Tobacco Asia

Volume 20, Number 2

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Page 29 of 67

30 tobaccoasia / Issue 2, 2016 May / June) By Tobacco China Online Five Consumer Trends Driving the Chinese Cigarette Market Pride (Kuanzhai) of China Tobacco Sichuan Industrial Co., Ltd. Innovation of Chinese cigarette brands is not only a fundamental factor for sustainable development of China's tobacco industry, but is also a premise for Chinese brands to realistically conquer interna- tional markets. Popularization of Brands The greatest change in the domestic tobacco mar- ket over the past two or three years is that an in- creasing number of smokers are consuming more of the same products and on more occasions. In particular, such best-sellers as hard-packs Chun- ghwa and Furongwang, soft-package Yuxi, the new version of Liqun, and the purple Yunnan have won greater market shares and favor from consumers with their multitude of flavors and fine quality. So far, this change has been very straightfor- ward. First of all, the threshold to qualify as a main- stream cigarette brand keeps getting higher. With- out an annual output and sales volume of 500,000 cases (25 billion cigarettes) or higher, a brand in China cannot be considered as mainstream. This is a clear indication that more and more consumers like or choose large national-level cigarette brands. And secondly, those brands that have been ar- tificially inflated will face the fate of being rejected or phased out. In the past, unintelligible or rule- bending advertising always stemmed from the de- velopment of some cigarette brands. Today, such malpractice is becoming increasingly risky. Instead, brands tend to become more prudent and serious As a result of technological upgrades and brand innovations over the past two years, five increasingly distinct major trends dominate the Chinese market.

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