Sales of e-cigs in US convenience stores increased by 9.3% in 2022
According to data from market research company IRI, based in Chicago, the total sales of electronic cigarettes in US convenience stores during the 52-week period ending on January 1, 2023 (the entire year of 2022) was $6.93 billion, a year-on-year growth of 9.3%. The number of products sold was 438 million, a year-on-year decrease of 4.2%, and the average price per customer was $15.82, a year-on-year increase of 14%.
Rick Staley, marketing manager of distributor Tri Star Energy, stated that the company is expanding its investment in disposable, nicotine pouches, and other non-tobacco products, as they are currently in high demand. Tri Star Energy, which owns Twice Daily and Sudden Service convenience stores, has provided wholesale distribution services in more than 14 states in the United States as of 2021. In 2021, the company acquired Herndon Oil Corp. and its convenience store brand Southern Traders, which includes 13 Southern Traders convenience stores and Shell’s fuel distribution business, making it well-versed in the electronic cigarette convenience store channel.
Eric Pewterbaugh, category manager of RaceTrac, a convenience store operator with 558 stores in the southern United States, hopes to increase the awareness of electronic cigarettes and strengthen the conversion of tobacco/nicotine consumers across categories. He believes that JUUL promotional activities will return, which is consistent with the trend of the increasing brand awareness of VUSE. This will bring a dual opportunity for sales growth and provide consumers with more valuable purchasing references.
Eric Pewterbaugh further pointed out that inflation will prompt more smokers to consider electronic cigarettes. He stated that in 2023, the increase in cigarette prices will accelerate the transition of smokers to electronic cigarettes. Data shows that more and more dual-category or even multi-category smokers are shifting from combustible tobacco to other tobacco products. Although the current tightening of regulations in the United States will have some impact on the market, there is no doubt that vapor electronic cigarettes will continue to maintain sales growth nationwide, and electronic cigarettes will continue to exist as a category of tobacco products.
Eric Pewterbaugh’s views are supported by data showing a decline in tobacco accessory sales. According to IRI data, the strongest-growing category among tobacco/nicotine products in US convenience stores during the past 52 weeks ending on January 1, 2023 (the entire year of 2022) was smokeless tobacco products (such as nicotine pouches). As further evidence, during the same period, the total sales of matches in the United States were 150,000 boxes, a year-on-year decrease of 28.7%, with sales of $279,000, a year-on-year decrease of 13%. The sales of lighters were 300 million, a year-on-year decrease of 7.6%, with sales of $613 million, a year-on-year decrease of 3.2%.