Grocery Channels Hard Hit by Hungarian Tobacco Law

Zsofia_MegyeriWith Zsofia Megyeri, Senior Analyst

In 2013, the Hungarian government passed a bill reforming tobacco retailing with the aim of reducing underage smoking and overall smoking prevalence in the country. This law is having a major impact on grocery stores, convenience stores, supermarkets and forecourt retailers, all of which can no longer sell tobacco products. As of July 1 2013, only a limited number of shops branded as “National Tobacco Stores” are allowed to sell tobacco products at fixed prices. At the end of 2013, tobacco sales through modern grocery channels dropped a massive 24 percent, and illicit trade sales are expected to grow from 10 percent at the end of 2013 to 12 percent by 2014.

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