Value at heart of RYO performance

Tobacco firms reacting to existing adult demand for more value options within the roll your own segment.

Earlier this year, JTI expanded its Sterling offer with the launch of a new RYO SKU.
Earlier this year, JTI expanded its Sterling offer with the launch of a new RYO SKU.

SCOTTISH shoppers are seeking value across categories and tobacco is no different, with roll your own one of the main beneficiaries of economising adult smokers.

Duncan Cunningham, UK corporate affairs director at Imperial Tobacco, said that the firm has seen a “nicotine portfolio” trend developing in recent years, with more adult smokers buying different roll-your-own and factory-made cigarette products to suit different occasions.

The shift to roll your own has had a marked impact on the segment’s market share, as Cunningham explained.

“As a result of this continuing shift into RYO, the segment has expanded its market share and now accounts for 45% of tobacco sales, with recent data showing volume sales are growing by an impressive 30% as consumers seek out greater value for money,” he said.
According to Cunningham, in line with the growing demand for value, it’s the RYO brands at the economic end of the price spectrum that are picking up sales.

“The economy RYO segment is also rising, accounting for just shy of half the market at 49.87% and Imperial is well-positioned to help retailers tap into this trend with more brands in the economy segment than any other tobacco manufacturer,” he said.

Cunningham highlighted Imperial’s new JPS Players Easy Rolling Tobacco as an example of the kind of value brands retailers should be stocking up on.

“JPS Players Easy Rolling Tobacco is an exciting new blend of fine cut tobacco that offers an easier rolling experience and benefits from the brand recognition of one of the UK’s best-selling cigarette brands.

“JPS players Easy Rolling Tobacco features a more vibrant colour and lower levels of moisture, making the blend easier to handle and to roll.

“The range is available to buy in 30g and 50g and priced at £11.95 and £19.60, and each pouch includes a set of quality rolling papers,” he said.

The shift towards value within roll your own hasn’t escaped the attention of JTI either, with the firm launching value segment NPD across brands in 2021, in a bid to better meet demand from existing adult smokers.

Ross Hennessy, sales vice president at JTI UK, said that within the RYO category “value RYO is leading the sector” and provides retailers with a “significant opportunity” to maximise sales.

“Price remains a key factor for existing adult smokers.

“Retailers should therefore stock up on value RYO products, such as Kensitas Club, which has an annual sales value of £163.3 million,” he said.

Hennessy highlighted the work JTI has done this year to reposition Kenistas Club Rolling Tobacco with an RRP of £11.95 for 30g 3-in-1, which he claimed is the lowest RRP for a 3-in-1 rolling tobacco in the UK. The price for 50g pouch formats has also been altered, and now sits at £19.60 RRP.

Kensitas Club isn’t the only JTI brand to have received the value treatment in 2021.

Stephane Berset, marketing vice president at JTI UK, also highlighted the rollout of Sterling Rolling Tobacco Essential 30g in the spring as a key launch for the firm.

“Available at an RRP of just £12.35, it offers the lowest price point in the Sterling Rolling family. This creates a great value tobacco option for customers from the UK’s fastest-growing RYO blend,” he said.


Adult smokers are increasingly seeking out value in RYO according to Imperial Tobacco UK.
Adult smokers are increasingly seeking out value in RYO according to Imperial Tobacco UK.