Tobacco Commands CPG Space

Data shows big role for category, c-stores in distribution of packaged goods, researcher says
Photograph: Shutterstock

ROSEMONT, Ill. Despite mounting regulation and new-product uncertainties, convenience stores continue to play an important role in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) space and especially with tobacco products, said Larry Levin, executive vice president of Chicago-based IRI.

During the recent CSP Behind the Counter Forum on tobacco, held in August in Rosemont, Ill., Levin cited data covering the 52-week period ending in March 2019, showing how tobacco outpaces other categories and how the channel overall surpasses competitive retail formats.

Top 5 Categories for C-Store Sales

Category (annual sales)

  • Cigarettes ($56.2 billion)
  • Beverages/alcohol ($19.3 billion)
  • Energy drinks ($9.1 billion)
  • Carbonated beverages ($8.6 billion)
  • Smokeless ($7.2 billion)

Highest Category Growth Rates

Category (percent change)

  • Electronic smoking devices (168.8%)
  • Cigars (8.6%)
  • Other tobacco products (5.6%)
  • Salty snacks (5.3%)
  • Ready-to-drink tea, coffee (4.8%)

Top 5 Manufacturers

Company (revenue)

  • Altria ($35.8 billion)
  • British American Tobacco ($22.5 billion)
  • PepsiCo ($11.2 billion)
  • A-B InBev ($9.1 billion)
  • Coca-Cola ($6.1 billion)

Customer Trip Growth

Channel (percent change)

  • C-stores (6.2%)
  • Dollar stores (4.6%)
  • Walmart (3.3%)
  • Club stores (2.1%)
  • Mass merchants (-2.1%)
  • Drugstores (-3.7%)

Dollar Sales Growth

Channel (percent change)

  • C-stores (3.5%)
  • All stores (2.0%)

Unit Growth

Channel (percent change)

  • C-stores (1.6%)
  • All stores (0.5%)

Source: IRI

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