See How Your Old Tobacco Brands Are Finally Waking Up To E-Cigarettes
If you think big tobacco companies are coming to an end, you might want to reconsider. After watching e-cigarettes soar to unexpected levels of success, all of the big tobacco players are cashing in on the action and getting involved in the e-cig industry. Let’s take a look at how your favorite old tobacco brands are approaching new possibilities with e-cigarettes.
Lorillard started in 1760 and it is still the third largest manufacturer of tobacco cigarettes in the United States. This company is best known for brands new Newport, Kent, True, Maverick, and Old Gold. In April 2012, Lorillard decided to enter the e-cig industry and bought out Blu Ecigs. Since then, sales have skyrocketed for this big tobacco company.
According to Bloomberg Businessweek, Lorillard made $63 million in e-cigs sales during the most recent quarter, bringing overall sales to $1.8 billion. That’s a ten percent increase from last year. Right now, almost 4 percent of the Lorillard’s revenue is coming fro e-cigarettes and they claim to own half of the U.S. e-cig market.
If you are a fan of Camel or Pall Mall cigarettes, RJ Reynolds is the company behind your favorite smokes. This year, they released their own e-cigarette brand called Vuse with a limited launch platform in Colorado. Despite their gradual introduction of the new e-cig, sales are promising. During the third quarter of 2013, RJ Reynolds reported $457 million in sale, a nine percent increase from last year.
CEO Daniel M. Delen said that Vuse is already exceeding the company’s expectations. “Vuse is getting a great reception from consumers and retailers, and the brand has already taken the market-leading position in the state. Since Vuse went into Colorado in July, we have seen a significant expansion of the e-cigarette category,” he said.
Altria is the parent company of Philip Morris, popular for Marlboro cigarettes and Copenhagen chewing tobacco. They have also recently ventured into the world of e-cigs, releasing their MarkTen e-cig to a test market in Indiana and Arizona. While it is still too early to know how their e-cig will perform on a national scale, CEO Marty Barrington said the launch was successful. “We are really pleased with what we have learned in Indiana,” he said.
British American Tobacco (BAT)
British American Tobacco is the largest cigarette company in Europe with popular brands like Kool, Lucky Strike, Misty, and Capri. They have also entered the e-cig market, launching a disposable e-cig called Vype in the summer of 2013. Since then, Vype has become a popular brand among vapers in the United Kingdom.
Ultimately, the e-cigarette market is booming and big tobacco brands cannot pass up the opportunity to get involved. With more and more smokers making the switch to vaping, the only way to maintain profits is to follow the lead of smokers and offer them the products they crave: e-cigarettes. Next year will likely hold even greater expansion of e-cig offerings from big tobacco players.
Do you support big tobacco getting involved in e-cigarettes or will it cause a negative stigma for vaping?