Time for c-stores to up their game

Growth figures point to untapped potential

Logic compact
Pod systems are the fastest growing segment in the category according to JTI.

VAPING might be growing at a rapid rate, but convenience stores are lagging behind the supermarkets at the moment.

The latest IRI Marketplace figures provided by JTI have revealed that while supermarkets enjoyed 32.5% year-on-year vaping growth last year, convenience stores lagged behind at 22.1% year on year.

And while there’s no question that category growth of more than a fifth is not to be sniffed at, sales data suggests there’s potential for c-stores to take a bigger slice of the vaping pie.

Nick Geens, head of vaping brand Logic and reduced risk products at JTI UK, has offered some advice for retailers looking to boost category performance.

“To better understand the category and maximise sales, retailers should monitor EPOS data, stock the best sellers 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, from the latest trends to legislation and NPD.

“Retailers should also speak to their local Logic sales representative, who can provide up-to-date advice and information on the category, trends and the Logic brand,” he said.

When it comes to building vaping sales in store, retailers need to retain the customers they have, and they need to recruit new adult consumers where possible.

With new customers making the switch to vaping every day, brands across the category have been developing products to meet growing consumer demand – as Geens explained.

“The market has seen a rise in experimental vapers, and along with it there has been an influx of new flavours and strengths.

“For example, e-liquid pods for Logic Compact are available in a range of flavours and strengths, to help retailers stock a wide and varied range of products for a more personalised vaping experience.

“Flavours include Tobacco, Menthol, Berry Mint, Cherry and Strawberry to cater to a range of customers “Additionally, nicotine salts, which are designed to offer a smoother and more intense flavour delivery are set to grow this year.

“The category will present a great profit opportunity for those retailers whose customers seek a more enriched vaping experience,” he said.

Keeping abreast of current trends is key in any category, and in vaping, Geens suggested disposable pod products are set for a strong 2020.

“One clear trend over the past twelve months, which will continue to grow in popularity across 2020, is the rise of closed tank devices, or pod mods – now the fastest growing vaping segment in the UK,” he said.

Pods may be poised for further success, but Geens also suggested retailers stock up on refillables to meet the demands of more experienced vape consumers.

“Refillable vapes are now used by the majority of UK adult vapers and allow for a more customisable experience as you can manually fill the device with a preferred e-liquid,” he said.