STG offers advice on making the most of category
IT may not always be the first port of call in the nicotine segment but the cigar category offers retailers plenty of chances to bring in some extra sales.
That’s the take from Scandinavian Tobacco Group (STG) marketing manager Nataly Scarpetta, who reckons that a strong variety of flavoured cigarillos is key for the gantry.
She said: “Aside from the obvious trends of the continued rise in cigarillo sales, which are now the biggest segment within cigars, and the ongoing impact of the cost-of-living crisis, it’s worth highlighting that flavoured cigars are growing steadily in popularity here in the UK.
“Within the cigarillos segment, our Signature Action brand with the peppermint click filter is currently experiencing sales growth of 43% versus the same time last year, and our Signature Red Filter brand is currently the UK’s best-selling aromatic filter cigar, with a smooth taste and vanilla flavour that proves consistently popular with those adult smokers who enjoy a flavoured cigar.”
With flavoured options no longer found with factory-made cigarette options – excluding the use of accessories such as filter tips or flavour cards – these flavoured cigarillos could also appeal to smokers who have been looking for a replacement since the ban, helping to bring the segment to consumers.
And, as Scarpetta notes, the ongoing financial crisis still continues to hit the consumer budget hard, making better-for-value options particularly appealing here.
As such, Scarpetta has pointed to STG’s Moments brand of miniature cigars as a more affordable option for smokers looking to save on some cash.
Scarpetta said: “With these challenging financial times the country is going through, price is always going to be high on many shoppers’ agendas, so we’d always advise retailers to make sure they are highlighting their value brands to customers to help them save money.
“Having said that, this trend for value has been prevalent in the cigar category for some time now, which is evidenced by the success of our Moments Blue brand.
“In fact, our Moments 10 packs are the biggest brand in the VFM (value for money) segment and are well-known among tobacco-selling retailers as a popular choice with those customers who are looking to save cash.
“I think, in general, adult smokers prefer the reassurance that known and trusted brands give them, even in tough times.”
For retailers keen to make the most out of the cigar segment in particular, STG also offers retailers a range of support, inclusive of a trade website, quarterly newsletters as well as in-person meetings.
Scarpetta said: “We support retailers in a number of ways, but nothing beats face-to-face communication, so first and foremost we have our growing field sales force, which goes out and visits convenience retailers daily to share their knowledge and expertise on how to maximise sales from cigars.
“And if retailers aren’t getting regular visits from an STG rep, then they are very welcome to email us to request a visit at: email@example.com.”
Signature gets new look on packs
SCANDINAVIAN Tobacco Group (STG) has unveiled a new design across the Signature cigar brand.
Kicking off the new year with a new look, STG reckons this year could be an important one for the cigar category, making this a well-timed opportunity to refresh the packs.
Nataly Scarpetta, marketing manager at STG UK, noted there will be plenty for retailers to watch out for this year across the category, both from STG as well as with wider legislation in the UK.
She said: “There’ll be plenty more news to come from STG but, most importantly of all, our expanding sales team will continue to help retailers navigate the category and provide them with the information they need to maximise their sales and profits.
“Finally, one other thing to mention that retailers need to consider at the moment, and certainly something our reps are talking about on their visits, is the upcoming legislation changes involving Track and Trace, which means from 20 May, all retailers selling cigars and/or pipe tobacco must be registered with the Track and Trace programme.”