28 US Cigarette and Smokeless Tobacco Sales, Advertising and Promotion Statistics You Should Know
Earlier this year, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released its 2020 cigarette and smokeless tobacco reports. In late October, they released additional findings highlighting that the steady decline in cigarette sales reversed itself in 2020, increasing slightly from 202.9 billion units in 2019 to 203.7 billion units in 2020, approximately 0.4%. Smokeless tobacco also increased to 126.83 million pounds in 2020 from 125.98 million pounds in 2019, about 0.7%.
Here are some more statistics you should know. The cigarette and smokeless tobacco reports are a combination of data from:
- Altria Group, Inc.
- ITG Holdings USA Inc.
- Reynolds American, Inc.
- Vector Group Ltd.
- North Atlantic Trading Company, Inc.
- Swedish Match North America, Inc. and
- Swisher International Group, Inc.
The below does not include heated, non-combustible cigarettes since only 1 company reported such data and the FTC will not report the data under those circumstances.
2020 Cigarette Sales, Advertising and Promotion Statistics
- Sales increased to 203.7 billion units in 2020 from 202.9 billion units in 2019 (0.4%)
- 37% were menthol and 63% were non-menthol cigarettes
- 63,000 cigarettes were given away in 2020
- Advertising and promotion spend increased to $7.84 billion in 2020 from $7.624 billion in 2019 (2.8% increase)
- 88.6% of all advertising and promotion spend was on retailer (77.4%) and wholesaler (11.2%) price discount programs (buydowns)
- $6.065 billion of all advertising and promotional spend was in the form of buydowns and other price discount programs paid to retailers, that’s $0.03 per unit or $15,960.53 per tobacco retail outlet*
- Buydowns of $917.4 million were paid to wholesalers
- Promotional allowances of $181.1 million were paid to retailers (stocking, shelving, display, volume rebates and incentive payments)
- $343.3 million was paid in promotional allowances to wholesalers
- Only 1 of the reporting companies advertised in newspapers in 2020
- Instore (POS) promotions were $47.1 million in 2020 versus $63 million in 2019
- Direct mail advertising also decreased to $12.3 million in 2020 versus 19.8 million in 2019
- Companies spent $4.3 million on magazine advertising, a decrease from $8.7 million in 2019
- $1.8 million in “outdoor” advertising was spent in 2020 versus $1.4 million in 2019
* For this calculation, we used the 380K estimate from CDC’s website. However, since most cigarettes are sold through convenience stores (approximately 87% of volume per Nielsen), the price discount reimbursements could be $35,379.17 or slightly more per store per year.
2020 Smokeless Tobacco Sales, Advertising and Promotion Statistics
- Sales increased to 126.83 million pounds in 2020 from 125.98 million pounds in 2019 (0.7%)
- 50.8% of pounds sold were menthol and 2.8% were fruit flavored tobacco
- Sales increased to $4.82 billion in 2020 from $4.52 billion 2019
- Advertising and promotion spend decreased to $567.3 million in 2020 from $576.1 million in 2019
- 67.4% of all advertising and promotion spend was on retailer (52.3%) and wholesaler (15.1%) price discount programs (buydowns)
- $296.6 million of all advertising and promotional spend was in the form of buydowns and other price discount programs paid to retailers
- Buydowns of $85.3 million were paid to wholesalers
- Promotional allowances of $21.9 million were paid to retailers (stocking, shelving, display, volume rebates and incentive payments)
- $43.6 million was paid in promotional allowances to wholesalers
- No company advertised in newspapers in 2020
- Instore (POS) promotions were $18.9 million in 2020
- Direct mail advertising also decreased to $2.7 million in 2020
- Companies spent $7.8 million on magazine advertising versus $6.1 million in 2019
- $0.186 million in “outdoor” advertising was spent in 2020 versus $0.483 million in 2019
How do back-office and scan data apps help you collect on your buydowns?
Back-office and scan data apps help you by setting up error-free promotions, pushing them out to your integrated POS system within a few clicks. It also compiles and sends your weekly reports to meet the periodic reporting requirements of buydown programs.
Use Petrosoft’s Scan Data program to automatically store, access and send tobacco sales to the manufacturer for rebates. Our integration with Altria also allows you to set up error-free promotions easily. With Scan Data by Petrosoft:
- Collect thousands of dollars in tobacco rebates each month with minimal effort
- Get up and running quickly
- Easily integrate Scan Data with your existing POS, with plug-and-play integration with all major c-store POS systems
- Altria API promotions integration included for error-free promotion setup
Interested in scan data?