The emergence of nicotine pouch in key global markets

The emergence of nicotine pouch in key global markets
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LEADING tobacco companies have been investing heavily in developing new tobacco and nicotine products, such as e-cigarettes, heated tobacco products, snus and nicotine pouches, to cater to the ever-evolving demands of consumers worldwide, and adapting to the diverse tobacco regulations in different markets.

E-cigarettes or vaping devices are notably the most popular reduced risk product, most especially in the United States. The segment has diversified its product range from pods to refillables and disposables.

The rising demand for alternatives that potentially reduce the risk of smoking has encouraged positive annual growth for heated tobacco products or HTPs. Asia Pacific holds the largest market share of the segment, given its marketability in countries like Japan and Korea.

Consumer acceptance of nicotine pouches has seen a significant growth in recent years. In 2022, the global market potential for this modern oral nicotine product was valued at USD 1.99 billion and is expected to keep growing in the coming years.

A nicotine pouch is a small bag that contains tobacco-derived or synthetic nicotine and food-grade ingredients. Carefully put under the lip, nicotine pouch delivers nicotine through the gums. While similar in consumption, snus contains tobacco while a nicotine pouch is tobacco-free and spit-free.

The popularity of nicotine pouch in Europe and the US

The European market has rooted affiliation with smokeless oral tobacco products with the centuries-old traditional snus. However, in the past few years, Europe has witnessed an increase in interest and consumption of tobacco-free alternatives among consumers, raising the viability of nicotine pouches in the region. Currently, the European market holds the biggest revenue share of over 50 percent for nicotine pouches worldwide.

In the US, sales of nicotine pouches ballooned to more than 808 million units in the first quarter of 2022, significantly higher than the 126 million units estimated in the second half of 2019.

Some of the popular nicotine pouch brands in Europe and the US are Velo, Lyft, Shiro, On!, and Nordic Spirit.

The future of nicotine pouch in Asia

The use of traditional smokeless tobacco products or SLTs is still common in different Asian cultures, such as khaini in India and nga nga in the Philippines, but their probable adverse health effect remains to be disconcerting.

With the drive to ban SLTs by local government bodies, heightened restrictions on combustibles, and the shift in consumer preferences in the region, there is a market opportunity for new products like nicotine pouches that have the potential to reduce the risks associated with smoking.

In Pakistan, Velo has recorded promising record sales in just two years of being in the market. Velo has also expanded its online sales in Japan since it entered the market in 2020. Meanwhile, Swedish brand Nordic Spirit has recently been introduced in the Philippines.

While the availability of nicotine pouches in Asia is still few and far between, the rapid growth of reduced risk products in the region, the familiarity of consumers with oral products, and the increasing interest in alternatives among adult smokers may usher in the emergence of nicotine pouch in more markets. (PR)


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