The vape market is continually expanding as more consumers seek out alternative nicotine solutions.

In the UK alone, the category is now worth around £1.2bn and is expected to reach £1.47bn in the next three years, with around 35% of current vaping volume sales taking place in the convenience channel (ECig Intelligence).

The number of vapers in the UK has grown by 3% over the last year to 3.6m, so it’s clear that there will be continued demand from consumers for vaping products (ECig Intelligence).

“To tap into this rising trend, retailers need to ensure they are dedicating sufficient space in store for vaping products and stocking the right range for their customer base,” comments Tom Gully, Head of Consumer Marketing UK&I at Imperial Tobacco.

Recent data shows that both closed pod systems and basic open systems remain popular choices for vapers, accounting for 70% of the total UK vaping market size in 2022 (35% closed pod systems / 35% open systems, ECig Intelligence).

But although these devices account for a large majority of the share, we’re also seeing significant growth in the disposables category, which is currently worth around £132m and makes up 10% of the market share – up from 5% in 2021 (ECig Intelligence).

“Retailers should ensure they review their range regularly and prioritise stocking the brands that cater to these fast-moving trends in order to remain current and maximise sales,” adds Gully. “With this in mind, we’d recommend stocking a range of leading closed pod systems, like myblu, and compatible liquidpods to take advantage of this growing demand for pod mod devices.”

Recent figures show that the pre-filled pods category has grown to be worth around a whopping £558m, with the e-liquids category worth £355m (ECig Intelligence). This provides a huge sales opportunity for retailers.

“To effectively tap into this opportunity, retailers need to ensure they are selling a wide range of pre-filled pods and e-liquids in a variety of flavours and nicotine strengths, including nicsalts like myblu Intense, to ensure they have products on offer that can attract and meet the needs of different customers,” says Gully. “Menthol is the most popular myblu flavour, followed by flavours in the earthy and fruity flavour categories, so we’d highly recommend stocking a range in line with these particular flavour categories.”

The myblu pod-mod device is one of Imperial Tobacco’s leading vape products. The device combines the performance demanded by experienced vapers with the ease-of-use appreciated by new entrants to the category. The device’s hassle free Liquidpods allow vapers to switch between flavours in seconds via a simple one-step ‘click and go’ system.

“The vape category is continually evolving. Retailers therefore need to ensure they are staying on top of the current trends in next generation nicotine products so that they can revise their range to offer any products proving popular with customers,” Gully suggests. “Making room for a small selection of new vaping products will also allow retailers to trial them first before they invest in adding these as a permanent part of their range.”

“Retailers should also regularly review their main range to ensure it caters for their customers’ needs,” Gully continues. “For example, are there any particular vape flavours or devices that customers are buying frequently that would be worth investing in more stock or making them more visible in store? Having access to these types of insights, combined with customer feedback, will enable retailers to amend the range available on a frequent basis to ensure their range is still fit for purpose.

“Not every customer that walks into a store is an experienced vaper, so it’s important that retailers and their staff can offer a breadth of information and advice tailored to each customer that will help them to make an informed purchasing decision.”

Retailers are a hugely important route to market for Imperial, representing a significant proportion of its sales. As such, the company continuously invests in supporting retailers so that they can make the most out of Imperial’s products with sales and trends advice, promotions, store visits and in-store furniture.

As well as supporting retailers through its team of sales representatives, the Ignite app is another great resource and allows retailers to keep up to date with the latest news, information and training opportunities to help them perform at maximum efficiency. It includes a wide range of tools and advice, including incentive articles, downloadable POS, product information and top tips on how to increase sales in store.

Gemma Bateson, Sales Director at JTI UK, comments: “Sales of tobacco flavoured Heated Tobacco variants account for 50% of all refill sales in traditional retail (IRI), with Menthol flavoured accounting for 44% (IRI). JTI always looks to keep on top of the trend and listens to what consumers want when it comes to meeting demand for new flavours. As a result, JTI has established itself as a destination for flavoured tobaccos and flavoured capsules within the sector.”

JTI reimagined its EVO tobacco sticks at the end of 2021. Featuring a longer filter to achieve a fuller and more authentic tobacco taste experience, the new and improved EVO tobacco sticks offer the latest flavour innovations from JTI.

Consumers are increasingly searching for flavour in the Heated Tobacco category and in February JTI launched a crisp apple & menthol flavoured variant named Ruby to cater to this demand.

In addition to this, JTI has also launched two new alternative variants with capsules, Green Option and Purple Option. These new flavours allow the consumer to discover a new taste sensation with flavoured capsules. Both are well-balanced and smooth tobacco flavours, with a subtle mint infusion that releases a burst of flavour when the capsule is crushed.

With a range that is designed to tap into consumers’ flavour preferences, retailers across London can maximise this huge sales opportunity by stocking all seven EVO tobacco flavours.

To help retailers tap into current trends, Nordic Spirit recently expanded its portfolio with the launch of a new flavour, Spearmint, and a new Extra-Strong strength for Bergamot Wildberry. The new launches are both available in an Extra-Strong strength to reflect the growing demand for stronger variants in the nicotine pouch category (IRI). The latest variants will help retailers provide a range of options for customers seeking a stronger nicotine experience.

Bruce Terry, Portfolio Brand Manager at JTI UK, comments: “Give the category a clear ‘home’ by displaying nicotine pouches on a back wall solution with heated tobacco and vaping devices, so the customer has a visible choice of nicotine products based on their preferences. However, ensure EVO tobacco sticks are displayed behind the gantry.”

For nicotine pouches, JTI offers POS category solutions to suit stores of all shapes and sizes that retailers can take advantage of to boost their pouch sales, including countertop display solutions.

“As well as stocking a full range of products, it is important that retailers always maintain good stock levels, so that customers always have choice available to them,” adds Terry. “Retailers should also observe seasonal trends and busy periods, for example, keep your nicotine pouch range particularly strong in the summer months when demand is highest. In addition, clear signposting aids consumer navigation of the category.”

“54% of pouch consumers use other flavours regularly besides their favourite, meaning it is vital for retailers to offer a broad variety to their customers,” says Terry. “We’d also advise stocking a variety of strengths within the mint option in particular, as nicotine pouch users will likely move from regular to strong and extra-strong within this popular flavour. Retailers should also stock different variants within the higher strength segment, as this is likely to remain the most popular choice for customers.”

Mark McGuinness, Marketing Director at JTI UK, comments: “You need to ensure your staff are category experts and ready to assist customers in their decision-making. Understanding key differences between heated tobacco and vaping for example, is a good place to start.

“We recommend that retailers have demonstration devices available to show to their customers, and ensure their staff feel comfortable explaining how they work. To make the most of the sales opportunity, retailers should ensure they have good availability of products so that customers don’t have to shop around. Give the category a clear ‘home’ by displaying Heated Tobacco devices on a back wall solution, so the customer has a visible choice of nicotine products.”

JTI has announced the launch of Ploom X, a new Heated Tobacco device featuring upgraded technology to enhance the customer experience. Available in the Greater London area in selected key multiple grocers, and accredited independent and convenience retailers from November, the device has been designed to deliver a superior and unique heated tobacco experience.

Ploom X is the latest device in the market and represents the cutting edge of the next generation of heated tobacco products. Offering an alternative but familiar tobacco experience by heating tobacco instead of burning it, it provides retailers with a modern product for those seeking a real tobacco experience without the smoke. The significant technological upgrades include a redesigned HeatFlow™ system and a higher heating temperature to ensure a more consistent nicotine delivery and enhanced flavour sensation from the first puff.

One simple heating mode makes the device easy for customers to use.

Adjustments to the airflow system enable a more consistent vapour delivery and increased vapour volume.

Ploom X has longer session times of up to 5 minutes and the ability to use more EVO Tobacco Sticks per charge, with up to 22 sessions with just one charge.

The device is smaller and more compact. The front panel is also customisable for personalisation with a wider choice of accessories which will be available online at

McGuinness says: “We estimate that the category will be worth £250 million by 2025, with 66% of consumers buying through traditional retail (IRI). So, there is really no better time to expand and upgrade our portfolio with Ploom X. This is just another step in the evolution of the Ploom brand, with improved technology that offers a truly unique experience for customers. We’re looking forward to providing retailers with the opportunity to capitalise on the category, which is already worth £91 million in traditional retail (IRI).”

Decades of research suggests that nicotine is delivered on a continuum of risk, with combustible products on one end of that continuum representing the most harmful form of nicotine delivery, and noncombustible products, including vaping, lower down the continuum. Adult smokers can reduce their risk of smoking related diseases by moving down this continuum and leaving smoking behind. This is the heart of tobacco harm reduction.

Central to encouraging more adult smokers to transition away from combustible cigarettes is the relative satisfaction of e-cigarettes compared to cigarettes. Satisfying adult smokers’ nicotine requirements and attracting adult smokers to fully switch from cigarettes are essential for its success. However, many smokers remain unsatisfied with e-cigarettes while almost three in ten smokers have not even tried e-cigarettes as an alternative to combustible tobacco products.

Juul Labs’ new JUUL2 System has been created to be more competitive with combustible cigarettes and has been completely updated from the previous version. New technology provides a more consistent vapour experience while new features including a larger, long-lasting battery, a smart light system, communicating e-liquid level and battery life and a range of JUUL2 pods (18 mg/mL nicotine strength) offer increased benefits for adult smokers. In addition to the upgraded features for adult smokers, JUUL2 also strengthens Juul Labs’ ability to protect against counterfeit products, striking a blow to the illicit trade market of its products. The JUULpod ID feature significantly improves the company’s ability to identify unauthenticated products and prevent use at the device level, and the JUUL2 Device will only work with JUUL2 pods.

“Providing an experience that can compete with combustible cigarettes is critical to facilitate an adult smoker’s transition to a potentially less harmful alternative product.” says John Patterson, Country Lead at Juul Labs UK. “Retailers have to ensure that their ranges offer scientifically tested and MHRA notified products, such as JUUL2, to help adult smokers transition away from cigarettes.”

Juul Labs does not want any non-nicotine users, especially those who are underage, to try its products, as its purpose is to transition, and completely switch, adult smokers from combustible cigarettes. Retailers play an active role in curbing underage access to age-restricted products, including JUUL products. The company has created a new retailer resource centre – – to help its retail partners understand how they can help keep their communities safe and uphold their reputation as responsible retailers. The company believes that underage use prevention is imperative to building consumer, regulatory and stakeholder confidence in the industry and mandates its Challenge 25 and Mystery Shopper programmes across all stockists.

“We ask all of our retail partners to join us in combating underage use and we have been encouraged by the feedback the new website has received so far” continues Patterson. “The dedicated retailer website offers retailers advice and guidance on the legal sale of vaping products, best practice testimonials from retailers as well as outlining our commitment and our initiatives to eradicate underage access.

Chris Kelly, CEO of Phoenix 2 Retail, comments: “Retailers have realised the value in disposable products and are building a breadth of range to support this. To allow long-term commercial value retailers need to ensure they are buying from a reputable route to market and look at the environment that the products are placed in.”

Disposables do have an environmental impact and this is high on the agenda for all brands and suppliers nationally. Phoenix 2 Retail are working to bring a solution to support a recycling project to market. Within Next Generation Products, popular sub-categories include disposables, closed pod systems, liquids and oral nicotine.

Popular flavours include Blue Razz Lemonade, Watermelon, Blue Sour Raspberry, Pink Lemonade and Kiwi Passion Fruit Guava.

“Closed pod systems with the flavour profile of the disposable SKUs will be leading the way in the years to come,” adds Kelly. “Also, liquid flavours will see this adaption to disposables flavours.”

Phoenix 2 Retail’s best-selling products are Elf Bar, Solo +, Lost Mary, Geek Bar and IVG.

The company is working on lots of new products to continue the market growth while also working on a sustainability model for the industry.

“We offer a total category solution which will give retailers a best-in-class display and category solution,” adds Kelly. “We work with retailers to support education, ongoing support, simple ordering processes and breadth of range to support market changes.”

Kate O’Dowd, Head of Commercial Planning UK & Ireland, Philip Morris Limited, comments: “There is no doubt that competition in the smoke-free category is heating up.”

The race to switch adult smokers to alternative products between convenience retailers and large multiples, or the speed by which manufacturers and their brands are developing and commercialising the most innovative products to meet growing demand – everyone, it seems, is feeling the heat.

“We can see from the data how this competition is shifting the landscape, by challenging the dominance of traditional categories and accelerating the pace of change,” adds O’Dowd. “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 (Nielsen), which launched at least a decade earlier.”

Far more importantly, we see a category eating into the market share of cigarettes and other combustible products. HEETS, tobacco sticks designed for exclusive use with IQOS, the UK’s number one heat-not-burn product (Nielsen), account for more than 6% market share of the total industry sales volume for Heated Tobacco Units (HTU) and cigarette sales in London.

“This is the real upshot of increased competition in the smoke-free category; not so much pitting products against each other, but rather providing smokers with a greater choice of alternatives that enables them to switch away from cigarettes, if they can’t or won’t quit completely,” says O’Dowd.

To illustrate how competition is being overlooked to achieve this smoke-free goal, Philip Morris recently commissioned a study of more than 1,400 convenience retailers which found that over two thirds would look beyond local competition and work together to help their community go smoke-free.

“Competition can be a fantastic driver – even more so if the efforts involved lead to something meaningful, such as delivering a smoke-free future,” O’Dowd continues. “With manufacturers bringing better products to market and more retailers than ever before broadening their smoke-free offering, I truly believe we can help millions of adult smokers make a better choice.”

IQOS first launched in the UK in 2016. As a new tobacco product, IQOS quickly established heated tobacco as a category acceptable to the adult consumer with several indicators highlighting its potential in the market.

IQOS is a viable alternative to cigarettes because it heats real tobacco for a more satisfying taste experience. That’s why the majority of smokers who trial it, switch away from smoking for good.

IQOS is more affordable with 20 HEETS costing less than half the average price for a pack of 20 cigarettes. Customers also have access to ten HEETS variants – ranging from menthol to traditional tobacco blends – which means there is a variant to meet every consumer need.

Data from Nielsen found that heated tobacco represented 18.6 percent of the total Reduced-Risk Product (RRP) market in the UK in 2021 (Nielsen), growing 86 percent versus 2020.

The number of stores selling HEETS has increased seven-fold since January 2018. PML are now selling almost 40 times the volume of HEETS each month than it did on average in 2017.

The IQOS tobacco-heating system is the No. 1 heated tobacco product in the world.

PMI estimates that 12.7 million adult smokers have switched to IQOS and stopped smoking.

Modern disposables are driving the overall increase in volume in the vaping market – recording a 3,545% volume increase year-on-year for the first half of 2022 (Nielsen).

“We want to work together with our consumers to reduce waste sent to landfill, a BAT spokesperson comments. “Once Vuse e-cigarettes and pods have reached their end of life they can be returned to Vuse stores. We will ensure all used products are disposed of safely and do not end up in landfill when returned to us. At Vuse, we adhere to the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations regarding all our products.” As a leading multinational company sustainability is at the heart of BAT’s transformation journey as it builds A Better Tomorrow™ by reducing the health impact of its business.

Vuse is the first global carbon neutral vape brand. As part of the ongoing Vuse Cut the Wrap initiative, Vuse Go packaging has no external plastic poly wrap. BAT’s global Cut the Wrap initiative, which is BAT’s commitment to reduce single use plastics in its packaging, has already saved approx. 250 tonnes of plastic, the equivalent to more than 10 million plastic bottles.

Over the last 12 to 18 months the vaping market has seen significant change, with disposable products joining closed-system products as the fastest-growing products and key drivers of growth in the category (Nielsen).

Across disposable and closed system products, the demand for mint and fruit flavours continues – as does the demand for higher nicotine strengths. Ongoing expansion of the Vuse Go and ePod Vivid ranges is helping retailers to cater for that ongoing evolution in adult nicotine consumer preference.

Vuse GO is BAT’s best performing product in disposables, while Vuse ePod continue to be the company’s best-performing closed system vape products. Within the Vuse Go range, the high strength options dominate. The Mint Ice 20mg flavour continues to lead sales by volume (28%), with Blueberry Ice 20mg (21%) and Strawberry Ice 20mg (15%) also performing well.

Innovation is a key driver in the continued expansion of the Vuse Go and ePod ranges to cater for evolving adult nicotine consumer preferences. Vuse Go is now available in 20mg and 10mg nicotine strengths. There are also three new additions to the 10mg flavour range: Berry Blend (a mix of strawberry, raspberry, blackberry and blueberry flavours); Berry Watermelon (red berries, watermelon and an icy cool finish), and Grape Ice (grape flavours with an icy cool finish).

The ePod Vivid refillable closed system pod range is also now available in 18mg and 12mg strength options in the same flavours as Vuse Go, including the three new flavours, all in the 12mg strength.

There are also plans for more flavours across Vuse Go and ePod Vivid by the end of the year.

Vuse GO and new Vivid ePod ‘limited edition’ range continue to enjoy success. Vuse ePod is one of the largest closed system propositions in the vaping market and continues to perform well in tobacco, mint and fruit flavours (Nielsen).

Vuse ePod is a closed system vape product that offers adult nicotine consumers a choice of five different nicotine strengths.

As existing adult nicotine and/or tobacco consumers seek variety in nicotine alternatives, they are spending longer in the vaping category, which gives retailers a prime opportunity to grow vape sales.

Closed system and disposable vaping products like Vuse ePod and Vuse Go offer, variety and affordability for existing adult vapers, those who have just switched Vuse vaping and those who wish to find an alternative to smoking. Vuse ePod and Vuse Go give retailers the chance to seize real sales momentum as part of an expanding range of alternative nicotine products.

The full Vuse Go and ePod Vivid range of flavours and strengths will be more widely available across the UK marketplace in the coming months. There are also plans to launch more flavours across both the Vuse Go and Vivid ePod range by the end of this year.

Scandinavian Tobacco Group UK has announced its entrance into the fast-growing nicotine pouch category with the introduction of its first ever non-tobacco product. Originating from Sweden, the home of snus and most nicotine pouches, STRÖM (which is Swedish for stream / flow) is a premium nicotine pouch which is truly inspired by its Scandinavian heritage.

Launching in three flavours (Fresh Mint, Minty Orange and Juicy Berry), STRÖM will be available to retailers across Manchester for a six-month trial period to March, before being rolled out to other cities across the UK throughout 2023 and beyond. Members of the STG sales force will be calling on stores in and around the city, explaining to them why STRÖM is different to competitor brands and has such an exciting future in the UK, as well as offering them free stock to sell.

STRÖM is a top-quality nicotine pouch that offers a long-lasting flavour release and a controlled nicotine delivery. Being a plant-based product (with a unique resin-based formula in a market of salt-based products) and with a 100% plant-based plastic container (made from 100% bioplastics created with pine tree oil extracted from pine leftovers), STRÖM is a perfect choice for all those who seek a more natural alternative with a superb taste.

STG will be supporting the trial in Manchester with a major marketing support campaign to December, which will give consumers the chance to see STRÖM advertised on buses, in the airport on video screens, in the train station, on the main roads, on the high streets, on street hubs and six sheet sites as well as phone boxes across Manchester.

STG’s UK Country Director Alastair Williams, comments: “Nicotine pouch sales are really gathering pace and that’s why we’re really excited to pilot our STRÖM brand in Manchester before rolling out the product to the rest of the UK. Retailers would be forgiven for thinking that the nicotine pouch category is already quite crowded, but we’re coming to the market with something more authentic, premium and sophisticated than what is already out there. STRÖM offers a prolonged taste delivery which enables an extended flavour sensation for your mouth and throat, as well as providing an equal nicotine release for a consistent and smooth experience. We’re also excited to be putting a huge marketing spend behind our regional ad campaign to raise consumer awareness and drive sales.”


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