2 minutes of your time: Ross Hennessy

Ross Hennessy

Since its relaunch at a lower price point, the Kensitas Club brand has gone from strength to strength and is now JTI’s top selling cigarette brand in Scotland. SLR caught up with Sales Vice President Ross Hennessy to get the lowdown.


Ross Hennessy joined JTI 16 years ago as a Sales Representative with Gallahers Tobacco in Ireland. From then he rapidly climbed the ranks, taking on a number of different roles that have seen him head up teams in locations including Switzerland and Taiwan. He is currently Sales Vice President for the company’s UK operation.

How is the Kensitas Club brand performing in Scotland?
We’re really happy with how Kensitas Club is performing. It continues to be an incredibly popular choice for existing adult smokers in Scotland and is currently the country’s fastest-growing brand. Indeed, the Kensitas Club cigarettes are now our number one selling ready-made cigarette brand in Scotland.

We’ve also seen the Value roll your own segment grow year-on-year in Scotland, and customers seeking value tobacco – without wanting to compromise on quality – have been buying the Kensitas Club Rolling Tobacco variant.

What’s the thinking behind the new 3-in-1 variant you have added recently?
We’ve witnessed the popularity of the revamped Kensitas Club brand grow significantly over the last few years, and new launches or variants have been received positively by existing adult smokers in Scotland.

We are determined to continue providing Scottish retailers with innovative new products that help meet the needs of their customers. We believe that the new 3-in-1 variant – which, for the first time will include tobacco, papers, and now filters, all in one place – will do just that, by offering adult smokers the complete kit for ultimate convenience.

With price also being a key factor for existing adult smokers, the idea of an all-in-one pouch is important, as it allows them to purchase everything, they need in one go, without having to buy filters in addition to their tobacco and papers.

This is especially true considering the new 3-in-1 variant which has the same £11.70 RSP* as the 2-in-1 version, providing more for the same price.

Based on this, we’re confident that the 3-in-1 product will be another popular addition to the growing Kensitas Club family.

How important is this convenient, fuss-free solution to shoppers?
Like value, convenience is a major factor for existing adult smokers. Customers seek tobacco products that complement their busy lifestyles. By offering everything in one pouch, the new 3-in-1 rolling tobacco variant streamlines the process, and reduces the time and money spent by adult smokers who want a hassle-free experience.

Is value still the key driving force it has been for so long?
The growth of the Ultra Value segment continues to be a predominant trend in Scotland, with 63.4% of cigarette volume, for both cigarettes and rolling tobacco, and we have consistently released products that meet customer demand for value and quality, such as Kensitas Club.

Is RYO still in growth? What other products have you launched to tap into this trend?
RYO is definitely still in growth – in fact, the roll-your-own category has increased by over 5% year-on-year and now generates sales of around £2.8 billion a year in the UK.

We expect the popularity of value roll-your-own tobacco – which already holds a 45.5% share of the UK’s rolling tobacco category  – to continue. And as the category grows, we will endeavour to provide existing roll-your-own customers with new and innovative products, like the Holborn Yellow 3-in-1 pouch, which was launched alongside the new Kensitas Club variant.

With over 6.5 million kilograms of rolling tobacco sold in the UK each year, we believe that the Kensitas Club 3-in-1 rolling tobacco variant will allow retailers to capitalise on this growing category.

How can retailers get more information?
For more information on Kensitas Club Rolling Tobacco 3-in-1, Holborn Yellow 3-in-1, or any other JTI product, retailers should call their local JTI Sales Representative or the help desk on 0800 163503. Retailers can also visit www.jtiadvance.co.uk for further information.

*Retailers are free to sell JTI products at whatever price they choose.