Nicotine Volumes Take a Dip

Modern oral nicotine remains strong
Photograph: Shutterstock

NEW YORK —Total nicotine volumes in the United States were down 7.7% year-over-year for the two weeks ending on May 22, according to a report from Goldman Sachs.

Bonnie Herzog, managing director of the New York-based company, said the decrease came as the category laps COVID-19-related volatility. Nicotine volumes were up 1.3% year-over-year for the same two-week period in May 2019.

Even looking at a two-year stacked basis, though, total nicotine volume was down 5.8%, Herzog said. Looking at the sum of the last two years of growth rates helps smooths out volatility, which is important over the next year as there were unusual peaks and troughs in the data caused by COVID, according to Goldman Sachs.

While all channel cigarette and electronic cigarette dollar sales growth was negative, oral nicotine remained strong, Herzog said.

Smokeless dollar sales growth was up 1.8% for the two weeks ending on May 22.

On a two-year stacked basis, Zyn volumes were up more than 240% for the two-week period and Velo volumes were up more than 2,079% for the same time period. Zyn is a modern oral nicotine brand of Richmond, Va.-based Swedish Match, and Velo is a brand of Winston-Salem, N.C.-based R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.

“We believe oral nicotine is taking most of its share from traditional smokeless tobacco but is also benefiting from increased poly-usage across nicotine categories,” meaning people are using oral nicotine products along with other tobacco products, Herzog said.

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