Heat-not-burn to fire up sales

Customers warm to smoke-free goods

man holding vape
A majorioty of retailers said they’d work together to get customers smoke-free.

POPULARITY for smoke-free nicotine products has been heating up across retail lately, making them key additions to any store owner’s range.

To help capitalise on this, though, Philip Morris Limited (PML) reckons that retailers should stay stocked up on the latest technology advancements across the category to meet growing demands from customers.

Kate O’Dowd, head of commercial planning UK & Ireland at PML, said: “The race to switch adult smokers to alternative products between convenience retailers and large multiples, and the speed with which manufacturers and their brands are developing and commercialising the most innovative products to meet growing demand show everyone is feeling the heat.

“We can see from data how this competition is shifting the landscape, by challenging the dominance of traditional categories and accelerating the pace of change.

“For instance, if we look at heat-not-burn – a relative newcomer to the UK market – we see a category growing at over twice the speed of the e-cigarette category, which launched at least a decade earlier.”

Talking about the promise the heat-not-burn category shows, O’Dowd cited data from PML’s first quarter results that found that the firm’s HEETS tobacco sticks accounted for more than 6% of the market share of the total industry sales volume for heated tobacco units.

On top of this, the firm also commissioned a survey, which included more than 1400 convenience retailers, to find whether they would forego competing with other stores if it meant they could help their community to make the swap to smoke-free options.

More than two-thirds of the repsondents to this survey said they would look beyond competition with other stores to work together to help their community to go smoke-free.

Aiming to push this potential of the heat-not-burn subcategory further, PML recently rolled out its new IQOS Originals Duo heat-not-burn product, an advancement to its previous IQOS 3 Duo, the firm said.

The new device comes in a kit with a compact, lightweight holder and two packs of HEETS at an RRP of £39.

PML said the new product makes use of revamped design features alongside the firm’s Heatcontrol Technology that uses a flat, wide ceramic blade to heat tobacco from the inside of the product without producing smoke.

O’Dowd said: “Fully compatible with existing HEETS tobacco sticks, IQOS Originals Duo will begin replacing IQOS 3 Duo, with no buy-back or product swapping necessary.

“The new stock will filter through naturally, although retailers are able to order new kits via PML’s Digital Trade Engagement Platform now.”