July 5, 2021
The next generation nicotine market is well and truly moving again. Tom Gockelen-Kozlowski takes a look at some of the latest innovation
The latest arrival on to the premium vape market is OK Vape’s new capsule system: OK Pod.
OK Pod comes in the form of a Starter Kit (the device and three 18mg refills) for £9. Subsequent packs of refills are £9 for pack of three, but the large capacity of each capsule makes OK Pod among the best value per puff of any of the new capsule players.
While the initial kit comes with Tobacco, Mint and Blackcurrant flavours, other are available including Mint Cream and Strawberry.
OK Vape has a longstanding relationship with Asda and, reacting to the recent launch, Leigh Vance, buying manager for the firm’s Kiosk department said: “OK Vape have been an integral part of the Asda Vaping category for 8 years. The brand-new OK Pod device and refills are a natural evolution of the range – which we know will be very popular with our customers”.
With major tobacco firms trialling heated tobacco concepts around the world, the long-awaited first competitor to IQOS arrived at the end of last year.
Advantages of JTI’s Ploom S device over competitors, the firm said as it launched, were: fast heating time; no smoke smell; minimal mess and cleaning,
no puff limit and the fact that customers can enjoy 20 sticks from a single charge.
The system uses EVO sticks which come in four flavours including the tobacco-flavoured ‘Sepia’ and ‘Bronze’ sticks as well as a menthol ‘Emerald’ flavour and blackcurrant-tasting ‘Purple’ variant.
At its launch, Dean Gilfillan, general manager at JTI, commented: “The time is right for JTI to enter this exciting growth segment in the UK with a proven product that continues to grow in markets in which we have already launched.”
Dinner Lady Vape
Vape brand Dinner Lady is one of a number of manufacturers spearheading the return of the disposable vape segment in 2021.
The firm recently launched its range of disposable vape pens into 402 EG Group forecourt stores across the UK. The pens come in eight Dinner Lady flavours including Mango Ice, Tropic Chill and Lemon Tart.
John Taylor, chief marketing officer for Vape Dinner Lady says the range “aims to support adult cigarette smokers in making the switch to a less harmful alternative, providing effective nicotine delivery with premium quality Dinner Lady nicotine salt e-liquids and supporting the physical, hand-to-mouth action of smoking. It offers retailers a simple-to-stock, simple-to-sell premium vape category solution.”
The disposable pens are priced at £4.99 and offer the equivalent of a pack of 20 cigarettes at around half the price, the company says.
Nordic Spirit Extra Strong Mint
From a standing start just a few years ago, the nicotine pouch market is now worth around £15.8 million to the trade each year.
Leading the way – and picking up a Product of the Year Award year in 2020 – JTI’s Nordic Spirit has become one of the key nicotine pouch brands to watch. Most recently, the range – which already included Mint, Bergamot Wildberry and Elderflower flavours – gained a new variant: extra strong Mint.
Paul Shakespeare, portfolio brand manager at JTI, says: “The 100 percent tobacco-free nicotine pouch category continues to grow and shows no signs of slowing down – making it even more of a must-stock for this year. Existing adult smokers and vapers today aren’t looking for a ‘one size fits all’ approach. Instead, we know that there is a real demand for convenience and the option to have different products to suit different occasions.”
Vype is now Vuse, as the consumer website tells its loyal band of users.
Vype has become a leading brand in the journey of vape from a specialist category to one that provides valuable sales and enviable profits to stores nationwide. For now, the brand’s owner – British American Tobacco – only says that new products are “to follow soon”. Rebranding of the existing range hints at a bold new vision for the company’s non-tobacco portfolio, however.
Khurram Durrani, Head of BAT UK Trade says: “Last year we invested nearly half a billion pounds in reduced risk categories, including vaping, because they are the future of our business. The UK is our biggest market outside of the US, so we are refreshing the brand and are doubling down on serving our customers even better. More than a new name, or fresh look and feel that makes it easier to spot Vuse in store and online, this is about sustainable growth, globally. It’s about giving consumers Vype’s great taste and quality, with more device innovations and flavours.”
Another new disposable vape pen to arrive on the market in 2021 is the Smok Mbar, distributed exclusively by vape supplier Aquavape. The devices come in a range of flavours including Grape Ice, Strawberry Ice and Tobacco and offer a 40 percent margin. The devices are equivalent to a pack of cigarettes and come with an RRP of £5.49.
Ebrahim Kathrada, director of the Aquavape, product’s exclusive distributor, says: “Disposable vape pens are this year’s ‘must have’ product. Call it a trend or what you will but these products are absolutely flying off the shelves. So much so that we have retailers reporting record vaping sales of £1,000 per week just from disposables alone. In most cases that could be just six SKU’s sat on the counter.”
Another recent entrant to the capsule market, the NZO system is among the higher priced devices and refills (RRPs are £19.95 for a starter kit £19.95 and £9.95 for a triple pack of 5.1ml pods).
Despite this, the device has launched with a set of eye-catching promotions including starter kits priced at between £4.95 and £9.95 as well as refills for £7.50.
One of Nzo’s key selling point is the firm’s ‘strategic partnerships’ with e-liquid brands allowing users to sample flavours from brands such as Anarchist, Zeus and Red in the convenient format of a capsule device.
The company says: “With a market that is becoming saturated with pod devices, it’s more important than ever to get ahead of the curve to increase revenue. Our innovative product and collaborative partnership approach is designed to address these industry challenges head on.”
The nicotine pouch market has now well and truly ‘arrived’ and another brand that has become key to the market is Swedish Match’s Zyn range.
Among a portfolio of flavours which includes Spearmint, Citrus and Cool Mint, the firm has also launched an Espressino variant that showcases the opportunities for exists for further growth and innovation that exists in the pouch market.
The company says ZYN Espressino has been developed “for consumers who prefer their nicotine buzz alongside the rich flavours of freshly roasted coffee”.
Paola Midence, Swedish Match brand and trade manager adds: “ZYN is a modern way to enjoy nicotine, free of smoke and free from tobacco. The white and small ZYN pouch is very discreet and fits perfectly under the lip. Simply place a pouch under your upper lip to experience refreshing flavour and the tingling sensation of nicotine.”