With the arrival of January comes the annual growth in demand for economy tobacco among smokers.

Taking a look at how tobacco manufacturers are investing in this sector, Nadia Alexandrou discovers that close working relationships between reps and retailers are as important as anything else.

For this week’s issue of Retail Newsagent (out 8 January) I have been looking at the huge amount of innovation in the economy and value-seeking segments of the tobacco market. New formats, branding and pack sizes are all being used to help make customers feel their money is working harder.

Yet, all of the product innovation and development introduced by tobacco manufacturers is going to be of little consequence if retailers don’t have the category knowledge and management skills to take advantage of it.

With evidence of a surge in downtrading in Australia post plain packaging, as well as forecast warnings from UK industry analysts, manufacturers are already working to prepare retailers on getting their range right post-plain packaging. “Down the years the tobacco industry and the trade have a long history of working together through changing tobacco legislation, ensuring the category remains both a key footfall driver and profit generator,” says Mr Miller.

Through initiatives, retail engagement evenings, trade websites and sales reps, manufacturers including JTI, Philip Morris, BAT and Imperial Tobacco continue to equip retailers with the market insight and resources to fully profit from the growing value tobacco segment.

To read the full article follow this link and subscribe to Retail Newsagent today