BAT Hrvatska doo launched its tobacco free oral nicotine (nicotine pouches) brand, Velo, in 2020. Although 2020 was not a particularly good year to introduce a new tobacco product due to consumers staying home much of the year thanks the COVID-19 pandemic, this product was available widely through e-commerce platforms.
Nicotine pouches are the only product within tobacco free oral nicotine and is largely available at kiosks throughout the country. The Velo brand is available in several flavours and to attract customers Velo offered the product under the buy one get two marketing strategy.
Because nicotine pouches were only introduced during 2020, acceptance of this product will be hard to predict. Nonetheless, due to the product being a novelty, tobacco free oral nicotine is likely to see rapid retail value sales growth in the short term.
As the tobacco free oral nicotine category is not seen as tobacco products, this category will be exempt from excise tax and as such see an influx of consumers switching mostly from cigarettes and smoking tobacco. The category’s largest advantage is most likely that it will not be perceived to be as harmful as smoking products and will therefore be appealing to consumers that wish to quit smoking but cannot stop the nicotine addiction.
The tobacco free oral nicotine category is a novelty and as such is expected to have several years of robust constant retail value sales and volume growth. E-vapour and heated tobacco products had a similar experience when launched.
Nonetheless, it is unlikely that the tobacco free oral nicotine category has strong potential for growth in the long term or pose a threat to other tobacco categories. Croatian smokers are not just addicted to nicotine but also to smoking itself.
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This report originates from Passport, our Tobacco Free Oral Nicotine research and analysis database.
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