taxation. Higher taxes will make cigarettes increasingly unaffordable for many consumers, with some thus resorting to illicit sources.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Tobacco market research database.