Tobacco

MAPCO, 7-Eleven Convenience Stores See Oral Nicotine Growth Continue

C-store category managers for this segment see year-over-year increase
CRU
From left: Hannah Hammond, senior editor of CSP, Beth Barron, category manager of tobacco at MAPCO, and Kevin Majewski, senior category manager of cigarettes at 7-Eleven, at CSP’s Convenience Retailing University event in Nashville, Tennessee. Photograph CSP Staff

Understanding the data for the category merchandised behind the convenience-store counter is key for the largest driver of in-store sales, said Beth Barron, category manager of tobacco at MAPCO, and Kevin Majewski, senior category manager of cigarettes at 7-Eleven, at CSP’s Convenience Retailing University event in Nashville, Tennessee.

And when it comes to what segment is growing, the data points to modern oral nicotine.

  • 7-Eleven is No. 1 on CSP’s 2023 Top 202 ranking of U.S. convenience-store chains by store count. MAPCO is No. 27.

Majewski, told moderator Hannah Hammond, senior editor of CSP, that the modern oral nicotine pouches category “continues to grow year over year, month over month, day over day.”

Kevin Majewski

Photograph by W. Scott Mitchell

With the upcoming growth in this segment, Majewski said “we've got to grow it responsibly, we've got to make sure that we have the right guardrails in place for it, as well.”

Echoing the same sentiment, Barron also sees growth in modern oral and said MAPCO is bringing in new products in this segment.

Beth Barron

Photograph by W. Scott Mitchell

“We're giving more space to try new things that are a little different than what's already out there,” she said.

Turning to inflation, the panelists discussed how it is impacting cigarettes. “It’s not helping,” said Majewski. “You do see some impact to sales, and you maybe see some fewer trips.”

When it comes to regulation, Barron said the menthol ban is the one that “most worries” her in this heavily-regulated space.

According to the Biden administration’s Fall 2023 Unified Agenda, the expected publication date for final rules on banning menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars is this month.

The National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), which represents more than 150,000 c-stores in the United States, last November sent a letter to President Joe Bidencalling on the President to reconsider the FDA’s proposals to ban menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars.

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