Much more than an after thought

Sales of tobacco accessories continue to grow in Scotland, with retailers urged to take note

OCB Virgin Papers are now available in a vertical pack, helping save shelf space

THEY might be thought of as ‘accessories’, but filters, papers, matches and lighters are proving to be an increasingly central part of a retailer’s tobacco offer.

Gavin Anderson, general sales manager at Republic Technologies, said that figures show the tobacco accessories category in Scotland is now worth £28.7m, growing at 8.8% year-on-year.

Papers and filters are the most buoyant accessories subcategory, with papers worth £10.8m and growing at 9.5%, and filters worth £6.0m and growing at 9.3%.

Anderson said that it was “crucial” for suppliers to maximise this opportunity by understanding shoppers’ needs and adjusting their products accordingly.

Republic Technologies has focused on NPD in a bid to tap into consumer trends, with recent releases including OCB Virgin Slim and Slim & Tips, for consumers looking for an unbleached paper and a softer smoke; Swan Ultra Slim, the thinnest ever Swan filter; and Swan ‘Eco’ filters, the most environmentally friendly Swan product to date.

Swan Ultra Slim, the thinnest Swan filter ever, joins a range of popular products

The rising popularity of RYO tobacco has undeniably driven demand for products such as OCB Virgin Paper, which is designed to have a silky touch, lightweight feel, and premium quality to provide the best possible rolling experience.

“Our OCB Virgin Papers offer a unique proposition, providing real appeal for consumers who are looking for an all-natural rolling paper for a smoother smoke,” said Anderson.

“Each leaf is gummed with OCB natural acacia gum, sustainably sourced from African acacia trees, which is both 100% natural, vegetarian, and GM free.” 

OCB Virgin Slim & Tips are now also available in a vertical box, helping retailers to manage shelf space.

Effective merchandising is a key part of driving sales in the category, with Anderson advising c-store retailers to stock a wide range of tobacco  accessories, including the latest NPD.

He also noted that pack formats “play an important role” in driving sales, and recommended stocking space saving packs like the vertical packs of Zig-Zag King Size papers, Poppell 45 pack lighters and Swan Slim Pop-a-Tip Filters (for consumers who are on the go).