Fire corners are parts of the store where candles, matches and BBQ paraphernalia are grouped together. Consumers love it. And for John Catania, six months into his role as MD of Swedish Match UK Sales, the company behind Bryant & May, Cricket, Styx and Swan, it’s a great opportunity.
Swedish Match is igniting sales of many products for which retailers see great sales potential – from BBQ lighters and grill boxes to fire logs. Sales of fire logs are booming in the US and are taking off here as much for their aesthetic appeal as their heating potential. BBQ is more established but even here there is no sign of the growth tailing off. Catania says: “We are becoming more sociable at home and BBQs are no longer one-off occasions.”
Another key part of the Swedish Match business is cigarette papers and filters. Catania is working hard to develop its Styx cigarette paper brand. “We launched it in an underground way and it’s a product that needed to be seeded in the minds of the fashionistas and trendsetters. Now we want to take the brand more mainstream and build distribution. An advertising campaign will run this year.” There is tough competition in papers but Catania believes that Styx has a unique selling point thanks to a ‘combi-pack’ that provides both papers and filters. “We are looking to build on that success by bringing that type of pack to our other brand, Swan.” Swedish Match leads in filters, a category that is in 30% growth. Catania says: “More of the roll-your-own fraternity are using a filter because of the perceived health benefits.”
With demand for roll-your-own products booming across Europe, and the rise of fire corners in the UK, Swedish Match is well placed to keep its sales nice and hot.