Retailers have a huge opportunity to take advantage of the £225m cigar market in the face of new tobacco legislation, according to the maker of Café Crème.
Jens Christiansen, Scandinavian Tobacco Group’s head of marketing & public affairs, said that while there has been a lot of talk about EUTPD2 and plain packaging legislation, there is a lack of understanding around what the new laws mean for cigars, pipe tobacco and cigarillos.
“There are two laws, and we need to make that clear,” he said.
“There is an exemption for cigars above 3g, or those that are individually wrapped. They’re exempted from having to put pictures on the packaging, which helps handmade cigars a lot.
“Break, as they are cigarillos, are exempt. We can do packs of less than 20, and we can do flavours,” he added.
Christiansen said that although the overall market is shrinking, STG’s share is in growth. The company is now responsible for more than 50% of the volume of UK cigars sold. Brands including Café Crème Blue and Moments Blue are in strong growth, he said.
“Cigars won’t be be a standard colour pack, and will still have product name branding. There is no minimum pack size – so you can sell individually and in 10 packs, for example.
Christiansen emphasised that STG will be helping retailers manage the transition of the category, by updating the market through its Tobacco Profit Protection leaflets and communication.
“Some cigars will now be by far the cheapest out-of-pocket price on shelf, appealing to those ‘dabblers’ who want to change over from cigarettes,” he added.