How C-Stores Can Increase Money Spent at the Register by Selling Nicotine Gum

Offering this smoking cessation product can be a boon for profit—as long as customers know it’s there.
Photograph: Shutterstock

Stopping in to a convenience store to grab a pack of cigarettes is a routine that many a smoker can relate to. There’s a store on every corner, and their favorite brand is right there. But for the more than 22 million smokers who attempt to quit smoking every year, according to the FDA, the c-store doesn’t have to represent a place that must be avoided. In fact, it can just as easily remain part of their routine, provided retailers stock smoking cessation products like nicotine gum and make them easily visible to shoppers.

According to Nielsen retail data, smoking cessation is a $1B+ retail sales category, but the c-store channel currently only sells about $20MM of nicotine gum each year. Research by Brandware shows that 80% of shoppers say they would buy nicotine gum at their local convenience store. There is clearly a big opportunity for the convenience channel to earn a greater share of the smoking cessation category.

Consumer research also showed that nicotine gum is used by 60% of consumers who smoke as a way to supplement their smoking behavior (i.e. if they are trying to quit), so nicotine gum offers an opportunity for convenience stores to pick up incremental sales at the tobacco counter.

To increase sales of nicotine gum, c-store retailers need to stock nicotine gum by tobacco products and adequately promote that it’s there. Nicotac® brand nicotine gum was recently launched in c-stores and offers 2mg and 4mg nicotine strengths in three flavors—fruit, mint and cinnamon. In addition, Nicotac® delivers a higher profit margin percentage than cigarettes, which makes it a profitable decision for operators.  In fact, many c-stores are earning up to $750 annual incremental profit per store with Nicotac. With higher profit margins than cigarettes and millions of people every year attempting to quit, adding a brand like Nicotac on the shelves means retailers are set up for profitable success.

Promoting nicotine gum in-store

Proper advertising and promotion of nicotine gum is key. Without knowing it is there, customers can’t take advantage of purchasing. Retailers should set up signage on store doors as well as at the point of sale and even on gas pumps, if applicable. Promoting Lil’ Drug’s Nicotac® brand nicotine gum at an attractive $4.99 retail price should help encourage smokers to give nicotine gum a try.

As consumers increasingly buy into healthier lifestyle habits, their purchasing decisions follow. Make sure to update offerings—including stocking Nicotac® nicotine gum—to ensure continued competitiveness in the market. When regulars give up their habit, they won’t have to give up their daily or weekly stop at the c-store.


This post is sponsored by Associated Distributors


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