JTI recently announced its new business activity in Greece, in the context of a major event at the Acropolis Museum. More specifically, the Japanese group is entering heated tobacco products with an investment reaching 3 billion euros for the next three years on a global scale, with the aim of becoming a leading player in this category.
It is interesting for the presence of the company in the Greek market that Greece was chosen to be included in the first group of countries to welcome Ploom in Europe and this is due both to the growth rate of the category in the domestic market and to the already established and strong presence of JTI in our country.
JTI has been active in Greece since 1981 and is the market leader in conventional tobacco products with its leading international brands, Winston, Camel and Old Holborn.
In 2018, it acquired the historic SEKAP factory in Xanthi, therefore its presence in our country was strengthened with a production unit. The transformation of the factory in just 5 years is impressive. The factory, through an investment that exceeds 30 million dollars, is today a modern production unit, equivalent to other JTI factories worldwide and has at the same time an increase in production by 112% and exports that reach 76% in 9 countries of the EU.
Confidence in the quality of Greek tobacco and commitment to the future
At the same time, the company’s support to Greek tobacco farmers is extremely important. For over 42 years, JTI has been systematically sourcing premium quality Greek tobaccos for its products internationally, and since 2020 has increased the volume of tobaccos it sources from Greek tobacco growers by 50%. At the company’s recent event at the Acropolis Museum to launch its new heated smoke technology product, company officials confirmed JTI’s continued commitment to both conventional products and Ploom-compatible smoke sticks, as they they require equally top quality tobacco for their preparation.
“In the new category in which we are entering, we need even more eastern-type tobaccos, that is, those that we already supply from Greece, and I do not expect the cooperation we have with SEKE on the scale of the amount of tobacco we need globally to be affected by our development in this category”, said Mr. Vassilis Vovos, Executive Vice President CFO of JTI worldwide, who was in Greece for the announcement of the company’s new investment activity.
In his message during the event, the former Prime Minister Mr. Konstantinos Karamanlis, in his current capacity as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the group of companies of the Cooperative Union of Tobacco Producers of Greece (S.E.K.) referred to this long-term relationship between JTI and SEKE .E. SA). Mr. Karamanlis spoke about the history of tobacco and its role in the Greek economy and emphasized the activities of JTI in the Akriti region of Thrace, stressing the importance of development, exports and supporting society with the jobs offered by company.
JTI invests in practice and continues strongly into the next day by strengthening its portfolio with Ploom, the premium heated smoke technology product. Its purpose is to offer the adult consumer an expanded range of options and for this reason the company aims to maintain its leading position in the category of conventional tobacco products but also to claim a significant share in the category of potentially reduced risk products.