Value is key says Imperial Brands

Scottish consumers look to more affordable cigarette options from the gantry

Packshots of Riverstone Easy Rolling Papers, Regal Signature Rolling Tobacco, Regal Signature Cigarettes and Rizla Xtreme Flavour cards.
Scottish consumers are looking for better-for-money options across the entire gantry.

SCOTTISH consumers know exactly what they’re looking for in the tobacco category and aim to save a few bob as they do so.

According to EPOS data gathered by Imperial Tobacco, 66% of tobacco sales in Scotland come from factory made cigarettes (FMC), whereas this sits at 53% for the rest of the UK.

The same data also found that more than a fifth of these shoppers were choosing better-for-value options with a lower price point.

Therefore, Imperial has pushed retailers to stock up on ranges that offer this for consumers such as the firm’s Regal Signature line.

Tom Gully, head of consumers marketing UK&I at Imperial Tobacco, said: “With more consumers looking for ways to reduce spending amid soaring household costs, we’re seeing a shift towards low-priced propositions across the entire tobacco category.

“This trend is particularly prevalent in Scotland, where 21.2% of FMC sales are in the value price sector – versus 11.4% in England – and 27.1% of roll-your-own (RYO) sales are in the value price sector – versus 15% in England.

“Therefore, stocking value tobacco ranges, such as Regal Signature, should be a key area of focus for retailers looking to tap into this trend.”

Clearly, value remains king in the tobacco category and Imperial believes that the RYO category can help to provide this for consumers.

Demand still remains strong for the channel in Scotland and can help to provide a substantial sales opportunity for retailers, according to Imperial.

Gully said: “Recent figures show that filter tips are worth a sizeable £114m of sales, while regular papers account for £44m, king size papers £29m and combi papers are also proving to be popular at £33m.

“With this in mind, we strongly recommend stocking a wide range of products across each of these segments to cater for customer needs and maximise the sales opportunities on offer.”

So, Imperial has pushed retailers to stick to brands that are well known with consumers as brand loyalty continues to remains an important factor when it comes to tobacco sales, according to the firm.

As a such, Gully has shouted out options such as Rizla for shoppers looking to bring an extra flavour to the RYO options, with the brand offering paper flavours such as Mint and Menthol.

Gully said: “While it’s important that retailers have a wide range of different tobacco accessories in store to cater to different customers, such as filter tips, papers and flavour cards, 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. 

“With over 200 years of heritage, Rizla is the number one rolling paper in the UK and the perfect brand to stock to tap into this trend.”

Compact solution in FMC

Packshot of Richmond Compact cigarettes.
Imperial’s new Richmond Compact cigarettes could be just what consumers are looking for from the gantry.

AS value dominates demand in factory made cigarettes in Scotland, Imperial Tobacco’s latest launches could prove a popular addition to the gantry.

The firm has announced the launch of a new Compact range for two of its leading factory made cigarette (FMC) brands in Richmond and Players.

The new Richmond and Players Compact variants come with RRPs of £10.99 and £11.60 per pack respectively, offering consumers a more cost-friendly option across the FMC subcategory, following Imperial data that found Scottish consumers prefer to choose FMC options at the gantry compared to the rest of the UK.

Featuring a more modern and rounded pack, the new Compact packs can easily fit into bags or pockets to offer consumers the “ultimate on-the-go convenience”, according to Imperial.

Tom Gully, head of consumers marketing UK&I at Imperial Tobacco, said: “With cigarettes in the lowest price sector seeing substantial growth year-on-year, our new Compact variants from two of our leading cigarette brands, Players and Richmond, will help retailers tap into shopper demand for value.”