The sell-through period for branded RYO and cigarettes ended last week, with products now sold in minimum formats and carrying larger health warnings as part of the new tobacco legislation.
Yet, UK tobacco manufacturer Gawith Hoggarth is promoting its Kendal brand as a product which is cut to pipe tobacco regulations but can also be used as hand-rolling tobacco.
“We’ve cut the tobacco to the thinnest width we are allowed to which means we can sell it in branded packaging and in 12.5g pouches,” said the company’s area sales manager Martin Bobbette.
The company hopes retailers will recommend the product to smokers who ask for “whatever is cheapest” and Ray Monelle (pictured above), of Orchard News in Weston-super-Mare, said he has already seen a 20% increase in sales of the brand since smaller RYO formats disappeared from sale.
“Since I sold out of 10-packs, there has been an increase in sales and I expect that to escalate. Regular customers buy it already and I think they’ve been telling others about it,” he said.
Meanwhile, Philip Morris and JTI attracted criticism from health campaigners after it emerged that both companies had produced limited edition 10-pack tins for smokers. Brands including Marlboro Gold, Benson & Hedges and Camel all released the reusable packs.
Booker retailers were identified as stocking the products. However, a spokesperson for the wholesaler said the Marlboro Gold 10-pack tins were only sold until 4 May.
Manufacturers have also introduced packs separated into two 10-stick compartments. Lambert & Butler Blue Crushball is one example and Imperial Tobacco said the design was “all about product freshness and compliant with current regulations”.