The vaping industry in the UK is poised for significant growth in the upcoming year. After facing challenges in the latter part of 2019 due to consumer misunderstanding and fear generated by the US health crisis, the category is now on the path to recovery. Despite the confusion surrounding the regulatory differences between the US and UK vaping markets, the traditional retail market (excluding vape shops and online sales) was valued at an impressive £228 million as of September 2019, according to JTI figures. Nick Geens, the Head of Reduced Risk Products at JTI, predicts several sales spikes throughout the year, indicating a promising outlook for the industry.
The year 2020 holds great potential for the UK vaping category, especially after the ban on traditional menthol and capsule tobacco cigarettes, including capsule and slim products, goes into effect after 20 May. While some adult menthol smokers may switch to non-mentholated variants within the cigarette category, major tobacco manufacturers and vape suppliers anticipate that around a quarter of menthol smokers will explore vaping as an alternative. With a wide range of mint and menthol flavors available, vaping provides an attractive option for those seeking to continue enjoying these flavors.
Menthol and Mint Flavors Take Center Stage
Leading up to the ban, the market is expected to witness the introduction of numerous new menthol and mint-based flavors for vaping, particularly within the closed pod segment. According to Juul data from November 2019, closed pod devices account for over 28% of sales through independent retailers and convenience stores. The convenience, ease-of-use, and pre-filled nature of pod devices make them popular among new vapers. Additionally, trusted brands offering pre-filled pod devices gain favor with UK consumers, given the concerns generated by the US health crisis.
JTI’s Logic Compact range, which includes a starter kit comprising a Compact device, USB charger, and pods, made its debut in the convenience channel in 2019. Imperial’s MyBlu, a pod mod device, is also praised for its popularity among smokers looking to make the switch to vaping.
Rise of Disposable Devices
Surprisingly, disposable devices are expected to gain traction in the vaping market. Despite the growing consumer backlash against plastic in various retail sectors, disposable vapes are predicted to experience success in the coming year. Sid Sidhu, a retailer from Budgens, notes the rising popularity of pod devices and disposable vapes like Aquavape’s Disposable Nano, with sales steadily increasing month after month. Disposable devices offer a cost-effective way for adult smokers to try vaping, as they are reasonably priced at less than £5. Moreover, these devices appeal to regular vapers on the go due to their convenience. The quality of disposable products has improved, offering satisfactory nicotine delivery and performance until the battery is depleted.
Aquavape’s Disposable Nano, available in three flavors including menthol, retails at £4.99. Vape Dinner Lady’s Disposable Pod e-cigarette is also expected to contribute to the company’s growth this year. It serves as a more affordable and less harmful alternative to traditional cigarettes, appealing to smokers aiming to switch and existing vapers concerned about running out of e-liquid or battery life.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
1. Will the menthol ban affect all menthol cigarette smokers in the UK?
The menthol ban in the UK will restrict the sale of traditional menthol and capsule tobacco cigarettes. While some adult menthol smokers may switch to non-mentholated variants within the cigarette category, many others may consider exploring vaping as an alternative.
2. Are closed pod devices suitable for new vapers?
Yes, closed pod devices are a popular choice among new vapers. They offer a convenient and user-friendly experience with pre-filled pods, making them an attractive option for those new to vaping.
3. Are disposable vapes a sustainable choice?
Disposable vapes may not be the most sustainable option due to their single-use nature. However, they do offer convenience and affordability for adult smokers looking to try vaping or regular vapers who are often on the go.
4. Are there any alternatives for menthol cigarette smokers within the traditional tobacco market?
While the menthol ban may prompt some menthol cigarette smokers to switch to non-mentholated variants, there are also other traditional tobacco alternatives available. However, vaping provides a wider range of mint and menthol flavors, making it an appealing option for those who want to stick with these flavors.
5. Are disposable vapes as effective as traditional e-cigarettes?
Disposable vapes have improved in quality over time, offering satisfactory nicotine delivery and performance. They are designed to provide a satisfying vaping experience until the battery is depleted, making them a viable option for smokers and regular vapers alike.