Planet of the vapes
With January approaching, New Year’s resolutions will be at the forefront of many consumers’ minds and for those who are keen to reduce or quit smoking, they are likely to express curiosity and have some questions surrounding the vaping category. Be ready to meet their demands with the right range and knowledge, writes Gillian Hamill
21 December 2018 | 0
The numbers speak for themselves when it comes to vaping and e-cigarette products: the sector is experiencing a consistent growth curve. Healthy Ireland data shows that in 2016, 32% of Irish smokers had successfully used vaping products to quit smoking, a figure which increased to 37% in 2017 and 41% this year.
While some consumers are still uncertain about how e-cigarettes compare to traditional cigarettes, are centre port from Public Health England (PHE) stated that “best estimates how e-cigarettes are 95% less harmful to your health than normal cigarettes, and when supported by a smoking cessation service, help most smokers to quit tobacco together”.
The report also explained in greater detail how e-cigarettes (EC) work. Using battery power, they heat an element in order to disperse a solution of propylene glycol or glycerine, water, flavouring and usually nicotine. This results in an aerosol that can be inhaled by the user (commonly termed vapour).
“EC do not contain tobacco, do not create smoke and do not rely on combustion,”the report added.“There is substantial heterogeneity between different types of EC on the market (such as“cigalikes”and tank models). Acknowledging that the evidence base on overall and relative risks of EC in comparison with smoking was still developing, experts recently identified them as having around 4% of the relative harm of cigarettes overall (including social harm) and 5% of the harm to users.”
Securing vaping category success
The New Year is typically a time when there is increased demand for alternatives to tobacco among existing adult smokers. It is therefore important for retailers to plan ahead to ensure you are fully prepared to respond to any changes in demand from your customers and answer any questions they may have. Taking some simple steps will mean you are well placed to drive vaping category sales in your store and secure follow-on business.
Having introduced two new flavours this year, Blueberry and Citrus Mint, the Logic portfolio range continues to expand to meet changing tastes and preferences. In order for you to provide the best assistance to your customers and ultimately drive footfall in your store, it is vital to stay abreast of developments in the vaping category. JTI recommends the following steps:
Educate your staff
It is often the case that an existing adult smoker will seek some guidance at the point of purchase about potential alternatives to smoking before deciding on a device or e-liquid flavour. Ensuring your staff are well informed about the category and up-to-date with the full Logic portfolio will equip them to respond to any questions received from customers.
Accommodate your customers
Offering a full vaping range provides the convenience of a one-stop shop for both vapers and those looking for an alternative to smoking.
Stay stocked up
To avoid any missed opportunities, ensure your Logic merchandising unit is well stocked and in a prominent and visible location, ideally at eye level and within easy reach of your staff. Best practice would be to restock the unit daily and prior to peak traffic times.
Visibility is key – ensure vaping products are located prominently in your store, to ensure existing adult smokers and vapers are aware of the choice and range on offer. It is important to keep a clear and tidy e-cigarette display. JTI’s salesforce is on hand to provide expert support and advice to help retailers maximise sales in the vaping category. Orders can be made through your local JTI trade marketer, cash and carry or online at www.jtiengage.com, or you can place an order by calling 01-404-0200.
Q&A with Keith Flynn, sales director, Hale Vaping
Q: How significantly has vaping grown in Ireland during the past five years and what are the reasons behind this increase?
A: Ireland has seen a massive growth in the vaping industry over the last number of years. According to the recent Healthy Ireland survey 2018, there is an estimated 80,000 fewer smokers in Ireland today compared to three years ago. In 2016, 32% of Irish smokers had successfully used vaping products to quit smoking, increasing to 37% in 2017 and the 2018 survey reveals the figure has increased to 41%.
Vaping is the most effective tool in helping smokers to quit and more positive research and studies reinforcing this have been made available over the past five years. During this period, Hale has increased the number of branded vape stores to 52 across the country with this number set to grow to 55 before the end of this year. Access to honest advice in our retail outlets and our availability in the convenience space has been key to our growth over the past number of years.
A: Already over 1,800 retailers have taken advantage of having Hale, Ireland’s number one Irish-owned vaping brand in their stores. Irish people come into our network of stores to switch to vaping and once they have chosen their Hale flavour and device, it becomes about convenience. They want to purchase their Hale products easily in line with busy lifestyles and this is why we have become so successful in the convenience space. The retailers enjoy a healthy margin and return as well as the added benefit of returning loyal customers. They welcome the fact that Hale is the only brand that has a network of dedicated stores nationwide.
A: Hale has a range of POS units on offer to suit every retailer. As Hale is an independently Irish-owned company, we fabricate all units in Ireland and often design bespoke units to meet the requirements of a retailer. We will sit with each retailer and find a solution to cater for their needs.
A: Early on, Hale identified the need to offer our consumers choice. Another advantage of having more than 50 dedicated vape stores countrywide, is that we can engage directly with our consumers and listen to what they are looking for. We have taken this knowledge and in our ISO production facility in Carlow, we have produced a strong range of tobacco and fruit flavours to meet the changing demands in the vaping sector. We tailor our convenience range to offer the best-selling flavours in the Irish marketplace.
A: Hale has grown rapidly in recent years and we have established ourselves as Ireland’s independently-owned number one vaping brand.
Q: How important are Hale’s ‘100% Irish manufactured’ credentials to the company? How is the company supporting Irish jobs?
A: Hale has become a trusted Irish brand. We are very proud of the fact we are Irish-owned and our ISO production facility is located in Co. Carlow. We know first-hand that this is the reason we are supported by major retailers; Musgrave, BWG, Applegreen and the Barry Group. We will shortly be announcing two further major retailers that have chosen to stock Hale in their stores bringing the total number of convenience locations to over 2,000. Hale employs over 150 full and part-time staff across our dedicated stores, head office and production facility and this number is set to continue throughout 2019.
Carroll is very excited to have entered into the e-cigarette market, with some top-quality brands for Irish vaping consumers. The company’s portfolio will offer a wide range of options to accommodate the vast array of vaping preferences among Irish consumers.
The Cirro2 open-system device brings with it two different ranges of e-liquid. The Mono range contain all the original flavours such as tobacco, menthol and cherry, providing a full flavour for adult vapers who know exactly the taste they are after. These are the best value liquids* in the Irish market with an RRP of €4.50 and a 40% retailer margin. The CirroBlends range offers mix-ups of lots of exciting flavours such as the Mixology e-liquid which combines Mango, Passion Fruit, Blueberry and Vanilla, all packed into one bottle.
Cirro is the best-selling open system brand in the UK** and the company says it has no doubt it will be a hit with consumers in Ireland just as much. *(Source: Based on RRP. Correct at time of printing)
**(Source: 12.6% Market share (Unit Sales Average 2017), Nielsen Scantrack Unit Share % 2017 Date W.E 07.01.2017 – W.E 30.12.2017)
Survey highlights Ireland’s policy gap on e-cigarettes
A NEW poll of Irish and UK adults published by Philip Morris Limited (PML) earlier this year, highlights the significant gap between smokers’ perceptions of the benefits of e-cigarettes and the policy approaches on both sides of the Irish Sea.
The poll, which was conducted by Amarach Research, found that:
- Roughly one in four smokers in both Ireland (72%) and the UK (78%) have attempted to quit smoking
- Use of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS, e-cigs and heated tobacco) as a quitting aid in the UK (at 55%) is significantly higher than in Ireland (38%)
- UK smokers (43%) are twice as likely to view e-cigarettes as a safer alternative to conventional cigarettes than their Irish counterparts (18%)
- Only 37% of Irish smokers feel fully informed about smoke-free alternatives to cigarettes, compared to 61% in the UK
- 47% of Irish smokers believe that responsibility for informing them about smoke-free alternatives lies with public health bodies (29%) or the government (18%)
It is important that those who continue to smoke cigarettes are informed about the alternatives available, according to Eoin Dardis, PML country manager Ireland.
“Philip Morris is committed to replacing cigarettes with smoke-free products,” Dardis said. “People who continue to use cigarettes should be informed that there are alternatives available to them that are likely to be less harmful than continuing to smoke. E-cigarettes and other smokeless alternatives – including heated tobacco products – can play a crucial role in offering Irish smokers a better choice to stop using cigarettes.”
Phillip Morris’s ambition is that three out of four of its consumers will have switched to better alternatives by 2025. “We would like to have a dialogue with the Irish government about the role these reduced risk products can play in meeting its target of reducing smoking prevalence to 5% by 2025,” Dardis added.
Gerard O’Neil, Amárach Research chairman, added that the results showed a clear difference of perception between Irish and UK consumers. “The survey findings show a clear gap between how Irish and UK smokers view the safety of e-cigarettes,” O’Neil said. “This in turn is reflected in the substantially higher use of e-cigarettes as a quitting aid in the UK.”