6 Hot Tobacco Topics for NACS Show 2018

By 
Angel Abcede, Senior Editor/Tobacco, CSP

nacs tobacco

LAS VEGAS -- With the biggest convenience-store convention set to overtake Sin City in October, tobacco category managers may find themselves focused on a short list of topics, including technology within emerging products and new subcategories such as cannabinoids, or CBDs.

Here are six of the most popular topics people will be discussing during the NACS Show, set for Oct. 7-10 in Las Vegas …

Photograph by Angel Abcede

Juul

nacs juul

In CSP’s most recent Outlook Survey (results of which will be published in the November issue of CSP magazine), retailers named the Juul electronic cigarette a standout product for 2018. Officials with San Francisco-based Juul Labs recently said they were going to make it a “smarter” device, with improvements to include owner-recognition capabilities.

Photograph by Angel Abcede

FDA moves on e-cigarettes

fda logo

In a sweeping move to admonish manufacturers and retailers for alleged e-cigarette sales to minors, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued 1,300 warning letters and fines after a summerlong undercover operation. The agency also made formal inquiries to certain manufacturers, saying that it may decide to implement more stringent rules against e-cigarettes and, more specifically, flavors that may appeal to young people. 

Pressure on the middle

cigarettes

With regard to the core tobacco category of cigarettes, observers were noting that consumers’ economic concerns may be putting pressure on the segment of cigarettes priced in the middle tier.

Photograph: Shutterstock

Amazon Go a no-go on tobacco

amazon go chicago

With the opening of its new, no-cashier convenience concept in Chicago, Amazon is expanding its technologies and retail ideas beyond its Seattle headquarters. Fortunately for tobacco retailers in the Windy City, at least, that Amazon Go store, which opened in September, did not sell tobacco products.

Photograph by Angel Abcede

Cannabinoids

nacs cbd

Marijuana still has to become legal in many states, but health-focused, medicinal products without the psychoactive properties made from cannabis or hemp plants—more widely known as cannabinoids, or CBDs—have been starting to creep into c-stores, according to retailers attending this summer’s CSP Behind the Counter tobacco forum. While CBDs have yet to filter onto the NACS trade-show floor in any meaningful way, category managers will probably be talking about these emerging products.

Photograph by Angel Abcede

The future of tobacco

nacs tobacco

Everything from heat-not-burn products to 3D printers, technological changes both directly within the category and peripherally among commercial and consumer products will substantively change the retail sale of tobacco, said industry officials.

Photograph by Angel Abcede