By: Greg Tradup | Product Director

Changes in Adult Consumer Behavior

In early 2020 adult cigarette consumption was on a decline of 4-6% over 2019. In the current COVID environment, multiple factors are changing consumer behavior. With various stay-at-home needs, consumers are making fewer trips to the store, buying cartons instead of packs, and increasing usage due to fewer social engagements that may limit cigarette smoking. Increases in discretionary funding from stimulus checks, lower gas usage, and decreased entertainment expenses allow for increased cigarette purchases. These factors have changed the predicted cigarette decline to 2–3.5% for 2020.

C-stores are the Go-To for Nicotine Users 

According to MSAI the adult nicotine consumer is heading to a c-store more than any other trade class by significant margin. Seventy two percent of all nicotine products are sold in the US through the c-store channel. C-stores offer the widest variety of nicotine usage from cigarettes, moist snuff, snus, vape, cigars, nicotine on demand pouches, roll your own, and many others. Consumers seek out c-stores to satisfy their varied tastes in nicotine consumption.

Cigars are On the Rise

Despite significant production challenges brought on by limited resource availability due to COVID-19, cigar consumption is still going strong in 2020. According to MSAI, total national consumption of cigars is up 12.9% in the first half of 2020. The strongest segment for growth within cigars continues to be natural leaf items. While production challenges are expected to continue into 2021, retailers should remain focused on maintaining a large cigar offering whenever possible. 

The Growth of Oral Tobacco Derived Nicotine (TDN)

If you haven’t been watching the growth of Oral TDN lately, it’s time to start. Introduced into the market a couple of years ago, these nicotine pouches have seen significant growth year over year.  With a variety of flavors and nicotine strengths, these products offer adult nicotine consumers many options. They are perfect for dual users as well. Where combustible nicotine consumption is restricted or frowned upon, these items offer a discrete opportunity for consumers still looking for nicotine satisfaction.