Imperial Brands finds a demand for FMC

Be ready to respond to a changing market trend

Imperial Brands' nicotine range including Players JPS, Regal Signature, Richmond and Blu Bar vapes in Banana Ice, Blueberry Ice and Grape variants.
Imperial Brands has highlighted a shift in demand from the nicotine market as more consumers seek more convenient options from the gantry.

CONVENIENT nicotine options appear to be gaining some extra ground at the gantry lately, shifting away from the better-value choice.

This is according to the latest sales data from Imperial Brands which has found there has been a swing towards factory-made cigarette (FMC) options.

According to Imperial’s Report on Trade, the nicotine category giant found that FMC products currently hold about 70% of tobacco sales, with Roll Your Own (RYO) accounting for just 30%.

This marks a shift back towards the more convenient options in the gantry when this time last year it sat at a 60-40 split, showing that some of the financial burden on smokers could be starting to ease off.

But even with this in mind, the better-for-value option in FMC is still the way to go according to Imperial, which has responded to this demand with the update to its Regal Signature cigarettes.

Yawer Rasool, consumer marketing director UK & Ireland at Imperial Brands, said: “With products in the lowest pricing tiers – economy and value – now worth 69% of all FMC sales, it’s clear that sales in the category are very much driven by demand for value.

“With this in mind, we launched an upgraded version of our popular Regal Signature cigarettes range to help retailers tap into this trend and maximise sales.

“The Regal Signature range is positioned under the strapline, ‘The New Champion of Scotland’, and offers adult smokers the quality you expect from Regal in a new signature blend that is tailored to modern tastes.”

But when it comes to matching these modern tastes, its important to have a variety of options across the shelves, whether this be through other FMC brands with Richmond or Players JPS, or in moving into a different subcategory of nicotine with vaping.

Even with the incoming ban on 1 April 2025, Imperial reckons retailers should make the most out of the disposables market, with Imperial estimating that the sector will be worth almost £3billion by next year.

With this in mind, Imperial has urged retailers to drive up its new Blu Bar 1000 devices to help tap into this demand.

Rasool said: “Despite the disposable vapes ban announcement, it’s unlikely that the demand for these products will slow down any time soon.

“Blu Bar 1000 benefits from an array of product upgrades and new features, providing the perfect solution to help retailers grow their vape sales even further in 2024.

“Available with an RRP of £5.99, the fully compliant Blu bar 1000 range offers up to 1,000 puffs  per device and features Blu Flavour Tech mesh coil technology to deliver strong bursts of flavour that really lasts.

“With a new removable battery, users can now twist, pop and release it, making it easy to safely dispose of the used battery at a local battery collection point, while a new security lock feature allows users to lock their Blu Bar device when not in use.”

NPD is a golden launch

IMPERIAL Brands has extended its Golden Virginia range with the launch of its new rolling tobacco blend Amber Blend.

Pack shot of Golden Virgina Tobacco Blend tobacco pouches.
Golden Virginia has expanded on its range of rolling tobacco with its new Amber Blend.

Available for purchase now, the new blend features a smooth, rich and aromatic flavour profile to improve the smoking event, says Imperial.

Amber Blend comes in a 30g pouch at an RRP of £21.35, making it an ideal option for those smokers looking for a truly premium roll your own tobacco experience.

Yawer Rasool, consumer marketing director UK & Ireland at Imperial Brands, said: “With the launch of our new Golden Virginia Amber Blend, we are helping retailers to meet the needs of both value-seeking and quality-conscious consumers, offering a premium rolling experience at a competitive price.

“This strategic move enables us to leverage the brand’s long-standing heritage and reputation to introduce a new product that aligns with current consumer preferences and market dynamics.”