|Title:||United Kingdom top 25 cigarette brands by retail sales and sales change in units, pounds sterling, and percentages for 2011, and data for 2010|
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TOP XX CIGARETTE BRANDS XXw/e MAT to January 2012 ([pounds sterling] m) VALUE VOLUME MAT2010 MAT2011 y-o-y% MAT2010 MAT2011 y-o-y Lambert & ITL X,XXX.X X,XXX.X -X.X X,XXX.X X,XXX.X -XXX Butler King Size Mayfair JTI XXX.X XXX.X X.X X,XXX.X X,XXX.X -X.X King Size Marlboro PMI XXX.X XXX.X -X.X X,XXX.X X,XXX.X -XX.X King Size Gold Richmond ITL XXX.X XXX.X -X.X X,XXX.X X,XXX.X -XX.X King Size John Player ITL XXX.X XXX.X XX.X X,XXX.X X,XXX.X XX.X Special Blue Benson & JTI XXX.X XXX.X -X.X X,XXX.X X,XXX.X -XX.X Hedges King Size Gold Sterling JTI XXX.X XXX.X XX.X X,XXX.X X,XXX.X XX.X Superkings Sterling JTI XXX.X XXX.X XX.X X,XXX.X X,XXX.X XX.X King Size Richmond ITL XXX.X XXX.X -XX.X X,XXX.X X,XXX.X -XX.X Superkings Mayf air JTI XXX.X XXX.X * X.X X,XXX.X X,XXX.X -X.X King Size Smooth Royals King BAT XXX.X XXX.X X.X X,XXX.X X,XXX.X -XX.X Size Red Windsor ITL XXX.X XXX.X XX.X XXX.X X,XXX.X XX.X Blue Superkings Silk Cut JTI XXX.X XXX.X -X.X X,XXX.X X,XXX.X -X.X King Size Purple Windsor ITL XXX.X XXX.X XX.X XXX.X XXX.X XX.X Blue King Size Benson & JTI XXX.X XXX.X XX.X XXX.X XXX.X X.X Hedges King Size Silver Regal King ITL XXX.X XXX.X -XX.X XXX.X XXX.X -XX.X Size Richmond ITL XXX.X XXX.X -X.X XXX.X XXX.X -XX.X Superkings Menthol Superkings ITL XXX.X XXX.X -XX.X XXX.X XXX.X -XX.X Mayfair JTI XXX.X XXX.X -X.X XXX.X XXX.X -XX.X Superkings Embassy No ITL XXX.X XXX.X -X.X XXX.X XXX.X -XX.X X King Size Lambert & ITL XXX.X XXX.X -X.X XXX.X XXX.X -XX.X Butler King Size Gold Benson & JTI XXX.X XXX.X -X.X XXX.X XXX.X -XX.X Hedges Silver Slide Silk Cut JTI XXX.X XXX.X X.X XXX.X XXX.X -X.X King Size Silver Sterling JTI XXX.X XXX.X XX.X XXX.X XXX.X -X.X Superkings Menthol Sovereign JTI XXX.X XXX.X -XX.X XXX.X XXX.X -XX.X King Size
Barring any last-minute legal challenges, the tobacco category - or a sizeable chunk of it at least - will go dark from X April.
This will mark the single-biggest change to the [pounds sterling] iX [much less than] Xbn market [Nielsen MAT to January 2012] since the ban on tobacco advertising came into force in 2004. Yet no-one has a clear idea of how the ban will impact sales.
That's because no other country has introduced such a ban in phases. In the UK, uniquely, only stores above X,XXX sq ft have to implement the ban initially - for smaller stores, it does not come into force until 2015. So for the next three years, the public is going to have to get used to the perverse scenario of stores that are legally allowed to display tobacco products being located right next to others that are not.
While smaller independents might be rubbing their hands with glee, the likes of Tesco have been conducting closed kiosk trials to gain some understanding of what is around the corner for bigger retailers (see above) -and suppliers have rolled out a raft of NPD in a bid to gain as much traction for their brands as possible ahead of the ban.
With just over two months to go, no-one is under any illusion that the ban is going to give tobacco sales a boost - ominous news when so many big brands, especially those at the premium end of the spectrum, are already struggling [Nielsen MAT to Janaury 2012]. However, not everyone believes the impact will be as sudden or dramatic as initially feared.
"The key focus will be on availability, information and purchase experience" Christopher Street, Imperial TobaccoIn trials we have round that tobacco sales volumes do not decrease," says Christopher Street, head of the grocery channel at Imperial Tobacco. "Serving times tended to increase at the start of the trials but once staff became accustomed to the modified units, they reduce."
In short, retailers need to be prepared, says Street. "There will be winners and losers in the multiple grocery channel when the display restrictions come into force. The key focus for all stores affected will be on meeting shoppers' needs. These are availability, information and purchase experience."
There is no getting away from the fact that that the whole shopping experience is going to change once the ban comes in and the shutters go up. It is certainly going to make it harder for brands to seed new products with smokers, which is why there has been so much pre-emptive NPD. They might be unwilling to admit it is linked with the ban, but it is no coincidence that over the past XX months tobacco manufacturers have hit the NPD accelerator like never before.
Imperial Tobacco has attempted to create a new sub-sector of make-your-own, and Japan Tobacco International and British American Tobacco have both brought out flavour-changing cigarettes with capsule technology.
BAT, meanwhile, has made a big push with female-friendly demi-slim cigarettes and there have been new value cigars from JTI and Scandinavian Tobacco Group, not to mention four major launches at the value end of the increasingly popular roll-your-own (RYO) category.
The relatively niche appeal of many of these new launches means that developing on-shelf visibility ahead of the ban is key. So far it seems to be working. Imperial Tobacco's JPS Make Your Own range, which retailers such as leading CTN chain Rippleglen have flagged up as a hit, has sold around nine tonnes of tobacco - at a value of about [pounds sterling] Xm - since it launched in November.
On the whole, suppliers remain confident that retailers will continue to support NPD even after the shutters go up. JTI head of communications Jeremy Blackburn says that there is no evidence to suggest retailers will use the ban as an excuse to rationalise their tobacco offers or de-stock brands.
"If anything, it's about ensuring availability and not disappointing your customers," he argues. "Retailers need to be monitoring sales information very closely and reviewing local trends to ensure they have what their shoppers want when they ask for it."