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Become a vape pen expert

June 1, 2020

Photo: iStock

They are some of the best-known and widely-used vape products out there. This week, Vape Business takes a look at the vape pen market

According to almost all major vaping brands, the vape pen – and the pod mod systems they power – need to be at the heart of most stores’ strategies for success in vape.

“Over 80% of category growth is coming from closed pod-based systems such as JUUL and, if the current trajectory continues, closed pod systems could be the dominant sector in the category by this summer,” says Jon Patterson, sales director at JUUL.

The value of the vape pen market to the wider vaping industry is considerable – not least because, firms say, this class of vaping product has the potential to bring in new smokers to the category.

And the advantages don’t only exist for current smokers – the ease of use vape pens offer provides further advantages, suppliers say.

Duncan Cunningham, corporate affairs director at Imperial and Blu says the segment’s simplicity is at the heart of this: “As the vape market continues to grow, pod mod systems like myblu have become increasingly popular thanks to their ease of use and flexibility. The myblu device is a high-performance vaporiser, with just 20 minutes charge time and hassle-free Liquidpods that allow consumers to switch between flavours in seconds via an easy one-step ‘click and go’ system.”

Yet to fully capitalise, store owners need to ensure their businesses are up to date and ready, says Nick Geens, head of Logic and reduced risk products at JTI:

“Through stocking a full, consolidated range and maintaining good availability, retailers can provide a successful vaping offering to their customers. It is also important to recognise which devices and liquids are proving particularly popular with vapers.”

This week we’re taking a look at this vital part of the market to ensure Vape Business readers are ready to capitalise. 

The big players

Logic Compact JTI’s Logic Compact is the company’s most recognisable pod mod system and has been at the forefront of JTI’s efforts to offer smokers a tobacco alternative in the run up to the menthol ban. The system includes a standard range of Tobacco, Menthol, Berry Mint, Cherry and Strawberry flavours with Compact Intense pods – using nicsalts – it’s most up-to-date pods.

myblu The myblu system is Imperial’s vape pen system and, like Logic Compact, now offers two levels of pods: standard and the five nicsalt-containing Intense flavours. And as with the Logic system both sets of flavours work with the original myblu vape pen device. Quick charging time and ease of use feature among the system’s key advantages, the company says.

JUUL The US vape brand has established itself as a fast-growing challenger to the main tobacco industry-backed vape pen systems. Further innovations are promised but currently two JUUL pens (the standard and the ‘connected’ C1 device) are at the heart of a simple six-favour offer including Golden Tobacco, Mango Nectar, Royal Crème, Glacier Mint, Alpine Berry and Menthol.

Vype A back-to-back Product of the Year award winner, the Vype system offers the largest range of flavours of all the major systems including unique offers such as Cucumber Mix, Indigo Dive and Scarlet Kick. The range is based around two devices: ePen 3 and ePod. The brand is backed by British American Tobacco.


What are nicsalts?

Nicsalts are appearing in many new products in this market such as myblu Intense and Logic Compact Intense. Nicsalts provide a different way of delivering nicotine that manufacturers say provides a stronger “hit” and therefore more closely mimics the experience of smoking cigarettes. It is therefore unsurprising that at a time when brands want to encourage menthol smokers away from tobacco, this technology is seen as so important.

According to Duncan Cunningham at Imperial and Blu, says: “Nicotine salts (nicsalts) allow nicotine to be absorbed into the body faster than normal e-liquids. This rapid absorption of nicotine allows myblu Intense to more closely replicate the experience of smoking a cigarette, appealing to adult smokers looking to switch for the first time, or those who have tried vaping in the past and haven’t been completely convinced.”


Latest news

  • JTI recently announced the arrival of seven new flavours for its Compact Intense range including Amber Tobacco, Peppermint, Berry Ripple, Banoffee, Chai Latte, Berry Mint and Polar Menthol.
  • Vype launched menthol starter kits last month including Peppermint Tobacco, Just Mint and Creamy Mint.
  • Ahead of the menthol ban another major launch came from JUUL which extended its flavour range with Menthol JUULpods.
  • Philip Morris, which recently discontinued the IQOS Mesh vape pen system, has said it will return to the market with IQOS Veev later this year.


Category advice  

  1. Tailor your range to your shoppers

As retailers become more familiar with the category and their customers’ needs, we recommend tailoring the range offered to ensure it caters to demand. Proactively engaging with shoppers at the till point is a great way to provide excellent customer service.

Duncan Cunningham – corporate affairs director, Imperial & Blu


  1. Study your sales data

To better understand the category and maximise sales, retailers should monitor EPoS data, stock the bestsellers in their area and take advantage of educational tools such as JTIAdvance.co.uk, which offers advice to help make the most of the vaping category.

Nick Geens – head of Logic and reduced risk products, JTI


  1. Focus on a clear display

The benefits of using the main manufacturers’ point of sale solutions is that they are professionally produced, conform to all legal and safety standards and can add to the visual appeal of the category. Different stores need different solutions based on available space, category knowledge and customer needs.

John Patterson – sales director, JUUL


Advantages of vape pens for retailers

Major brands It probably isn’t a coincidence that this this the corner of the market most dominated by cigarette firms. Big brands and marketing budgets are creating easily-recognisable names and packaging.

Repeat purchases Whether they come in two or four packs the capsules on which vape pens work maintain a similar pattern of regular purchasing smokers have with cigarettes.

Ready to go Another similarity to cigarettes are the way these systems can be bought by shoppers, set up in seconds and used to take away that nicotine craving straight away.

Clean These products are fuss free and take away the need for messy refilling. Some systems even use magnetic capsules to further increase the simple, clean experience.

Innovation New devices and flavours are arriving as new technology – such as the use of nicsalts – is filtering through. With Philip Morris set to re-enter the market, with IQOS VEEV, new systems are also on the horizon.

Support Major investment also means that this is the area of the market with possible the most support available whether that’s in the shape of credible PoS options or the advice from reps.