August 16, 2021
A display or range is no longer complete without a suite of next generation nicotine products. Tom Gockelen-Kozlowski asks how you can integrate these products into your store
Thanks to literally billions of pounds of investment, the next generation nicotine market – from nicotine pouches to heated tobacco – is grabbing much of the attention when it comes to tobacco alternatives.
Now, companies with portfolios which extend into this new sector are developing their offer to ensure next generation nicotine products and vape ranges complement each other. One example is JTI which – with nicotine pouch brand Nordic Spirit and heated tobacco system Ploom – now has a foot in each of the tobacco alternative markets.
“For retailers, there is now a larger category solution available, which includes backlighting where vaping, next-gen and tobacco products can be stored in the same gantry. The solution incorporates the entire category and is available in a variety of widths,” explains Gemma Bateson, head of reduced risk products at JTI.
A supplier-backed strategy that unites next generation products with the rest of the tobacco alternatives market isn’t only the preserve of stores with metres of spare space, however.
“For smaller stores, or those looking to introduce vaping and next-gen products for the first time, a countertop display solution is a great option to test consumer response,” says Bateson. “Once stores expand their range, it is best to move to a category solution where vaping, next-gen and tobacco products can be displayed in the same gantry to ensure quick service time, which has a positive impact on repeat custom.”
JTI isn’t alone in investing in multiple channels and BAT has invested over the past year in getting established in the nicotine pouch market, to sit alongside its Vuse vape brand.
“In an ever-changing, fast-moving world that continuously calls for improvement and variety, the demand for innovative oral products continues to grow. It’s clear that next generation products are on the rise, with modern oral products set to increase by 70 percent in the UK – at BAT, we’re set to rise with them,” a spokesperson for the company told Vape Business.
For BAT this means VELO, a brand of nicotine pouches with flavours including London Flair, Royal Violet and Polar Mint.
“The search for new and exciting ways to enjoy nicotine in recent years has led to the emergence of an advanced category of modern oral products, taking the form of nicotine pouches. VELO can go absolutely anywhere with you,” the company says.
Another key point BAT emphasises is that next generation nicotine brands may well reach areas of the market traditional vape products do not.
“With our prime target consumer age being 25-35, VELO slots perfectly into the busy lives of those who don’t always have the time in their routine for a ‘nicotine break’,” the spokesperson says.
Most next generation nicotine brands are focused more centrally on a particular range or system.
Swedish Match is a great example of a company that’s emerging as a leader in the nicotine pouch market with its ZYN brand.
“We believe pouches have an incredibly important role to play, alongside vapes, in helping adult nicotine users discover different ways to enjoy a tobacco-free, smoke-free nicotine experience,” Paola Midence, brand and trade manager at Swedish Match. “As of now, we have portfolio of seven products which provide a variety of flavours and strengths. ZYN offers Cool Mint, Citrus and Espressino in 3 and 6 mg and Spearmint in 1.5 mg formats.
For heated tobacco, this is probably best showcased by the approach of Philip Morris (PML) and the firm’s IQOS system.
“We recently announced three major developments, which demonstrate the support we have in place for our retailer community,” says Kate O’Dowd, head of commercial planning for the company.
“We’ve invested significantly in strengthening the digital support we offer retailers through the launch of a new Digital Trade Engagement platform.
Accessible to registered retailers, the platform offers a range of tools, resources and new support services that will help retailers get the most out of stocking IQOS and HEETS.”
In addition to this, the company is doubling the size of its sales force and providing a speedier delivery service to ensure stores don’t run out of the products despite the exponential growth the company says retailers have been experienced in the past year.
In fact, it’s this growth which has allowed Philip Morris to invest so much in retailer support:
“The UK is now one of the fastest growing markets for HEETS in Europe with first-quarter share among all cigarettes and heated tobacco sticks, reaching two percent in the UK. In London, HEETS share surpassed five percent, which is more than double this time last year. The new investment will enable thousands more retailers to stock IQOS, the UK’s number one smoke-free product,” O’Dowd adds.
As PML chief executive Jacek Olczak outlined to the Sunday Telegraph last month, the company sees its future as one away from cigarettes. There is an increasing understanding among suppliers that the best way for these products to elbow combustible tobacco out of the way is for there to be a vibrant sector offering consumers a suite of options to suit every occasion.