Smokeless Tobacco Growing at Twice the Rate of Cigarettes' Decline

Convenience store sales volumes see some relief from last year

Published in CSP Daily News

By  Steve Holtz, Online News Director & Beverage Editor

NEW YORK -- Cigarette-category volumes in convenience stores were down 2.8% during the four-week period ended April 12, according to a research report from Bank of America Merrill Lynch. This sales decrease follows a 2.2% drop in the prior four-week period and laps 4.0% decline in April 2013.

Citing Nielsen, total U.S.-convenience data, the analysts reported that in the most recent period:

  • Philip Morris USA's c-store cigarette volume declined 2.8 %.
  • R.J. Reynolds Tobacco’s volume fell 2.8%.
  • Lorillard’s volume decreased 0.9%.

Volume share for Philip Morris and RJR held steady at 53.5% and 26.9% respectively; Lorillard share rose 0.2% to 13.0%.

Cigarette-per-pack prices were up 1% in April. Average prices for the category, Philip Morris $6.14, RJR $6.26 and Lorillard $6.44 per pack.

Meanwhile, smokeless-tobacco volumes (including moist smokeless tobacco or “MST,” chew and all other smokeless tobacco products) increased +6.4% in April, below year-to-date trends of 7.3% growth and lapping a 5.7% increase a year ago.

"In MST only, we estimate that Philip Morris/U.S. Tobacco’s volumes rose +2.2% in the latest four-week period, slowing from the prior four weeks’ rise of 3% and lapping a 6.6% gain a year ago," the analysts wrote.


Cigarette Sales in Convenience Stores

Key cigarette category and manufacturer trends for the 4-, 12- and 52-week periods to April 12, 2014

 Volume % change   Price per pack   
ManufacturerLatest 4 weeksLatest 12 weeksYear to dateLatest 52 weeksLatest 4 weeksLatest 12 weeksYear to date
Latest 52 weeks
Total cigarettes-2.8%-3.3%-3.3%-2.5%$6.14$6.15$6.16$6.11
Altria Group-2.8%-3.6%-3.6%-2.8%$6.26$6.27$6.27$6.24
Reynolds American-2.8%-2.9%-2.8%-2.8%$5.97$5.98$6.00$5.94
Lorillard Tobacco-0.9%-1.2%-1.0%-0.7%$6.44$6.46$6.47$6.42

Source: Nielsen, Total US-Convenience


Smokeless Tobacco Sales in Convenience Stores

Key smokeless-tobacco category and manufacturer trends for the 4-, 12- and 52-week periods to April 12, 2014

 Volume % change   Price per can   
ManufacturerLatest 4 weeksLatest 12 weeksYear to dateLatest 52 weeksLatest 4 weeksLatest 12 weeksYear to date
Latest 52 weeks
Altria Group2.2%2.3%2.4%3.6%$4.19$4.19$4.20$4.22
Reynolds American4.8%6.9%7.1%7.5%$3.42$3.45$3.45$3.39
Swedish Match-1.9%-1.1%-1.0%-0.1%$2.28$2.30$2.29$2.27

Source: Nielsen, Total US-Convenience

Keywords: 
cigarettes, OTP
By Steve Holtz, Online News Director & Beverage Editor
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