Roll Your-Own Accessories demand continues to boost sales for NI retailers

Roll Your-Own Accessories demand continues to boost sales for NI retailers
Alasdair Blair

The UK’s £314 million*1 tobacco accessories market continues to drive strong performance for retailers in Northern Ireland, led by an increase in innovative new product development (NPD).

Roll-your-own (RYO) specialist, Republic Technologies (UK) Ltd, is a driving force in the category, with an accelerated NPD programme that includes innovative display solutions.


“Many shoppers are buying into RYO for a variety of reasons. Value for money remains key, but so too does the tactile aspect of rolling, which also has the added benefit of reducing consumption, as smoking becomes less instant,” says Alasdair Blair, Senior National Account Manager at Republic Technologies UK.

As factory-made cigarette sales continue to decline, coupled with the fact that shoppers are no longer able to buy menthol cigarettes, consumers are actively seeking other alternatives and looking to the latest developments in the RYO market.

Flavour Fusion Cards

With that in mind, Republic Technologies’ latest introduction for 2021 is a new range of Flavour Fusion Cards from market leading filter brand, Swan.

Launched in February, the Flavour Fusion Cards enable consumers to create their own level of flavour in a pack of cigarettes or rolling tobacco in just 60 minutes and are available in two variants, Fresh Burst and Menthol (RRP: 39p per card). Each outer contains 25 individual cards, in shelf ready packaging.

“Following the change in legislation last May, there has been a considerable rise in the number of consumers in Northern Ireland making a conscious decision to find competitively-priced flavour alternatives to menthol cigarettes,” adds Alasdair.

Swan Fresh Burst Crushball

“Last year, we introduced Swan Fresh Burst Crushball, which is already the best performing menthol capsule filter in the market*2, along with two other menthol SKUs from Swan – Swan Cool Burst Crushball and Swan Cool Menthol Extra Slim, to complement our existing top selling Menthol Extra Slim filters.

“Our new Flavour Fusion Cards enable retailers to offer shoppers even more choice in flavour and format. The cards not only provide smokers with the ultimate in flavour impregnation, they enable retailers to capitalise on the growing interest in RYO flavour innovation,” continues Alasdair.

Swann flavour cards

Sales uplift

“Display in this category is key for sales uplift. We have been encouraging retailers to stock the latest NPD and make use of effective display solutions that see accessories moving out of the gantry, signposting the wider tobacco category and highlighting NPD in a meaningful way.

“Driving visibility of trusted, market-leading tobacco accessories brands is key to increasing shopper awareness and can be a successful tool towards encouraging impulse sales.”

Counter-top units

Counter-top units are available for Republic Technologies’ leading brands including, Swan Menthol Filter range, OCB Slim & Tips and new Swan Flavour Fusion Cards.

“Within the Northern Ireland RYO category, the right product range and display is key for driving sales. Increasing awareness and signposting the tobacco category, by stocking innovative NPD and products that deliver on quality, brand assurance and strong margin, will continue to boost profits for retailers,” concludes Alasdair.


*1: IRI 52 w/e 16/05/21

*2: IRI Value Sales 52 w/e 16/05/21 (supermarkets, high street and convenience supermarkets)