NJOY's New King E-Cig Could Be 'Game-Changer'

Retailers believe product bridges gap between traditional and electronic cigarettes

Melissa Vonder Haar, Freelance Writer

NEW YORK -- When Bonnie Herzog and other Wells Fargo analysts met with NJOY's management last week, they said that they were impressed with the look, feel, taste and packaging of the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based electronic cigarette manufacturer's "next-generation" product, NJOY King.

Scheduled to be released in the fall, NJOY King offers a "master blend" flavor profile, similar size and weight to tobacco cigarettes, and a squishy "filter" area that more closely mimics the smoking experience that cigarette smokers are accustomed to.

Further giving King the feel of a real cigarette is its packaging: while most electronic cigarettes are packaged in a thin, discreet tube, NJOY King comes in a "hard plastic flip case" that replicates the motion of flipping open a cigarette pack. Herzog was enthused by the marketing opportunities possible with such packaging. She said "this new package should enable the NJOY brand to be much more visible with a critical branding opportunity … [it] will be more conducive to retail display and the retail display tower much more visible at the counter compared to e-cigarette displays today, which usually consist of a small box display that is easy to miss."

And at a $7.99 retail price point, it drew largely positive retailer responses from Wells Fargo's "Tobacco Talk" survey.

"New NJOY King comes closer to bridging the gap between current e-cigs and traditional cigarettes," one respondent said.

"The product is much better than anything I have seen thus far," commented another retailer. "It is much closer to the feel of a real cigarette. They have surely raised the bar for the category as a whole."

Yet another retailer went so far as to state "it's a game changer."

It's a sentiment Herzog reiterated in the bottom line of the Wells Fargo report on the NJOY meeting: "We believe NJOY is very well positioned to compete with traditional tobacco and e-cigarettes, with its game-changing new King product, and should continue to drive growth in the e-cigarette category."