Convenience industry site CSPNet published a monthly e-cigarette industry roundup. There was quite a bit of the same the same 5 companies kept mostly in the same top 5 spots. Most of the stuff you find at gas stations are disposables, and so on. However, there were a couple of interesting nuggets. First of all there are signs that starter kits may one day knock the disposable off its pedestal. Second, the category might be slowing down a bit thanks to a lack of innovation.
While e-cig growth remains a big story, there is a bit of caution in Herzog’s assessment.
“The growth of the e-cig category seems to actually be decelerating a little in the last few months, which is a bit surprising,” she said. “It shows that innovation needs to improve. But we have a lot of smaller manufacturers bringing new technology to the market soon, which will help.”
Judy Hong, tobacco and beverage analyst with Goldman Sachs in New York, said she’s surprised by how quickly the e-cig market appears to be consolidating at the top. “You have three players—blu, Logic and NJOY—now accounting for more than 80% of the market in terms of dollar share.”
What would be really interesting to see is what happens to the category in a heavily regulated world. Will things just sort of plateau, possibly sliding back to traditional cigarettes?