IRI data for the 12 weeks after the introduction of the Menthol Ban in May show the vaping category in double digit growth while menthol product sales rocketed by almost 45%.
Vaping category sales increased by 12.6% in the 12 weeks after the introduction of the Menthol Ban on 20 May, compared with the previous 12 week period, according to data from IRI. Sales of menthol products shot up 44.6% over the same period in tracked channels.
Since May, it has been illegal for manufacturers to produce, and retailers to sell, menthol flavoured cigarettes as part of the revised European Tobacco Products Directive.
The data is the first reliable insight into the impact of the ban on characterising flavours – to give the new legislation its Sunday name – and appears to suggest that the ban has given the vaping category the boost that many retailers expected it to.
The news has been welcomed by Juul Labs UK, with Sales Director John Patterson commenting: “Juul Labs believes smokers should first and foremost quit. Those who have not successfully quit should completely switch to potentially less harmful alternative nicotine products. Our mission is to transition the world’s billion adult smokers away from combustible cigarettes, eliminate their use, and combat underage usage of our products. We believe that vapour products can offer adult smokers an alternative to combustible cigarettes and, in so doing, reduce the harm associated with tobacco.
“The vaping category itself has experienced solid growth in the past few months. If we look at total sales across closed and open systems in the twelve weeks pre and post the removal of menthol cigarettes, menthol and mint products contributed to almost 60% of all growth in the category, with menthol flavours alone responsible for 36% of all growth.”
Patterson hails the company’s Glacier Mint and Menthol JUULpods as key drivers and must-stock products for retailers: “With vaping products, adult smokers have a choice of flavours and a range of alternative options that may help them transition away from combustible cigarettes.
“Since May, Glacier Mint JUULpods have remained the number one refill kit in the closed pod sector in the UK and Menthol JUULpods have performed strongly. Retailers who stock the JUUL range could therefore grow their category sales and offer adult smokers a credible alternative to cigarettes, which continue to be the number one cause of preventable death in the UK.”
Juul Labs is continuing to invest in its ‘Challenge 25’ age verification policy, providing retailer training, alongside mystery shopping audits to limit appeal to underage individuals.