We already know that nicotine pouches aren’t some passing fad. Just walk into most convenience stores and you’ll see multiple brands advertised for sale. While it certainly seems that the market is growing, what does the data say? Several sources support the prediction that the nicotine pouch market is going up, including trade reports and studies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Here’s what the experts are saying about this smokeless, tobacco-free product and its future both here in the States and around the globe.
The sales number are rising
In 2020, the worldwide nicotine pouch market for all brands and flavors was valued at $2328 million, and experts project that it will reach $22,160 million by the end of 2027. This represents an overall growth of 31% during that timespan.
Other numbers reported by the CDC show that from March 2016 to June 2020, sales of nicotine pouches in the US alone rose from $709,635 in 2016 to $216.89 million. This resulted in almost 46 million units sold in the first six months of 2020. That’s compared to just 163,178 in 2016.
This was also a 300 times growth number over the five-year period, something quite astounding for a product that was new to the US in 2016.
Which brands make up this market?
There are many brands making nicotine pouches, and not all of them sell to the US. They include the following manufacturers and products, along with where they are sold and their growth numbers from 2020 to 2021:
- Swisher International Group Inc (Rogue) in US: 47%
- Imperial Brands Plc (Skruf) in Sweden: 23%
- Altria Group Inc (On!) in US and Switzerland: 141%
- Japan Tobacco Inc (Nordic Spirit) in Sweden, UK, and the Netherlands: 80%
- Swedish Match (ZYN) in the US, Sweden, Denmark, and the Netherlands: 87%
- British American Tobacco Plc (Velo) in the US, Sweden, Austria, Germany, UK, and Switzerland: 328%
These are just a handful of the players, but the top five companies across the globe sell around 77% of the total products. You can also see by the growth numbers from 2020 to 2021 that when a company sells its product in more countries, it will see improved sales numbers.
However, Skruf was only sold in Sweden during those two years, and it still saw a 23% growth. For a market that has many options to choose from, it’s interesting to see that this single brand can still hold part of the market.
Will the companies in just a few countries make efforts to grow their influence? Only time will tell, but that may be their strategy moving forward.
What is the largest nicotine pouch market?
As of July 2022, Europe sells more nicotine pouches than any other continent, which isn’t surprising given the European origins of the nicotine pouch. Pouches are similar in construction to the Swedish snus, which are also pouches.
However, snus have tobacco inside, rather than the tobacco-free filling contained in the nicotine pouches. Because of the popularity of snus, it just makes sense that nicotine pouches would be well-received there and that the culture would readily accept these tobacco-free alternatives to a smoke-free nicotine experience.
North America and the Asia Pacific are next in line for top shareholders of the nicotine pouch market. The regions are tied for second place with around 30% of the global market.
What nicotine pouches are most popular worldwide?
If you guessed that mint was the top flavor across the globe, you would be right! Mint is the largest segment and makes up 32% of sales worldwide.
In the CDC study, mint is most popular in the US, too. However, from January 2019 to June 2020, fruit-flavored pouches saw higher growth than mint and other non-mint flavors.
How are nicotine pouches sold?
While we use the internet to do much of our shopping, including buying groceries, clothing, and even cars, nicotine pouches are most often sold offline in physical retailers, shops, and convenience stores. In fact, a whopping 87.67% of sales took place offline.
As for online sales, it will be very interesting to see how this space grows over the next few years, even with challenges. Because it can be complicated to ship nicotine pouches to various states and regions, not all retailers sell pouches online. Even within the United States, rules vary from state to state and limit what states can receive online orders, as well as if flavored nicotine pouches can be sold in that state.
Where does Prilla ship to?
As a top online seller of nicotine pouches, Prilla offers sales and shipment of the top brands of nicotine pouches to the following states:
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
Prilla follows the rules and regulations for flavored products for each state, and new states are added all the time.
Will we see continued growth?
Nicotine pouches make up 0.3% of the world tobacco market. Yes, even though they don’t contain tobacco, they are often made by tobacco companies and are considered part of that market. Of the top 15 tobacco companies worldwide, seven offer nicotine pouches, meaning they receive a share of this market even as tobacco use has declined in some areas of the world.
Unless something changes across the globe to stop the sales of nicotine pouches, it’s likely that the market will continue to explode. Some countries have banned nicotine pouches, and they had no numbers to contribute to the study. If other countries were to follow, this could certainly slow growth somewhat.
Currently, 24 out of 36 countries tracked by the Tobacco Transformation Index permit the sales of nicotine pouches, and seven of those had more than 10 million units in sales. These countries include the US, Sweden, UK, Ukraine, Germany, Poland, and Switzerland.
Given that nicotine pouch use in major countries is expected to rise from 0.03% of the population to .96% of the population by the end of 2022, it makes sense to assume that there’s little to stop the nicotine pouch from becoming more widely accepted as time goes on. With new laws banning flavored cigarettes and regulations making it harder to buy and use flavored vapes, nicotine pouches may be the natural alternative for those who enjoy nicotine and want their flavors, too.
A market research report states the nicotine pouch market will go from 2,182 million in 2021 to around 14,875 million in 2027, which equates to a 37.7% growth over the next six years.
The bottom line on nicotine pouch growth
With a 300 times U.S. growth (as recorded by the CDC) over the past five years and a growing awareness of nicotine pouches as a tobacco-free way to enjoy nicotine, the future looks good for nicotine pouch sales. Without any significant changes to the legality or availability of nicotine pouches, it’s very likely that we will see continued market growth over the next five years, as projected by leading trade reports on the subject.