Scandinavian Tobacco Group UK (STG) is hoping to shake up the tobacco market when it launches an ultra-low price product next month.
Break, a filter cigarillo product packed in a cigarette-style box, will have the astonishingly low RRP of £4.59 for 17. Available in three variants – Silver (smooth flavour), Blue (full flavour) and Menthol – Break is aimed at price-conscious smokers willing to alter taste and category preferences. Approximately the same size and weight as a ready-made cigarette, Break is essentially a small cigar with an inbuilt filter with an Ecuador wrapper made of natural tobacco leaf to mimic the smooth smoke of cigarettes and ensure a milder taste than most machine-made cigars.
“This is the lowest out-of-pocket price for a ready-made smoke anywhere,” said Alan Graham, head of marketing at STG. “During the last three years, we have seen ‘little cigars’ become incredibly popular in Europe. So popular in fact, that they’re now the fastest growing tobacco sub-category there, with 3.45 billion sold in 2013. [IRI/Nielsen]. In Spain, Germany and Denmark, they actually outsell the rest of the cigar market.
“We expect this trend to continue in the years to come because price continues to be a focus for many smokers – which is why we are launching this new sub-category into the UK market.”
Graham told Wholesale News that Break would maintain a huge competitive edge if or when the EU Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) comes into force. “Because the EU sees this type of product as cigars and not cigarettes, Break will be exempt from restrictions on flavour enhancements and minimum pack sizes,” he said, adding that the company “would consider” offering packs of 10s if the launch went well.
Break launches mid-May in both price-marked and non price-marked packs. STG will be investing in wholesale open days, retailer education and trade advertising and PoS.