Sales of vapes break £100m in c-stores

Value sales of vaping products in symbol and independent stores broke £100m in November last year, with year-on-year sales beating traditional retail.

This is according to Juul Labs, who said the channel outperformed total category growth, now accounting for almost 30% of the £333m vaping category.

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“IRI figures show the vaping category in traditional retail (excluding online and specialist stores) grew by 34.7% in value, but convenience led at 36.6%,” said John Patterson, sales director at Juul Labs UK.

He added convenience stores were also maintaining this growth, demonstrating that this isn’t a just a “blip or temporary spike”.

The stats also show that closed pod systems remain the primary growth driver in the category in the total market, with revenues increasing 63% year on year. However, in the convenience channel, closed systems have grown to now account for 34.5% of all sales.

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Patterson told betterRetailing that given the challenges over the past twelve months, this is a “fantastic achievement” for the channel.

Furthermore, a recent survey by Public Health England suggests 43% of smokers are looking to kick the habit in 2021, and with e-cigarettes a popular alternative for many smokers, the outlook for the category is positive.

Patterson added: “However, it appears tobacco harm is still largely being ignored. According to research, just 18% of people in the UK see smoking as one of the top three public health issues, and smoking now comes behind the likes of alcohol and drug misuse, obesity, environmental quality and mental health in a list of public health concerns.

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“The truth is that smoking is responsible for more deaths than road traffic accidents, obesity, alcohol and drug misuse combined in the UK. We believe that with greater co-operations between retailers, stakeholders and regulators, smokers can be provided with the knowledge, behavioural support and tools they need to transition away from tobacco products, helping the government achieve its smoke free target by 2030 and ultimately eliminate cigarettes.”

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