Category advice

Tobacco icon
Tobacco icon

Market Insight

Category advice2019


Tobacco Track & Trace - are you ready?

What do you need to do if you sell tobacco?

The regulations require all retailers to have an Economic Operator Identifier Code (their own unique code registered to their business) and a Facility Identifier Code (a unique code for each store or premises which sells tobacco) in order to purchase cigarettes and hand-rolling tobacco products from 20th May 2019 onwards.

If you would like us to apply on your behalf or would like more information visit:

Margin Opportunities

Stock high margin, fast growing products, such as e-liquids and cigarette accessories: papers and filters

Vaping: 3 Key Tips

  1. Focus on in-store visibility and display
  2. Ensure staff are knowledgeable and trained on equipment & liquids
  3. Stock a range of brands and systems with a good selection of flavours

No. 1 category in sales value

No. 1 footfall driver in the Convenience market

Tobacco category drives 1 in 10 visits to Convenience stores, and it's even higher for Independent stores

Latest Trends

Independent store tobacco sales are down 8%

Multiple convenience store tobacco sales are up 7%

75% of independent retailers are premium pricing, which is the significant factor driving the decline

Sell at RRP to maintain your business

Top 3 customer service shopper needs:

  1. Availability
  2. Price
  3. Range

The UK is the second largest E-Cigarette market with over 3.2 million vapers (YouGov 2018)

Vaping vs Tobacco

Heat Not Burn tobacco products

  • IQOS is a heat-not-burn system which promises to be 90% less harmful to smokers than cigarettes
  • PMI have invested $3bn in the system and in its first year of launch in Japan sold 3 million units
  • Independents have the opportunity to take advantage by listing HEETS

Cartridges: Pre-filled cartridges used in their respective device

Pod systems are more expensive than liquids but offer consumers a convenient and discrete solution to their vaping needs. Leading brands such as Blu, Vype and Logic cartridges are not interchangeable so a wider range is required.

Liquid Systems: These account for 82% of sales!

Open systems all use E-liquids – and with such a large share of this growing market we strongly recommend you stock a range of E-liquids that are showing strong growth:

Vape products
  • Liquids are excellent sales opportunity as most are universally compatible with the majority of open tank systems
  • Stock a range of price points to cater for all consumers needs
    1. Value £1 PMP – 88Vape
    2. Mid Tier £2 – Pendle Potion
    3. Premium liquids circa £5 – Blu, Vivid, Logic & Cirro
  • In addition to Tobacco and Menthol, it is important stock a range of fruit and sweet flavours.
Pendle Potion

Pendle Potion

Manufactured in the UK

£2 Price Mark

58% POR

8 Great flavours

Bestway are rolling out a range of leading Vape Brands – liquids & kit – including Vampire Vapes, Double Drip, Liberty Flights, Vapouriz, Pure Evil, Aquavape, Sub-zero, XO, Innokin etc. This range and pricing allows the independent retailer to tap into the growing vape market by offering 3 for £10 on liquids and still making over 50% POR.

To see further details of this range please see the Bestway website.

Vape products
Blu88 VapeVype
Tobacco icon

Must Stock Lines

Category advice2019


These are the ‘Must Stock’ lines which shoppers expect to see in a convenience store.

By stocking these lines, you will be meeting your customers’ needs and therefore they will visit your store again.

Leading Cigarette Brands by Region


B&H Blue


JPS Players

Sovereign Blue


South England


B&H Blue

JPS Players

Sovereign Blue




B&H Blue



Sovereign Blue


North England

JPS Players


L&B Blue

B&H Blue




JPS Players


L&B Blue



JPS Players

Kensitas Club

L&B Blue



B&H Blue – the UK's fastest growing Ultra Value RMC Brand.

(Source: Nielsen Market Track MAT Feb 2019)


  • Trusted quality brand at an everyday low price.


  • No. 1 Sub-Economy brand*

*ITUK Estimates Jan 2019

Marlboro Gold

  • UK's No. 1 Premium Cigarette Brand.*

*Source: Nielsen February 2019

The Danger of Premium Pricing

  • It is evident that after a manufacturers price or budget increase, smokers shop around for the cheapest price, resulting in stores who premium price losing out
  • As the No.1 footfall driver to convenience stores, this will affect a stores total business
  • Bestway recommend selling at RRP or less!

Capsule & Menthol
continue to grow

Symbols & Independents
Capsule Vol % Share

2016 2017 2018
11.3% 13.1% 15%

Top 5 Crushball SKUs

  1. Sterling
  2. Pall Mall
  3. JPS Players
  4. Sovereign Blue
  5. L&B Blue
May 2020

Menthol and Crushball will no longer be available after this date. Maximise your sales before it is too late.

Players Crushball

is the UK's No.1 Sub Economy Crushball Cigarette (Imperial 2019)

Pall Mall Double Capsule

The UK's first double* capsule brand

Sterling Dual SK

The UK's No.1 and fastest growing capsule brand

Source: Nielsen Market Track MAT Feb 2019

Roll Your Own Best Sellers (RYO)

  1. Amber Leaf
  2. Gold Leaf
  3. Golden Virginia
  4. Sterling
  5. Cutters Choice

Gold Leaf

  • Choose the right leaf at the right price
  • Great price points
  • Smooth and quality smoking experience
  • The UK's No. 1 Economy RYO brand*

    *ITUK estimates January 2019

Fastest Growing RYO Brands

  1. Marlboro
  2. Riverstone
  3. Sterling
  4. Rothmans
  5. Cutters Choice


Easy rolling, high quality tobacco blend. Created in line with consumer preference.

Top 5 Cigar Brands

  1. Café Crème Blue / Signature Blue
  2. Moments Blue
  3. Hamlet
  4. Hamlet Miniatures
  5. Café Crème / Signature Original

New and Fastest Growing SKU

  1. Signature Blue

Signature Blue

As the UK's best selling cigar brand, Signature Blue remains a must stock item for retailers. Since 1 in every 3 cigars sold in the UK is a Signature it offers retailers a reliable profit from its regular and loyal customers.


The value for money trend in the UK continues to rise with tobacco customers constantly looking for a more affordable option. Moments is strategically positioned to take advantage of this lucrative market by offering the best value on shelf for both Miniature and Panatella size cigars.

Top 6 Smoking Accessories

  1. Swan Filters Extra Slim 120's
  2. JPS MYO Tubes
  3. Poppell Flint Lighter
  4. Poppell Electric Lighter
  5. Rizla Green Cigarette Papers 50's
  6. Swan Menthol Filters Extra Slim 120's

New and Fast Growing SKUs

  1. Raw Classic KS Papers
  2. Swan Extra Slim Filters 120's
  3. Cricket Firepower
New and Fast Growing products

Cricket Firepower

The perfect tool to light any fire or candle with safety. All Cricket lighters have undergone over 60 quality tests.

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