JTI highlights key consumer trends
No category has undergone the level of legislative changes experienced by tobacco in recent years, but how have retailers coped with these changes?
Admirably would seem to be the assessment of JTI, the firm behind Amber Leaf, Benson & Hedges and Kensitas Club, with the firm’s UK head of sales Ross Hennessy praising those retailers who continue to invest in the category – and are seeing positive results as a consequence.
“We have found that those retailers who prepared well were the best equipped to deal with the legislative changes and have seen the least disruption to their business.
“Those who continue to invest in the category will reap the rewards and JTI is equally continuing to invest in product innovation and support for retailers to help them maximise tobacco profits,” he said.
The new Kensitas Club Rolling Tobacco will enable retailers to maximise sales in Scotland’s growing roll your own category.
One of the most visible examples of JTI investment in NPD is the revamp of heritage Scottish tobacco brand Kensitas Club, a value proposition that JTI reckons taps into current tobacco trends.
“There are two clear trends in the current tobacco market,” said Hennessy, “The growth of the capsule segment, which is now responsible for 15.3% of total cigarette sales in the UK, and the growing value segment as consumers seek out value for money products.”
JTI’s investment in Kensitas Club has paid dividends according to Hennessy. The brand was given a facelift earlier this year and a lower price point, both of which appear to be chiming with demand from existing adult smokers.
“Following the re-launch in January, Kensitas Club is the fastest growing tobacco brand in Scotland,” said Hennessy.”
Expanding on this success, JTI recently introduced a roll your own proposition for Kensitas Club, a move which Hennessy reckons will further tap into current trends.
“As part of the trend towards value in the total tobacco market, the RYO category has increased 7.7% year on year as existing adult smokers seek out these value for money products.
“The new Kensitas Club Rolling Tobacco will enable retailers to maximise sales in Scotland’s growing RYO category, which is now worth an estimated £189m.”
The other key trend highlighted by Hennessy, growth in the capsule segment, has also led JTI to expand its offer according to the sales boss, with the firm rolling out NPD across brands.
“We have extended our capsule range with the addition of three new value products; Sterling Dual Superkings 20, Sterling Dual Double Capsule King Size 20 and B&H Blue Dual Superkings 20,” he said.