Cigarette & Tobacco Products Wholesaling in the US Industry Market Research Report from IBISWorld Has Been Updated

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While the low morale of the country during the recession caused smoking habits to increase, boosting industry demand, many individuals to kick the habit in line with the recovering economy, causing challenges for the Cigarette and Tobacco Products Wholesaling industry. For these reasons, industry research firm IBISWorld has updated a report on the Cigarette & Tobacco Products Wholesaling industry in its growing industry report collection.

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Rising health consciousness and smoking restrictions will dampen industry sales

Falling consumption volumes and rising prices are key trends for the Cigarette and Tobacco Products Wholesaling industry, which has been forced to adjust to changing consumer preferences and the overall sector structure. As taxes and fuel prices grew over the past five years, an increasing number of tobacco manufacturers entered the wholesaling industry to combat these costs. Along with accelerated merger and acquisition activity, manufacturers added distribution divisions, referred to as manufacturer's sales branches and offices (MSBOs). This put independent third-party wholesalers at risk of retailers bypassing them and purchasing directly from manufacturers. Even the largest tobacco product manufacturers, Altria Group and Reynolds, have integrated wholesaling operations.

According to IBISWorld Industry Analyst Kerry Coughlin, "Growing health awareness and negative publicity of tobacco products in the United States have caused overall demand for tobacco products to decline." Manufacturers have responded by adapting the marketing and production of noncigarette tobacco products such as cigars, pipe tobacco and roll-your-own tobacco to minimize taxes and thus reduce their prices compared to cigarettes and boost their demand. Consequently, recent consumption patterns, such as increases in large cigar and pipe tobacco use, slowed the overall decline in tobacco product consumption.

Despite price increases, IBISWorld estimates that revenue for the Cigarette and Tobacco Products Wholesaling industry contracted at an average annual rate of 2.4% to $93.1 billion due to falling consumption in the five years to 2013. While the wholesaling industry saw growth in 2009 of 3.0%, it returned to decline the following years. In 2013, revenue is expected to decline 2.3% to $93.1 billion.

"Consumers will continue to kick the habit over the next five years," says Coughlin. The wholesale of tobacco products will also suffer from profit-seeking retailers participating in wholesaler bypass, increased government taxes passed on to middlemen and higher fuel costs. In the five years to 2018, industry revenue is expected to contract further. As revenue decreases over the next five years, employment and establishments will follow suit.

The concentration within the US Cigarette and Tobacco Products Wholesaling industry is low.
Consequently, about half of industry firms are nonemployers that operate on a small scale in niche tobacco product markets. They also rely on high volumes to generate profit since wholesale earnings per pack of cigarettes are just a small fraction of the retail price. However, there have been signs of industry consolidation, as some industry players have indicated that they must acquire additional wholesalers in order to compete with larger MSBOs and successfully remain in the industry.

For more information, visit IBISWorld’s Cigarette & Tobacco Products Wholesaling industry
in the US industry report page.

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IBISWorld industry Report Key Topics

Companies within the Cigarette and Tobacco Products Wholesaling industry acquire packaged cigarettes and other tobacco products from manufacturers and sell the goods to various retail stores such as supermarkets and convenience stores, specialized tobacco stores and bars. They may also sell to other wholesalers. The sales and distribution offices of tobacco product manufacturers are included in this industry.

Industry Performance
Executive Summary
Key External Drivers
Current Performance
Industry Outlook
Industry Life Cycle
Products & Markets
Supply Chain
Products & Services
Major Markets
Globalization & Trade
Business Locations
Competitive Landscape
Market Share Concentration
Key Success Factors
Cost Structure Benchmarks
Barriers to Entry
Major Companies
Operating Conditions
Capital Intensity
Key Statistics
Industry Data
Annual Change
Key Ratios

About IBISWorld Inc.
Recognized as the nation’s most trusted independent source of industry and market research, IBISWorld offers a comprehensive database of unique information and analysis on every US industry. With an extensive online portfolio, valued for its depth and scope, the company equips clients with the insight necessary to make better business decisions. Headquartered in Los Angeles, IBISWorld serves a range of business, professional service and government organizations through more than 10 locations worldwide. For more information, visit or call 1-800-330-3772.

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Gavin Smith
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