If you’re not already selling e-cigarettes, you really should be. That’s because a hot-off-the-press report from Mintel says the market has achieved a stunning 340% growth over the past year, from an estimated £44m in 2012 to an estimated £193m last year. Wow is all I can say and get them on your shelves while you still can!
That’s because controversy surrounds the sector about how good e-cigs are for your health; whether they actually work in getting smokers of real cigs to give up; and whether they encourage young people to try ’vaping’ (that’s what they’re calling the use of e-cigs it’s all to do with the vapour) ’cos it’s cool.
So concerned is the government about e-cigs that their sale to under-18s will be made illegal.
Proposed changes in legislation mean that from 2016, e-cigs are expected to be classified as medicines which means brands will have to provide more information to support their claims if they want to remain in the market.
Mintel says: "A brand that can become the spearhead for this can distinguish itself in the market and win consumer confidence, as well as becoming the leading brand to be prescribed or recommended by the NHS."
So, as you might not have long, it’s time to make hay, as they say.
Your tobacco displays will be going dark next year and then it’s possible that you may be banned from selling e-cigs the year after that! But yet still more controversy surrounds e-cigs this time it’s about their actual use.
You see they’ve been cleverly marketed as being legal to smoke anywhere.
But someone who runs a coach company told me they’d become a bit of a nightmare as people often quite young people had started using them on board their coaches. When challenged, the ’vaper’ said it was not a real cigarette so it was okay.
However, the coach company operator said he’d had to ban them from all his coaches because when the driver looks in his rear-view mirror, he can’t tell whether someone’s smoking a real ciggie or ’vaping’. Obviously a driver can do without the distraction.
Wherever consumers decide to ’vape’, there’s no getting away from the fact that for retailers e-cigs are a sales winner with a healthy profit margin too.