South Korea’s leading tobacco company Korea Tobacco & Ginseng Corp. (KT&G) has met success in new overseas markets beyond its traditional markets in the Middle East, Central Asia, and Russia.
According to a KT&G official, the company sold a total of 46.5 billion cigarettes overseas in 2015. Of them, 18.4 billion cigarettes, or 39.6%, were sold in new overseas markets including the US and Africa. This figure has tripled for the last five years.
KT&G sold 6.2 billion cigarettes in those markets in 2010, accounting for only 15.4% among the company’s total overseas sales.
As part of its efforts to enter new overseas markets, KT&G launched a new subsidiary in the US and started selling a modified version of its Time cigarettes in 2010. In 2015, the company sold a total of 2.8 billion cigarettes in the US, more than double its 1.1 billion sales in 2010.
In Africa, KT&G sold only 40 million cigarettes in 2010, but sales have skyrocketed over the last five years to reach 2.8 billion cigarettes last year. An official said that introduction of slim cigarettes in Africa has led to the company’s sales success.
Sales have increased seven fold in Latin America and doubled in the Asia-Pacific region.
“Time cigarettes lead the sales in the US while consumers in Africa and Latin America like Pine. And Esse cigarettes were the company’s best-selling brand in the Asia-Pacific region where Bohem cigar was popular among Taiwanese consumers,” said one official.
“KT&G’s sales success in new overseas markets is significant because the company has entered into markets already dominated by transnational tobacco companies.”