Consumers are looking for convenient alternatives to traditional tobacco and vaping products that can be enjoyed wherever, whenever. This report in partnership with JTI explores what you should be stocking to cash in on the trend.

In 2020, we have seen a rise in demand for alternative nicotine products that offer the customer something different to traditional tobacco or vaping goods –something convenient that can be enjoyed wherever, whenever. Existing adult smokers and vapers now expect to find exciting alternatives in their local convenience stores, and it’s key that retailers prepare for this.

The nicotine pouch market, for example, is growing significantly in the UK. Not only is the nicotine pouch category now worth £4.6m a year [1], but 89% of those sales come through the convenience channel [2], which is testament to the opportunity it presents independent retailers.

A 100% tobacco-free nicotine pouch that can help retailers start or expand their range is Nordic Spirit, which hit the shelves last year. With a 90.5% market share [3], the brand presents retailers with a huge profit opportunity, providing them with a discreet product offer for consumers that can be used in situations where smoking or vaping might not be possible.

Source: 1 IRi Market Place, Value Sales, Nicotine Pouch Category, Total UK, Annualised Figure Based on May 2020. 2 IRi Market Place, Value Sales, Nicotine Pouch Category, Total UK, May 2020. 3 IRi Market Place, Unit Share, Nicotine Pouch Category, Total UK, May 2020.

 

The top products that really should fill your shelves

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Nordic Spirit Mint, 6mg and 9mg – appeals to those smokers who enjoy the popular menthol flavour 

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Nordic Spirit Bergamot Wildberry, 6mg and 9mg – allows retailers to tap into popular fruit flavours

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Nordic Spirit Elderflower, 6mg and 9mg – offers even more choice to existing adult smokers and vapers

 

Key numbers you need to know

88.9% of nicotine pouch sales in the UK come through the convenience channel [IRi Market Place, Value Sales, Nicotine Pouch Category, Total UK, May 2020]

70%/30% - Flavour split in the UK nicotine pouch market between menthol and fruit respectively [IRi Market Place, Unit Share, Nicotine Pouch Category, Total UK, May 2020]

90.5% - Nordic Spirit’s share of the nicotine pouch market in the UK [IRi Market Place, Unit Share, Nicotine Pouch Category, Total UK, May 2020]

 

Trends for 2020/21

vape e-cigarette fruit flavour

Vapers have become more experimental in their choice of flavours and preferred strengths

  • 100% tobacco-free nicotine pouches. As the nicotine pouch category continues to thrive in the UK, we expect to see increased demand for a greater variety of flavours and different strengths.
  • More experimentation among consumers. This mirrors trends that have emerged in the vaping category, where vapers have become more experimental in their choice of flavours and preferred strengths. Nordic Spirit has already reacted to this with the launch of its new Elderflower variant in 6mg and 9mg strengths this year.
  • Profit opportunities at retail level. We’re constantly working on developing new, innovative flavour options to meet consumer needs. We are also always striving to aid retailers and help them capitalise on the profit opportunities available, with new category management solutions to be implemented in the near future, for example.
  • Category growth and brand success. Overall, we’re excited about what the future holds for Nordic Spirit and anticipate that the brand will see great success as the category grows.
  • What do retailers think? Mr Amin, owner of ‘The Centre’ in London, says: “People have been asking for Nordic Spirit for over a year, and as soon as it became available in the UK, I made sure I was the first person to stock it in my area. A lot of people come back and say how good it is and that they’ve recommended the product to their friends and colleagues. It’s best to stock Nordic Spirit on the counter because it sparks conversations.”
  • Manoj Agnihotri, owner of Jet in Brentford, adds: “Nordic Spirit has been exceptionally popular so far with our customers – in fact, we sold out of our first batch in just two days. It’s been fantastic to capitalise on this growing trend and we think this market will only continue to grow, offering significant profit opportunities for retailers.”
 

Plan your shelf the right way to increase sales

  • 100% tobacco-free nicotine products, such as JTI’s Nordic Spirit, should be placed in a prominent countertop display.
  • This gives existing adult smokers and vapers a chance to ask retailers about the product – especially important as other retailers have found that this positioning helps spark discussion with their customers.
  • These conversations will help customers to understand exactly what nicotine pouches are, and how they’re different to other products available.
 

Your top tips and takeaways from JTI

  1. Customers will look to retailers to advise them on new, innovative products, such as 100% tobacco-free nicotine pouches, and will ask what they are and how they work. So, retailers should be knowledgeable about the category and brands stocked.
  2. By stocking a full, consolidated range and maintaining good availability of the latest products, retailers can provide a successful offering.
  3. Price remains a key factor for adult smokers and vapers, so retailers should sell at the RRP or below* to remain competitive and help drive sales.

* Retailers are of course free to sell JTI products at whatever price they choose

 

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