Tobacco: Cigars 2014

Year-end 2014 sales data for cigars, flavored cigars, little cigars and more

By 
Samantha Oller, Senior Editor/Fuels, CSP

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Where the Gains Are

C-store sales, 52 weeks ending Dec. 21, 2013

According to IRI, c-store dollar sales of cigars fell 2.7% to reach $2.4 billion, while unit sales rose 2.0% in the 52 weeks ending Dec. 29, 2013. In a Nielsen database that tracks sales from 20 large c-store chains representing about 13,000 sites, dollar sales of cigars barely budged, while unit sales rose more than 11%. The database reflects purchases at these large chains, most of which have 500 stores or greater.

Type Unit sales (millions) PCYA C-store sales ($ millions) PCYA
Pipe 87.5 6.7% $80.1 0.2%
Sweet 71.6 22.2% $47.1 5.0%
Flavored 66.5 8.0% $44.2 -10.4%
Natural leaf 43.8 0.5% $44.1 -0.8%
Unflavored 18.5 41.4% $10.5 35.6%
Premium 0.3 331.6% $1.0 205.7%
Total cigars
(including segments
not shown)
288.3 11.3% $227.1 0.2%
Sales by Pack Size: 20 Large Chains        
Pack type Unit sales (millions) PCYA C-store sales ($ millions) PCYA
Foil pouch 112.1 55.3% $67.7 39.0%
Single 97.1 -5.5% $89.7 -10.9%
Pack 79.1 -5.9% $69.6 -9.8%
Little Cigars: 20 Large Chains        
Segment Unit sales (millions) PCYA C-store sales ($ millions) PCYA
Little cigars 194.1 -9.2% $34.6 -5.7%

Sources: The Nielsen Co., Swedish Match North America


Distributor Data: Cigar Shipments

Calendar year 2013

McLane shipments of cigars dipped more than 3% in 2013, although little-cigar singles were up sharply.

Segment Avg. shipments per store per week (in dollars) Avg. shipments per store per week (dollar growth) PCYA
Cigars, singles $127.95 $0.61 0.5%
Cigars, packs $76.64 -$4.82 -5.9%
Little cigars, packs $19.74 -$3.63 -15.5%
Little cigars, singles $1.96 $0.30 18.0%
Cigar wraps $6.35 -$0.44 -6.4%
Total cigars $232.64 -$7.97 -3.3%

Source: McLane Co


Pack-Type Trends: 20 Large Chains

C-store sales, 52 weeks ending Dec. 21, 2013

Foil-pouch products contributed nearly 30% of dollar sales and almost 40% of unit sales in the cigar category at the chains in the Nielsen Large Convenience Chain sample.

Pack type Dollar share
Singles 39.5%
Packs 30.7%
Foil pouch 29.8%
Pack type Unit share
Foil pouch 38.9%
Singles 33.7%
Packs 27.4%

Sources: The Nielsen Co., Swedish Match North America


Units and Dollars by Pack Size: 20 Large Chains

C-store sales, 52 weeks ending Dec. 21, 2013

Nearly 40% of cigar unit sales came from small foil pouches for the retailers in Nielsen’s Large Convenience Chain database.

Pack type Stick volume (millions) PCYA Unit share C-store sales (millions) PCYA Dollar share
Small foil pouch 111.7 56.6% 38.7% $67.4 40.0% 29.7%
Small single 93.4 -4.7% 32.4% $82.8 -10.4% 36.4%
Small pack 73.6 -4.7% 25.5% $63.2 -8.9% 27.8%
Large pack 5.5 -19.5% 1.9% $6.4 -18.2% 2.8%
Large single 3.7 -22.1% 1.3% $7.0 -16.5% 3.1%
Large foil pouch 0.4 -51.0% 0.1% $0.3 -46.9% 0.1%

Sources: The Nielsen Co., Swedish Match North America

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