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The UK’s roll-your-own (RYO) accessories market is continuing to perform well, despite the changing nature of the tobacco market driven by legislative changes and the emergence of new sectors.


Filter tips are performing particularly well, led by Britain’s favourite filter, Swan, with the £66 million market up more than 10% in value* and 6%* in volume.

“The growth of RYO accessories, well ahead of total market, highlights the opportunity for retailers to use them to signpost the tobacco category,” says Eleni Koulara, Marketing Manager at Republic Technologies (UK) Limited.

“With the display ban now looming large for all retailers, we’re encouraging retailers to use off-fixture displays such as counter top units to keep RYO accessories’ products top of consumers’ minds.”

Republic Technologies has responded with innovative NPD to emerging trends in accessories – and to the fact that many RYO smokers are now more discerning, particularly in the choice of filter.

This has led to the launch of an Ultra Slim Swan-branded filter, the thinnest ever Swan filter, providing smokers with a smoother taste and an enhanced tobacco flavour.

“Many people opt for roll-your-own because it enables them to make thinner cigarettes which mean they smoke less. Size of filter has risen up the RYO smokers’ agenda, particularly among people looking to reduce the amount they smoke for reasons of finance or health,” adds Koulara.

“People are also looking for RYO products that are more natural and have less environmental impact. These factors will underpin our NPD this year as we introduce products that take account of people’s growing interest in the environment as well as providing RYO smokers with the choice, quality and value they’re seeking.”

One such piece of NPD is the current launch of ZIG-ZAG unbleached papers. Ultra-thin and very light, providing a smoother, more natural smoking experience, the brown porous papers are thought to be the thinnest, lightest, most transparent papers currently available in the UK.

Made from 100% wood, and silky to touch, the unrefined papers undergo a high quality watermark process designed to produce the best possible rolling experience.

Eleni Koulara adds: “ZIG-ZAG unbleached papers will appeal to the growing number of RYO smokers actively seeking a more natural smoking experience and offer something new and exciting on the RYO fixture.”

Republic Technologies is also backing its brands with high profile marketing support this year.

The company has just announced that it is one of the official partners of the Professional Darts Corporation, the biggest indoor sporting event in the UK, providing major visibility for its Swan Ultra Slim filters.

The Swan filters will have a major presence at high profile events such as the current Premier League, the World Matchplay featuring the world’s top 32 players at the end of July and the Masters event in October.

“Swan Ultra Slim filters will benefit significantly from this high impact event and online advertising. It’s targeted marketing at its very best,” adds Eleni Koulara.

* Nielsen 52 w/e October 2013

Republic Technologies (UK) Ltd

Tel: 01494 556129


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