Nicotine Volumes Pressured in September

Goldman Sachs analyzes latest NielsenIQ tobacco data
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NEW YORK — Total nicotine volumes were pressured going into September, according to Goldman Sachs.

Nicotine volumes were down 8.9% for the two weeks ending on Sept. 11, said New York-based Goldman Sachs Managing Director Bonnie Herzog in an analysis of the most recent data from NielsenIQ, Chicago. Nicotine usage occasions are easing off earlier work-from-home patterns, she said.

Here’s a glimpse at how tobacco segments fared over the two-week period:

  • Cigarettes: Total volume for cigarettes as down 10.8% and pricing remained robust—up 8.1%. While cigarette volumes are pressured, this is partially offset by robust cigarette pricing, Herzog said. Altria, Richmond, Va., and British American Tobacco (BAT), New York, recently increased prices.
  • E-cigarettes: This segment was up 1.6% in dollar sales, Herzog said, and saw 6% growth in volume; however, category volume trends by manufacturer were mixed, with market leader Juul’s volume decelerating to 10.4% for the two weeks ending on Sept. 11, she noted.
  • Smokeless: Smokeless category volume growth is pressured, but modern oral nicotine (MON) remains strong, Herzog said. All channel smokeless dollar sales growth was down 0.4% for the two-week period, but on a two-year stack basis, total volumes were up 2.2%. MON brands Zyn, from Richmond, Va.-based Swedish Match; On, from Richmond Va.-based Altria; and Velo, from Winston-Salem, N.C.-based R.J. Reynolds Vapor Co. all showed at least double- to triple-digit volume growth.

What tobacco products can remain on the market is changing as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continues to issue marketing denial orders (MDOs) for products submitted through the premarket tobacco product application (PMTA) process that it is not authorizing. Products subject to an MDO for a premarket application may not be introduced or delivered for introduction into interstate commerce. If it’s already on the market, it must be removed or the manufacturers risk enforcement, the FDA said.

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