Imperial Tobacco pushes RYO accessories

Firm offers advice to retailers on making most of roll your own sales

Retail staff should be clued up on options such as Rizla products, says Imperial.
Retail staff should be clued up on options such as Rizla products, says Imperial.

DEMAND for the roll your own (RYO) subcategory has been growing in recent months as more consumers see the added value it can bring.

And with this boost, accessories for RYO options have also seen a lift in sales.

Recent figures from Imperial Tobacco have found that sales of filter tips have grown to an annual worth of £114million,  with regular papers counting for £40million, king size papers £31million and combi papers generating £26million.

It’s clear there’s a real demand for accessories and this could pay dividends for c-store retailers.

Imperial's Riverstone RYO brand.
Imperial’s Riverstone RYO brand.

As Tom Gully, head of consumer marketing UK&I at Imperial Tobacco, highlights: “With many shoppers looking to cut down their household spending, we’ve noticed a significant increase in the number of RYO sales.

“In fact, the category now accounts for nearly a half (46%) of all tobacco sales. This rise in RYO sales means there’s a significant opportunity here for retailers when it comes to tobacco accessories.

“In order to cater to this growing demand, retailers should make sure that they are fully equipped with filters, papers, lighters and other flavour-related innovations.”

One such product that Gully took the time to shout out was the Rizla Silver Kingsize Combi pack to help offer consumers a good-value option in accessories.

With an RRP of £1.20 per pack, the Kingsize Combi offers retailers and consumers both papers and tips together to provide more convenience across the RYO subcategory.

Imperial's Lambert & Butler Rolling Tobacco.
Imperial’s Lambert & Butler Rolling Tobacco.

While Gully highlighted this in particular, he also noted that, with tobacco accessories being such a wide category to choose from, keeping to brands that are well known to customers will be key.

Gully said: “There’s now a wide range of different tobacco accessories available on the market, which means that retailers need to have a solid understanding of which products they are selling in store and which customers they are most suited to. 

“In doing so, they’ll be well-equipped to effectively support customers on purchasing decisions in store and also can use this insight to shape their range. 

“Should the store have a strong RYO customer base, for example, stocking a wide range of filters, papers, flavour cards and lighters is key.

“Alternatively, if they have more cigarette shoppers visit their store, they may want to consider a smaller range and focus rather on the lighters and flavour cards.

“While it’s important that retailers have a wide range of different tobacco accessories in store to cater to different customers, given the prevalence of brand loyalty in tobacco overall, it’s even more important that they are stocking the most popular brands that consumers will be looking for, like Rizla, in order to avoid missing out on any sales opportunities.”