New data from KAM Media, on behalf of Philip Morris Limited (PML), has revealed that UK retailers can expect ‘affordability’ to be the deciding factor for adult smokers choosing a smoke-free alternative in 2023.
In its third consecutive year of running the survey, PML asked 250 UK convenience retailers what factors they believe will be important for adult smokers switching to smoke-free alternatives at the start of the new year and throughout 2023.
When asked what customers will look for when choosing a smoke-free alternative, retailers prioritised price with over half (57%) agreeing that customers would select the cheapest products available, followed by those products offering the best overall value for money (18%). Smoke-free alternatives that offered the widest taste range available (10%) and those offering convenience and ease (5%) ranked third and fourth, respectively.
Asked what may prevent smokers from choosing a smoke-free product this year, price again was a factor with six in 10 retailers concerned that alternatives may be too expensive. Despite this, over two-thirds (68%) agree that smokers will use smoke-free products as a better alternative in 2023, with retailers themselves ready to support this transition.
Over half (56%) said that they stock heat-not-burn products, such as Heets tobacco sticks, which have an RRP of £5 per pack, and Iqos Originals Duo to help their customers make the switch this year.
Kate O’Dowd, head of commercial planning at PML in the UK and Ireland, said: “With the average price of cigarettes now £12.73 per pack, the data shows that retailers have listened to what customers have told them and stocked a range of smoke-free alternatives that are affordable and more importantly, a better choice than continuing to smoke.”
O’Dowd added: “2023 will be the year of the multi-category, whereby retailers should offer affordable smoke-free choices that don’t compromise on taste, quality, or satisfaction for the user.”