Tobacco: Cigarettes, RYO, E-Cigarettes & Lighters 2014

Samantha Oller, Senior Editor/Fuels, CSP

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E-Cigarette Trends

C-store sales, 52 weeks ending Dec. 21, 2013

According to a Nielsen database of 20 large c-store chains representing about 13,000 locations, disposables enjoyed the strongest dollar and unit growth in 2013, although sales of rechargeables rose a

respectable 47%. The top three brands at these chains: blu, Logic and NJOY, according to Nielsen. IRI reports total c-store e-cigarette sales up by triple-digit percentages in 2013 to reach $530.4 million.

E-Cigarette Sales: 20 Large Chains

SegmentC-store sales ($ millions)PCYAUnit sales (millions)PCYA
Starter kits$7.7122.1%0.47.1%
E-Cigarette Brands: 20 Large Chains    
BrandC-store sales ($ millions)PCYAUnit sales (millions)PCYA

Sources: The Nielsen Co., Swedish Match North America

Cross-Category Opportunity

E-cigarettes are not only the fastest-growing segment of the tobacco category, but they also show a great potential for building baskets. According to research by Management Science Associates that examined point-of-sale data at three midsized c-store chains, purchases that included e-cigarettes had the highest basket ring of all of the in-store categories, or $18.13 vs. an average of $6.99. While e-cigarettes contributed the bulk of that ring, 53% of e-cigarette market baskets included items from other categories. The most popular:

1. Premium cigarettes

2. Hot dispensed beverages

3. Foodservice bakery

4. Carbonated soft drinks

5. Foodservice sandwiches

6. Alternative packaged beverages

7. RTD iced tea

8. Discount cigarettes

9. Gum

10. Newspapers

Distributor Data: E-Cigarette UPCs

Calendar year 2013

Among the brands McLane carries, the top e-cigarette UPC shipped in 2013 was the blu Classic Tobacco disposable.

1. blu Classic Tobacco disposable

2. NJOY King Traditional Bold

3. blu Magnificent Menthol disposable

4. NJOY King Menthol Bold

5. NJOY King Traditional Gold

6. NJOY King Menthol Gold

7. blu Classic Tobacco Cartridge (5-count)

8. FIN Rich Tobacco

9. FIN Cool Menthol

10. blu Magnificent Menthol Cartridge (5-count)

Source: McLane Co.

Pocket-Lighter Brands

C-store sales, 52 weeks ending Dec. 29, 2013

Nearly 89% of c-store lighter sales in 2013 came from the BIC brand, according to IRI. Total c-store dollar sales of lighters rose nearly 3%, but units barely budged.

BrandC-store sales ($ millions)PCYAUnit sales (millions)PCYA
BIC Limited Edition$76.07.4%44.43.4%
BIC Pro Series$15.0-0.4%8.1-2.5%
Flick My BIC$14.024.2%8.017.5%
The American Match$7.0-7.9%8.7-9.6%
BIC Collectors Series$6.5-14.2%3.5-17.1%
Playa del Rey
(no brand)
Private label$5.4-0.9%5.6-2.0%
Ace Products USA Inc. (no brand)$2.924.6%3.424.9%
(including brands not shown)

Source: IRI


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