Ritmeester is aiming to equip 500 convenience retailers with crucial information about the cigar category this year in small events across the nation.

The manufacturer is planning to hire out local hotels to run focus groups with eight-12 retailers.

The sessions will look at different cigar types, the parts that make a cigar, as well as the different types of consumers for each sizes.

Ritmeester said the advice will help retailers know what cigars are suitable for cigar smokers and white are suitable for cigarette smokers as an alternative.

The events will also focus on occasions and look at what retailers should stock and when.

Andy Swain, national sales manager for Ritmeester, said the advice would help retailers to capitalise on the opportunity that TPD 2 will present the cigar category.

“Cigars are classed as ‘Other tobacco products’ and are exempt from standardised packaging and some parts of TPD2. Cigs will still be allowed to sell in packs of 10 and have branded packaging. This will undoubtedly bring new consumers to the category,” he added.