Summary of our market study

Since 2020, the global tobacco market has continued to be substantial with Italy having a distinct presence. Italy's tobacco industry reported a significant expenditure on tobacco products, amounting to 1.34 billion euros in 2020 according to Eurostat. The Italian tobacco market is facing transitions with the advent of alternative smoking products such as e-cigarettes. Despite the emergence of these new products, traditional tobacco consumption persists with 11.6 million smokers in Italy as of 2020. Men between the ages of 45-54 have been identified as the prevalent demographic amongst Italian smokers. However, there's a growing trend in e-cigarette use but it has not substantially deterred traditional smoking habits, with the majority being dual users. Globally, the market has witnessed leading tobacco companies recording turnovers in the billions in 2020, indicating the industry's substantial profitability. Regulation has been stringent with European Directive 40/2014/EU influencing national legislations, such as Italy's, to mitigate smoking rates and protect minors and non-smokers. The tobacco distribution network within Italy remains robust, albeit with a declining number of companies involved in production, reflecting a concentrated industry with a reduced cultivable area from 36 thousand hectares in 2000 to 13.4 thousand hectares in 2020.

Analyzing Tobacco Consumption Trends in Italy

In Italy has a population of between 10 and 15 million smokers, accounting for approximately 20% of the Italian population. The demographic most associated with smoking falls between the ages of 45 and 54, with a higher prevalence among men compared to women. Notably, the northern regions of Italy have a higher concentration of smokers compared to other areas. The introduction of electronic cigarettes has also shifted consumption patterns. Although e-cigarettes have gained traction, with nearly 50% of users having adopted the device for less than a year, the majority of these users also consume traditional cigarettes. Interestingly, the presence of e-cigarettes has not significantly impacted the rates of cessation, as over 80% of Italian e-cigarette users continue to smoke traditional tobacco alongside their electronic counterparts. When it comes to spending on tobacco, Italians have shelled out between 1.2 and 1.5 billion euros, with Lombardy and Basilicata being regions where expenditure is notably high on a monthly basis. There has been a noticeable increase in spending since 2019 due in part to increased taxation. While domestic tobacco production has seen fluctuations over the past decade, 2019 marked a record-high turnover of just under 1.8 billion euros. Nevertheless, tobacco cultivation areas have drastically decreased from around 36,000 hectares in 2000 to between 10,000 and 15,000 hectares in 2020, reflecting changes in EU and Italian subsidies and a broader push to reduce smoking rates. Regarding the products dominating the market, cigarettes, snuff, shreds, cigars, and inhalation products rate as the most sought-after, with cigarettes historically being the best seller. However, there has been a noticeable shift towards cut tobacco and smokeless inhalation products, showing an upward trajectory in sales. At the same time, the market has been shaped significantly by stringent tobacco regulations grounded in European Directive 40/2014/EU, aimed at reducing the appeal of tobacco products, limiting advertising, and protecting minors and non-smoking citizens from the effects of secondhand smoke. Concerning illicit trade, Italy displays relatively low levels of illegal cigarette consumption, with less than 5% being consumed illicitly. The bulk of this illicit tobacco originates from neighboring Slovenia, particularly affecting regions in close geographical proximity such as Trieste and Udine.

Key Players in the Tobacco Industry: Giants and New Entrants

The tobacco industry is famously known for being dominated by a few multinational giants that control a significant share of the market. These leading companies are renowned for their extensive portfolios of tobacco and related products, massive distribution networks, and influential presence in both the global and Italian markets.

Philip Morris International (PMI) stands out as one of the predominant forces in the tobacco scene. With popular brands under its belt, PMI has a substantial influence on market dynamics, consumer preferences, and industry trends. The company has made notable investments in Italy, channeling millions into the local economy and reinforcing its commitment to supporting domestic tobacco agriculture through various agreements with governmental bodies.

British American Tobacco (BAT) is another critical player, boasting a diverse product range that caters to different segments of the smoking populace. BAT's strategic investments in Italy demonstrate its strong position in the market and its capacity to adapt to evolving consumer patterns.

Imperial Brands commands a significant presence as well, contributing to the intensity of competition within the industry. Its portfolio is designed to meet the various demands of smokers, and the company's operational strategies reflect a keen understanding of market needs and regulatory landscapes.

Japan Tobacco (JT) rounds up the list of these industry giants, securing its standing with a combination of strategic marketing and well-established brand recognition. Although smaller in comparison to its counterparts, JT remains an important entity within the tobacco sector. Entering this competitive landscape is a bold move, as portrayed by

Kumulus Vape, an emerging player focused on electronic cigarettes. This new entrant highlights the evolving dynamics of the tobacco market, where traditional products are increasingly being complemented—or contested—by innovative smoking alternatives like vaping devices.

Each of these companies contributes to shaping the fabric of the tobacco market through their operations, marketing strategies, and responses to regulatory changes. The presence of both established giants and new market entrants ensures a vibrant and continuously evolving industry.

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  • Number of pages : ~ 40 pages
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  • Last update : 07/05/2022
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Summary and extracts

1 Market Overview

1.1 Definition and presentation

A tobacconist , or rather a tobacco shop, is a store that sells tobacco-related products and accessories. Tobacconists have always been, and continue to be, a specialty business, which means that a regular tobacconist must know the skills necessary for any small store, such as inventory and account management, as well as other basic business operations. A tobacco shop sells a variety of tobacco products, including cigarettes. However, some tobacconists choose not to stock mass market brands or even cigarettes, preferring to focus on finer items such as cigars, pipe tobaccos, and snuff.

it's difficult to estimate the amount of monetary value tobacco shops around the world have, but its most valuable product, legal tobacco, has been estimated to be worth about $818 billion in 2019. The largest global tobacco category remains combustible cigarettes. it is estimated that the size of the tobacco market will be worth USD 1,073 billion by 2028 with a CAGR of 1.8%

In Italy, the State has identified tobacconists as the places to exclusively entrust the retail sale of tobacco products; there is a law preventing more than one tobacconist's shop per 1,500 inhabitants. The number of tobacco shops registered in Italy, actively operating in 2017 was 54,319; municipalities with at least one tobacco shop represent about 95% of all Italian municipalities, thus confirming the widespread presence of tobacco shops throughout the country. Tobacconists have been qualified not only in the sale of tobacco but also in the provision of public gaming and community activities such as the payment of taxes and bills. To operate as a tobacconist in Italy, you must first obtain a license and then wait for the authorization according to the territorial distribution present. If you simply want to buy the license, it can cost up to 100,000 euros.

In recent years, the market has undergone important changes accompanied by the development of new product categories, which have also had a strong impact on the activities of operators in the sector. These include the introduction of electric cigarettes, vaporizers and heated tobacco cigarettes, such as the famous "Iqos"brand.

1.2 The world tobacco market

The tobacco plant is used for the production of different derivative products, consumed all over the world. There are several tobacco producing countries, among them we find China, India, Brazil, Zimbabwe, or even Indonesia. Given the great variety of producing countries, the production of the tobacco plant is very important, with ...

1.3 Domestic tobacco production

Domestic tobacco production over the past decade was as follows:

Tobacco production turnover Italy, ****-****, in millions of euros Source: ****

The data in the graph above show that the Italian tobacco industry production has varied greatly over the period considered: while in **** annual production was around *** million euros, in **** it sank ...

1.4 Tobacco trade flows

In this part, the Italian trade flows generated by the tobacco market will be analyzed. The UN Comtrade code used is ****: "Tobacco, unprocessed, tobacco residues".

In ****, the value of Italian tobacco exports was $*.* billion, the value of exports of cigarettes containing tobacco on the other hand is much lower, with $*.* million ...

2 Demand Analysis

2.1 The profile of the Italian smoker

There are **.* million smokers in Italy, representing **% of the populationin ****. [***] The latest revelations from Istat surveys allow us to create a "typical profile" of the Italian smoker. The following two graphs show the habits of Italians regarding cigarette smoking by age group. It will then be easier to draw a "typical ...

2.2 Italians' spending on tobacco

In Italy, the population in **** spent as much as *.** billion euros on tobacco product purchases (***). The geographic breakdown of spending is as follows:

The map above shows the Italian regions where tobacco spending is highest. Data are shown based on monthly expenditures per smoking inhabitant of the region. There are two ...

2.3 Best-selling tobacco products

The products composed of tobacco present and most popular in the Italian market are:

Cigarettes The snuff The shreds Cigars Cigarettes Inhalation products

In ****, the top selling products were:

Tobacco product sales Italy, ****, in % Source: ****

The chart below shows the three most popular and best-selling products in the Italian tobacco market. ...

2.4 Very young smokers

A survey conducted in **** by GYTS on youth tobacco habits presents conclusions on the relationship of **-** year olds with products containing tobacco. On the other hand, a study carried out by HBSC is interested in the cigarette smoking of very young people (***) and on their frequency of smoking. Regarding HBSC's ...

3 Market Structure

3.1 Leading tobacco companies

The global market for distribution of products with tobacco is very uncompetitive, because there are already a few giants in the market, so it is very difficult to enter as a new player. The leading companies in the industry in **** recorded the following turnover:

Leading tobacco companies World, ****, in billions of ...

3.2 The Italian territory: cultivatable areas for tobacco

Tobacco cultivation in Italy has decreased drastically since the beginning of the millennium:

National arable area of tobacco Italy, ****-****, in thousands of ha Source: ****

The graph above shows the cultivable area in hectares on the Italian territory. From **** to ****, the country went from almost ** thousand cultivable hectares to **.* thousand hectares ...

3.3 The tobacco distribution network

The Italian distribution network of products containing tobacco corresponds to the trade phase of the tobacco market. In fact, once tobacco leaves have been grown, harvested and processed, they are then marketed. The distribution of products in Italy takes place through a logistics system divided as follows:

* territorial deposits: **% coming ...

4 Analysis of the offer

4.1 The prices of tobacco products

In Italy every year there are ** million customers per day who purchase products containing tobacco. The products of that contain tobacco have already been mentioned during this study, in part *. The most popular are:

Cigarettes Cigars Inhalation tobacco Cigarillos Cut Tobacco

The prices charged by the market for some of these ...

4.2 Illicit trade in tobacco

There is an illicit traffic of cigarettes containing tobacco, this is not based on the composition of cigarettes with illicit substances, but on the origin of the product. In fact, the rules of certain countries, especially in the European Union, are much tighter and stricter than in other countries.

In Italy, ...

4.3 A new trend: the electronic cigarette

A study by Intellegit published in **** is interested in the evolution of electronic cigarette use. This product is relatively new, and appeared in the Italian market in ****. In fact, only * out of ** consumers have been using electronic cigarettes for more than * years.

Answers to the question: "How long have you been ...

5 Regulation

5.1 European regulation

Governments' updating of tobacco legislation aims to raise awareness of reducing their smoking consumption, protect the non-smoking population from second-hand smoking, and support cessation efforts.

The new European directive Directive **/****/EU (***), on the processing, presentation and sale of tobacco and related products, led to the issuance of Legislative Decree No. * of ...

5.2 The national regulatory framework

The national regulations regarding tobacco analyzed in this part concern the consumption of products containing tobacco. Thus, all products that are smoked. For this reason, the Italian framework has a tendency to protect non-smokers. This is done with the following provisions:

Law No. *** of November **, ****, regarding the prohibition of smoking in ...

6 Positioning of actors

6.1 Actor segmentation

  • Philip Morris International
  • Imperial Brands
  • Japan Tobacco
  • British American Tobacco
  • Kumulus Vape

List of charts presented in this market study

  • Smokers by age group
  • Number of cigarettes smoked per day by age group
  • Distribution of smokers by gender
  • Answers to the question, "How long have you been using e-cigarettes?
  • Electronic cigarette users
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Latest news

Closure of cigarette plant in Corsica - 03/10/2023
  • The Furiani cigarette factory in Haute-Corse, owned by the British Imperial Brands group, will cease production by the end of this year.
  • The plant produces 600 million cigarettes a year for local and national markets.
  • 29 employees will remain at the plant, compared with over 200 in the past.
  • Corsica's special tobacco tax will disappear at the end of 2025.
  • The closure follows an overall and continuing decline in legal sales volumes, which are being replaced by smuggling and counterfeiting.
Several tobacco companies are banking on this product invented in Scandinavia. - 31/07/2023
  • The Velo brand nicotine sachet is held between the upper lip and gum for around thirty minutes, for a gradual release of nicotine.
  • British American Tobacco (BAT), which already markets the nicotine sachets in a dozen European countries, launched the brand in France after a conclusive test.
  • Since the beginning of the year, BAT's range has been available in a quarter of French tobacconists and on their website.
  • The sale of Velo nicotine sachets will be banned in Belgium from October 1.
  • There are several dozen brands of nicotine sachets sold in France, most of them imported.
  • These new product categories now account for 15% of BAT's business.
  • Philip Morris expects tobacco alternatives to account for half its sales by 2025, compared with one-third today.
  • The global nicotine sachet market, valued at $2 billion in 2020, is predicted to grow by over 30% a year between now and 2030.
Tobacco giants face cigarette decline - 13/05/2023
  • In 2020, 17% of the world's population were smokers, compared with almost 27% in 2000
  • a further decline is expected, to 15.4% by 2025.
  • Cigarette sales volumes have fallen from 5,800 billion in 2007 to 4,700 billion in 2020, and are expected to drop to 4,500 billion by 2025.
  • One third of Philip Morris International's (PMI) revenues come from alternatives to cigarettes, with the share expected to rise to 50% by 2025.
  • New product categories account for 14.8% of business at BAT (Lucky Strike, Vogue...) and less than 5% at JTI (Winston, Camel...).
  • Cigarette manufacturers hold just 15% of the French vape market.
  • At PMI, 79% of profits still come from cigarettes.
  • Emerging markets such as China, Indonesia, Turkey and Russia remain attractive to tobacco companies.
The success of Iqos, an alternative tobacco, depends on the goodwill of regulators. - 26/11/2022
  • Iqos heating tobacco brand from Philip Morris International
  • 19.5 million consumers in 68 countries
  • 7.6% market share
  • PMI has invested $9 billion to develop its tobacco alternatives
  • In mid-2020, PMI obtained approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to sell its brand of smoking tobacco and its brand of communicating tobacco
  • In Japan, where it was launched in 2016, its market share is close to 25%
The parallel tobacco market has exploded in France since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. - 23/06/2022
  • Sales of untaxed cigarettes reached a record high in France in 2021, accounting for 35% of total consumption, a 5-point jump in one year.
  • The bulk (29%) is illicit and comes from smuggling and counterfeiting.
  • Smugglers have increased their cigarette production capacity (Meaux plant) to take advantage of the pandemic
  • In 2021, tobacconists' sales fell by 6%, but cigarette consumption rose by 1.6%
  • Smoking rates in the UK have fallen from 25% to 12% in ten years
  • More than one in four French people smoke every day

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

Philip Morris International
Imperial Brands
Japan Tobacco
British American Tobacco
Kumulus Vape

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