Swan’s offer is strikes ahead Swedish Match UK Sales Sword House Totteridge Road High Wycombe Bucks HP13 6EJ Tel: 01494 533300 Fax: 01494 537943 E-mail: duncan.kerr@swedishmatch.co.uk. KEY PERSONNEL Trade marketing manager Duncan Kerr KEY BRANDS Swan smokers accessories · Swan Cigarette Papers · Swan Filter Tips & Swan Extra Slim Filter Tips · Swan Rolling Machines · Swan Vestas · Swan Lighters · Swan Gas RefillLighter Fluid & Flints · Cricket Lighters · Englands Glory · Scottish Bluebell Cigar brands · La Paz · Willem · Montague · Flor do Oro · Gran Duque Borkum Riff pipe tobacco Bryant & May (household range) Hard-hit retailers should focus on high-growth categories and high-margin products, according to leading manufacturer of matches and tobacco accessories, Swedish Match. “Smokers’ accessories ­ currently worth £180m ­ make up the fastest growing category within the overall tobacco market, which is valued at £12bn,” says Swedish Match trade marketing manager Duncan Kerr. “This is due in part to the continuing increase in hand rolling, fuelled by high taxation on ready made cigarettes and by its younger, cooler’ image. Rolling up is losing its cloth cap image and more young people, including women, are rolling their own.” Higher margin products include smokers’ accessories, in which Swan is brand leader with a range including cigarette papers, matches and lighters, rolling machines and the fast developing filters category, which is growing at around 40% a year. “The average profitability across the range of smokers’ accessories is 43.8% compared with the average 7.5% profit on cigarettes,” says Kerr. He acknowledges that consumers are becoming more promiscuous in their smoking habits and his advice to manufacturers and retailers alike is uncompromising. “Get into bed with them. Research. Find out what they want, and give it to them. “With Swan in number one position in the smokers’ accessories category, we seek to capitalise on the growing trend towards experimenting with handrolling cigarettes. “In 1999 we invested £3m in a major relaunch of the Swan range, which is proving its worth.” Swan, he says, is committed to new product development within the category. “Our innovative Swan Extra Slim filter tips, launched in response to the trend towards slimmer roll ups and user-friendly packaging, have grown the market within their first year on sale. “We also drive the roll your own market with consistent trade and consumer promotional activity and above the line advertising. “We believe the key words for retailers are range and presentation. With consumers looking for value and less loyalty to type of smoke’, it’s essential to stock the most popular cigarette brands plus a budget alternative, a full range of smokers’ accessories, including increasingly popular filter tips, and a well-kept choice of cigars.” All products, he says, benefit from more visible display and grouping by brand, but he encourages retailers to bring accessories out of the closet. “Currently, retailers tend to merchandise smokers’ accessories on the bottom shelf of the gantry, out of sight and often obscured by other products. Given the figures, a massive profit opportunity is being missed. “Ideally, retailers should vertical block alongside the gantry ­ this will have a particular benefit for lighters, where consumers are quite likely to trade up from a 49p product to a 99p alternative, simply because they can see the range and make a choice.” Stock replenishment is key. “Cigarettes and tobacco are fast-moving products and need replenishing regularly. “Consumers may be more inclined to switch brands these days, but if you sell stale tobacco or badly kept cigars, you won’t keep your customers,” says Kerr. {{Z SUPPLEMENTS }}