SOI Category Focus: OTP Sales Grow 6.6% in 2013

Buoyed by e-cigs, category gains in prominence

Steve Holtz, Editor in Chief, CSP Daily News

other tobacco product subcategories
Source: NACS State of the Industry Survey, CSX LLC & Nielsen

ROSEMONT, Ill. -- Other tobacco products (OTP) have long been a staple of convenience stores, but with continually rising cigarette taxes and the well-documented drop in cigarette smoking (down from 21% of the U.S. population in 2005 to 18% in 2012, according to the CDC), OTP has become a key category for the industry.

In 2013, buoyed by electronic cigarettes, OTP sales grew 6.6% in convenience stores, according to preliminary NACS State of the Industry (SOI) survey figures, accounting for $6,479 in sales per store, per month on average. Of that, smokeless tobacco remains the largest subcategory, although its average monthly sales dipped from $4,016 per c-store in 2012 to $3,889 in 2013, according to the NACS data.

Cigars saw some sales growth, while rolling-paper and RYO sales dipped, according to NACS.

The big story in OTP, of course was e-cigarettes, which in 2013 accounted for $457 in sales per store, per month, placing the subcategory in third place for the subcategory. NACS SOI data did not include e-cigarette statistics last year. However, syndicated c-store data from Nielsen show e-cigs account for 7.1% share of OTP sales, up a remarkable 128.7% over 2012's 2.6%.

Steve Holtz, CSP/Winsight By Steve Holtz, Editor in Chief, CSP Daily News
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