June 1, 2022
According to the 2021 Smokefree GB report, the annual survey carried out for ASH by YouGov, tank systems remain as the most popular vape product, with 77 per cent of vapers reporting using them. However, for the retailers to capitalise on e-liquids they must understand the consumers’ needs, products available in the market, flavours on demand and then advise vapers accordingly.
“There are literally 1000’s of e-liquids available, and a consumer can very quickly become confused and overwhelmed with the choice, unless the retailer provides confident category management around ‘good, better, and best’,” Liam Humberstone, technical director at Totally Wicked, said.
“Capitalising on the trend for simplicity with a convenient, easily portable open tank device that doesn’t over complicate a consumer is key. Layer in the retailer’s ability to advise a smoker to vaper on their journey in a confident and personable manner will ensure that they compete effectively.”
Humberstone suggests retailers to present consumers with a sufficient range of flavours and strengths, without being excessive. “A core tobacco and menthol flavour, but alongside the very popular fruit ranges are important,” he says, noting that smokers often move towards fruit flavours once they have successfully transitioned to vaping through the familiar flavour of tobacco or menthol.
“Displaying these in a well merchandised CDU or FSDU will enable consumer to navigate flavour/strength and price effectively. Devices on the other hand, only require a small range in convenience, perhaps 3 options, with the associated ongoing consumables e.g. coils, spare pods,” he adds.
Tom Gully, head of consumer marketing UK&I at Imperial Tobacco believes that the retailers well equipped to advise consumers will be the ones “that see the most success and truly establish themselves as a destination store for vapers.”
According to Gully, one of the main factors driving the popularity of pod-mod systems like myblu is their ease of use, with the device’s hassle free Liquidpods allowing vapers to switch between flavours in seconds via a simple one-step ‘click and go’ system.
“The most popular e-liquids tend to fall into four main flavour categories, including fresh, fruity, earthy and sweet, so we’d recommend stocking a range that covers all of these flavour profiles. In fact, our best-selling variant in the myblu range is now the Menthol Intense Liquidpod highlighting this continuing consumer shift towards nicsalts,” he says.
“As an incredibly fast-moving category, it’s also important for retailers to keep one eye on the emerging trends and be prepared to adapt their range to incorporate any new products they think would work for their customer base.”
He suggests making room for a small sample of new e-liquids on a regular basis, which will enable retailers to trial the products and assess shopper interest prior to investing heavily or making them a permanent.
Imperial’s myblu has grown to become the preferred pod-mod system for many consumers since its launch, Gully claims, adding that the latest packaging enhancements will increase its appeal. “With the new blister packs offering the utmost convenience, as well as a new consistent look and feel across the range, we’re confident myblu will remain the pod-mod device of choice for consumers looking for a top quality, easy-to-use vaping solution,” he concludes.