With the first deadline now passed for the implementation of the new EUTPD2 legislation, the clock is now ticking for retailers as they plan for next year’s all important May cut-off date. SLR speaks to the major RYO brands to find out what they have planned in the time that remains before May 2017.
by Émer O’Toole
With RYO tobacco continuing to be the smoke of preference for more and more value-seeking shoppers (as well as the growing legion of dualists), how will the new legislation impact on sales of RYO tobacco? And what do the major manufacturers have in store for retailers over the next 10 or 11 months?
Despite sweeping changes in the tobacco market, Scotland’s £24m RYO accessories market has maintained a loyal following, with filter tips firmly implanted within the best-performing products. Gavin Anderson, General Sales Manager for Republic Technologies (UK) Limited, says the combination of value, choice and quality of RYO accessories is proving attractive to consumers.
He adds: “The EU Tobacco Products Directive 2 means retailers must think long and hard about how to maintain tobacco sales against the backdrop of an increasingly regulated environment.”
“Many shopkeepers are offering a strong range of accessories to drive profit and differentiate from their competitors. This is evidenced by the repeat consumer traffic into these innovative retailers.”
IRI market data shows that filters are the best-performing sector of the UK’s £251m accessories market, now valued at £70m and growing at 1.7%. Size of filter has risen up the RYO smokers’ agenda and many people are opting for roll-your-own filters because they enable them to make thinner cigarettes. The Zig-Zag Unbleached paper range, featuring transparent and unrefined rolling papers provides RYO enthusiasts with a smoother taste and richer tobacco flavour.
In addition to filters and papers, there is also an active demand for matches and lighters, with IRI market research valuing this segment of the accessories market to be worth £87m in total value sales. Alongside its Swan and Zig-Zag brands, Republic Technologies also supplies matches and lighters under its Cricket, Poppell, Scottish Bluebell, Vulcan, Cooks and Bryant and May brands.