RJ Reynolds Takes Electronic Cigarette Brand Nationwide
For the past two years, we have seen big tobacco companies gradually begin to offer ecigarettes in addition to their traditional cigarette brands. Today, RJ Reynolds announced that its Vuse electronic cigarettes will be available nationwide next week. After testing the ecig line in a limited market of four states, the tobacco giant has decided to take their vaping presence to the next level.
RJ Reynolds isn’t the first tobacco company to adopt a massive ecig campaign. Lorillard bought out Blu Ecigs in 2012 and after giving the product line and marketing plan an update, they rose to massive success. Currently, Blu represents 40 percent of the ecig industry in the United States. Altria also offers two e-cig brands in a limited market and those are expected to go national in the near future. RJ Reynolds becomes the third big tobacco player to take an aggressive approach to the vaping market.
Even with vast resources to back the expanded product line, RJ Reynolds will have to work hard to catch up with the growing world of electronic cigarettes. Bloomberg Industries reported that ecig sales have increased 72 percent in the past year and it’s not slowing down. At this point, ecigs offer a huge opportunity for tobacco companies to increase their sales and it couldn’t come at a better time because cigarette sales are declining. With profits falling and ecigs growing more popular each month, the big tobacco players might view ecigs as a threat.
Today’s most popular ecig brands are catering to more advanced vapers with tank style devices that allow consumers to use flavored e-liquids instead of disposable cartridges. So far, the tobacco companies are only offering the older ecig style that closely resembles a regular cigarette. For many experienced vapers, those “cig-a-like” products won’t be appealing. However, there is plenty of opportunity for the tobacco giants to advance, according to Kenneth Shea, a senior analyst from Bloomberg. “There’s virtually no barriers to entry in this business. That’s the exact opposite of traditional tobacco,” he said.
As RJ Reynolds rolls out Vuse ecigs across the country, they are marketing their design as the most consistent. Reynolds spokesman Richard Smith said competitors rely on ecig designs that are manufactured in China and they do not offer the same consistency in performance as Vuse.
Stephanie Cordisco, president of the RJR Vapor Company, said that she felt optimistic about the future of Vuse. “We are proud to expand our distribution of Vuse and offer adult smokers across the nation the most technologically advanced and best-performing digital vapor cigarette on the market,” she said. “Vuse is a game changer in the e-cigarette category, providing an innovative product that meets the expectations of adult tobacco consumers.”
You can expect to see Vuse ecigs in a retail location near you soon. If you live in Utah or Colorado, you might have already spotted them in local convenience stores. If you have tried Vuse, we would love to hear from you! How does it compare to other brands? Does it have what it takes to dominate the market?