Value cigarettes price comparison

Comparing the prices of value cigarette brands

Behind the numbers

The UK tobacco market is worth £2bn, with cigarettes occupying a 53% share of the market, and remains heavily price driven. With value a key factor, what does this mean for retailers’ pricing strategies?

What stands out this week is how prices have changed in a year, with the most-common price increasing by up to 65p on five lines, likely due to the dip in the illicit trade and increased demand. When we last looked at value cigarettes in Pricewatch in July 2020, the most-common price on Benson & Hedges Blue King Size was £9, charged by 27%.

While this has now increased to £9.65, there’s opportunity to review prices as 74% are pricing as high as £10. Similarly, the most-common price on L&B Blue Real Blue King Size has increased from £8.95 to £9.50, charged by 56% of retailers.

These retailers could be missing out, though, as 43% going as high as £10.50. The lowest price has declined by 45p to £8.90.

Value cigarettes price checker

SOVEREIGN NEW DUAL KING SIZE 20s

Use the price-checker chart to see what the most common prices are for a key line in the category.

SOVEREIGN NEW DUAL KING SIZE 20s Price checker

Retailer views on value cigarettes

“Because we’re in a tourist town, our cigarettes change from week to week depending on the group of people here. Generally, value tobacco and cigarettes are top of our list. However, last week our biggest seller was Marlboro Gold, and it never is, but there must have been a group of people in town who like it. It’s a fine line between us making sure we’ve got enough to sell on top of making sure we’re not left with too much at the end of the season. From May we increase tobacco by 20-25% to allow us to cope with bigger peaks and troughs.”

“Last year we saw a spike in sales because people weren’t travelling as much, so we suddenly saw what effect illicit trade had been having on our cigarette sales. As shoppers couldn’t get illicit cigarettes, they were coming back to us. Compared with this time last year, sales are down, but compared with a lot of retailers, we’re up. Value cigarettes have been driven specifically by Embassy, which is performing very well with us, thanks to a project we’re doing with our Imperial rep. People are buying 10 packs at a time – it’s doing really well.”

Value cigarettes price distribution

Use the price distribution table to see the range of prices being charged on 12 key lines.

Product nameLowest
price
Most
common
price
Highest
price
Rothmans Blue Superkings 20s£9.30£9.50£10.50
Benson & Hedges Blue King Size 20s£9.55£9.65£10.50
JPS Players Real Red Superkings 20s£9.25£9.50£10.30
Embassy No 1 Red King Size 20s£8.50£9.50£10.99
L&B Blue Real Blue Superkings 20s£8.90£9.50£10.50
Sovereign New Dual King Size 20s£9.55£9.65£10.99
Sovereign Blue King Size 20s£9.55£9.65£10.50
Sovereign Blue Superkings 20s£9.35£9.65£10.50
Sterling Dual Capsule Leaf Wrapped 10s£4.65£4.65£4.65
Benson & Hedges Sky Blue King Size 20s£9.55£9.65£10.79
Benson & Hedges Blue Superkings 20s£9.55£9.65£10.50
L&B Blue Real Blue King Size 20s£8.90£9.50£10.50

Must-stock value cigarette products

Use the must-stock products chart to see the percentage of retailers charging above, below and at the most-common price.

Must-stock cheap cigarettes

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