August 2018

JUUL - A THREAT TO THE UK MARKET?

Known for its slick and discrete design and easy to use device, JUUL has grown rapidly in the US. Currently dominating the market with 72% share, according to Nielsen, JUUL has even eclipsed Marlboro cigarette’s share of the market - recorded at the peak of its measured growth.

Controversies surrounding JUUL:

Despite the success, JUUL has been met with controversy, specifically over the device’s appeal to teenagers. The liquid contained in JUUL pods in the US contains 40mg nicotine and the formulation contains nicotine salts and many are concerned the high levels of nicotine could lead to teens becoming addicted quickly, potentially leading them to adopt tobacco smoking. Indeed, the FDA are launching a campaign aimed at discouraging teens from using e-cigarettes, and are investigating the marketing strategies of several vaping products including JUUL.

Concerns have been raised that vaping companies such as JUUL have been intentionally marketing to young people

JUUL enters the UK market:

JUUL has recently launched in the UK, where the market for nicotine salt formulations has experienced growth.  However it has had to undergo changes to its formulation to meet UK/ EU regulations. It has also had to adapt to advertising restrictions that are more stringent than those in the US. But there is a view that the media coverage - especially over social media - is enough for JUUL to gain traction quickly in the UK market.

Impact specialises in emerging technology, and has already observed through its social listening platform how JUUL dominates online buzz, in the main driven by media coverage discussing how JUUL appeals to teenagers:

JUUL considerably outstrips its competitors in the online social spheres

[with data from social listening conducted throughout August 2018]

Awareness of JUUL in the UK:

Impact conducted an online survey with 100 e-cigarette users and 100 smokers in the UK* to understand awareness, consideration and usage levels of JUUL compared to its nearest competitors.  Our analysis shows there is actually a low level of awareness vs. the competition, but despite this JUUL is converting those in the category quickly into regular users.  

JUUL has an impressive awareness to user conversion funnel

The trial to usage rate is one of JUUL’s key strengths, outperforming many of the other key devices on the market. To counter this threat, tobacco companies in the UK should take advantage of their higher levels of awareness and increase contact with consumers at main touchpoints during the shopper journey, in order to encourage conversion from interest into usage.

Awareness of JUUL in the UK:

Despite low awareness of JUUL in the UK especially amongst Smokers (2%), with so much media coverage, awareness of it is likely to increase very quickly.  More e-cigarette users, dualists and smokers will be encouraged to trial leading to an increase in regular usage. Ultimately JUUL could become a dominant player in the UK e-cigarette market.

Impact is committed to staying at the forefront of developments in the e-cigarette sector.  We have a wealth of experience working with the category and through independent commissions.  To find out more contact Tom Gould, Head of Consumer on tom.gould@impactmr.com or call +44 (0)1932 226 793.

*Source: JUUL online survey 2018, UK, 200 consumers (100 e-cig users, 100 smokers), August 2018

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