Rise of RYO driving accessories sales

Smokers switching on to the value RYO offers

Existing adult smokers are increasingly rolling their own, which is good news for accessories

IN a tobacco market that is heavily price driven, the number of existing smokers switching into roll your own (RYO) has been rising.

There has also been a rise in ‘dual users’ – those purchasing RYO and factory made cigarettes (FMC) – according to Duncan Cunningham, UK corporate affairs director at Imperial Tobacco.

“Figures show a quarter of consumers are now dual smokers.

“With this in mind, retailers must be well-equipped with a strong range across all categories in order to cater for this trend and keep one eye on their sales so they can adapt their range to meet the needs of their customers,” he said.

An increase in the number of adult smokers opting to roll their own should create new opportunities for tobacco accessories, and Cunningham suggested retailers should respond to this by taking stock of their range, and ensuring all the bases are covered.

“In order to tap into this trend and take advantage of the incremental sales on offer, retailers should make sure they’re fully stocked at all times of filters, papers, lighters and other flavour-related innovations like Rizla Flavour Cards and Rizla Polar Blast Crushball filters, to cater for the rising number of consumers buying into the RYO segment,” he said.

Category trends aren’t the only thing driving tobacco accessory sales in convenience.

There’s no doubt that for many stores, the pandemic has led to a rise in footfall. Lockdown restrictions may be easing in Scotland, but with limits on foreign travel likely to continue for some time, Cunningham suggested this summer represents a major opportunity for retailers to drive sales of tobacco accessories, as consumers stay closer to home.

“As a result of the pandemic, we’ve seen more consumers choosing to shop locally in convenience stores and in some instances, bulk buying tobacco.

“With restrictions on travel set to continue, this is a trend that is likely to remain through to summer.

“In order to cater for the increased demand, retailers must maintain stock levels at all times, especially for RYO products and therefore tobacco accessories, given the demand for value currently being seen across the tobacco market to avoid disappointing customers and missing out on sales,” he said.