Researcher Details Potential of Vaping Flavors

Proposed FDA clampdown may stunt significant potential of e-cigarette sales at c-stores, MSA data shows
don burke
Photograph by Scott Mitchell

ORLANDO, Fla. — With the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) publicly announcing proposals to restrict the sale of flavored e-cigarettes to age-restricted areas at convenience stores and ban flavors in cigars, a speaker at CSP’s Convenience Retailing University (CRU) conference said flavors in vaping and with large cigars represent a significant and growing segment of the nicotine category.

In a session on tobacco, Don Burke, senior vice president of Management Science Associates (MSA), Pittsburgh, said flavored products saw impressive growth in both vaping and large cigars, including cigarillos, in 2018, with any potential ban from the FDA threatening incremental new business.

Based on data from manufacturer shipments to retail, Burke said flavors represented a strong 42% of all vaping products and 55% of total cigar volume in 2018. In terms of growth, flavors saw an increase of 248.7% within total vaping volume and 3.8% with large cigars, including cigarillos.

With cartridges or pods used in vaping devices, flavors saw volume growth of 308.4% in 2018, with total growth including flavors, nonflavored, menthol and mint pods at 169.2%.

Also, a panel of three retailers discussed a broad range of issues, including regulatory developments at the federal, state and local levels; the changing tobacco consumer, including increased trial of e-cigarettes and the growing dual use of more than one tobacco product at the same time; and optimal management of the store’s backbar.

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