Smokeless Tobacco Growing at Twice the Rate of Cigarettes' Decline

Convenience store sales volumes see some relief from last year

By 
Steve Holtz, Online News Director & Beverage Editor, CSP

Cigarette sales trends in convenience stores

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

Steve Holtz, CSP/Winsight By Steve Holtz, Online News Director & Beverage Editor, CSP
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