With changes in regulatory policies, the flavor pattern of the global e-cigarette market is changing. European and American teenagers prefer fruity flavors, while Eastern Europeans prefer sweet flavors. Among them, the use of e-cigarettes among British teenagers, especially women, has increased, while tobacco consumption has declined.
In recent years, a variety of innovative flavors have emerged in the international e-cigarette market, including chocolate popcorn, cinnamon sundae, pineapple coconut, vanilla rum, daffodil ice cream, curry chicken, bubble milk tea, and even salted licorice. However, many of these specialty flavored e-cigarette products only have a temporary presence on the market, like a flash in the pan. At the same time, various new regulations and bans have made the e-cigarette market complex and diverse.
Fruity e-cigarettes dominate market
Although there are many novel flavors of e-cigarettes, fruit-flavored e-cigarettes are still the mainstream in the market. The British NGPTrends website is a professional website that specializes in reporting on new tobacco products such as e-cigarettes. Alan Byrne Carter, general manager of the company, pointed out that fruit-flavored e-cigarettes have always been popular. In recent years, fruit-flavored e-cigarettes have continued to evolve, moving away from traditional cherry or grape flavors to more unique mixed fruit flavors. Mint-flavored e-cigarettes have undergone a similar evolution, now more often combined with fruity flavors such as Green Ice Mint and Strawberry Mint.
In Europe, especially in Western European markets, demand for traditional tobacco-flavored e-cigarettes seems to have declined. This may be partly because most e-cigarette consumers have quit smoking and no longer pursue tobacco flavor. However, the e-cigarette market has not completely eliminated tobacco flavors. For example, the British e-cigarette brand PodSalt recently launched the Origins series of products including 6 tobacco flavors.
Regional consumer demands and regulations
The development of e-cigarette flavors is affected by consumer preferences in various regions. Different regions also have their own regulatory regulations, stipulating which flavors are allowed to be sold and which are not.
Some European countries have already implemented bans on certain flavored e-cigarettes, particularly those containing sugar or sweeteners. These bans may be extended to the entire EU, thus affecting e-cigarette market trends and potentially re-boosting the rise of tobacco-flavored e-cigarettes in the Western European market.
The United States has experienced a similar situation, with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration requiring e-cigarette companies to focus on the development of tobacco flavors. Carter pointed out that he hopes to see more tobacco-flavored e-cigarettes in the U.S. market.
Regulatory differences in different regions make some markets, such as Canada, a place for testing and promoting new flavors of e-cigarettes, which is not possible in the United States.
Flavor and fragrance companies launch new flavors
Understanding e-cigarette flavor trends can help you observe the latest trends in flavor and fragrance companies.
Germany’s Hertz Flavors and Fragrances Company has a long history in the tobacco industry. Now it not only supplies flavors and fragrances for traditional cigarettes, but has also begun to produce its own e-liquid products. At the 2022 InterTabac show, the company launched a variety of new flavors of e-liquid, including flavors such as rock sugar, white coffee, lemon cheesecake, coconut caramel, and banana cookie. Customers have shown strong interest in these new flavored products.
While fruity e-cigarettes currently dominate, more and more consumers are interested in more complex and exotic e-cigarette flavors. As disposable e-cigarettes are expected to lose momentum, devices that can inject e-liquid will rise, bringing more complex flavored products. The market in each region is different, and only by being familiar with local tastes can we create fragrances that attract consumers.
Differences in regulations between countries have led some countries such as Denmark and the Netherlands to ban flavored e-cigarettes other than tobacco flavors, while the European Union is considering implementing a similar ban across the board.
Eastern European consumers prefer sweet taste
In the Eastern European market, the trend of e-cigarette flavors is also different. Eastern European company Bimar Project said the most popular flavors include bubble gum, blueberry, cola, grape, iced banana and other sweet flavors. Sweetness is increasingly important in Eastern European markets, and traditional mint flavors have lost market share.
It is expected that in the future, e-cigarette products with exotic and multiple compound flavors will emerge in the Eastern European market. In addition, Eastern European consumers are increasingly interested in confectionery flavors.
Although traditional tobacco-flavored e-cigarettes are popular in the U.S. market, they are increasingly unpopular in Eastern European markets. This may be because young people are the main consumers of e-cigarettes, and they prefer to try novel flavors rather than the flavors of traditional cigarettes. In Russia and Belarus, e-cigarette products currently do not need to pay excise taxes, but this may change, and e-cigarette sales in Eastern Europe are expected to grow further.
The rapid development of the UK e-cigarette market is also eye-catching, especially the significant increase in use among young women, while the consumption of traditional cigarettes has declined.
VPZ plans to open 15 new stores in the UK, increasing the total number of stores to 160, and launch e-cigarette recycling services to eliminate the negative impact of disposable e-cigarettes on the environment.
To ensure e-cigarettes are not sold to minors, British retailers have introduced facial recognition technology to verify the age of buyers, despite the potential for controversy.
Unlike the UK, Bilka supermarket in Denmark has stopped using facial recognition age verification equipment because this may cause consumers to buy e-cigarettes in small stores that do not have such equipment. As a result, the British Retail Consortium is calling for laws to empower stores to verify shoppers’ age at point of sale.