Funny thing about the e-cigarette market: there are dozens of high quality e-cig brands that many of the 3 million vapers in the UK don’t know about. Outside of V2 Cigs, Jac Vapour and maybe Apollo, can you name other UK brands? The chances are not very high.
However, if we were to mention Blu, E-Lites and SkyCig (which is now Blu), you have surely heard of these e-cig brands. Do you know why? Because they are all owned and operated by a Big Tobacco company. And it just so happens that Big Tobacco is on the move again.
Remember when we covered Philip Morris’s IQOS device? We actually covered it three time: here, here and here. When the IQOS debuted in limited markets (Japan, Switzerland and Italy), their sales were extraordinary. Almost immediately after launching the IQOS, Philip Morris captured more than 2.2% of the Japanese tobacco sales (not “vaping sales” but tobacco sales – which is unfortunately much larger than total vaping sales). Well it seems now that Big Tobacco’s PR arm is going all in on the IQOS. The Telegraph essentially made a bold claim that the IQOS could wipe out the vaping market.
Doubtful. But, with Big Tobacco’s PR and resources, we guess anything is possible.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: it’s only a matter of time until Big Tobacco dominates. There is a myriad of reasons for this, but the primary one is resources. Big Tobacco companies have an endless amount of resources at their disposal. Their distribution is outstanding. Smaller companies simply cannot compete. Buying a vaping product online may be convenient and many people go this route, however the money really is offline. In convenience stores. In shopping centres. Big Tobacco will continue to dominate in these areas.
The one positive we can take away from this: at least once we see just how well (or poor) the IQOS sales go, we’ll be able to see what Big Tobacco’s true intentions really are for the vaping market once and for all.
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