The E-Cigarette Boom Is Over
They were among Citi’s Disruptive Innovations of 2013, a list which came out a year ago.
Since then, we’ve seen a flood of state and local regulations restricting their use by minors and banning them from certain venues. And the restrictions have likely only just begun.
Last week, Citi updated its view of the e-cig market to reflect this and other changes. Their conclusion: E-cigarettes have now reached, at best, a temporary plateau in expanding. The most immediate issue is that they have worked their way through all possible early adopters.
Over the last six months, we have seen both dollar and volume sales growth decelerate in the e-cigarette category (Nielsen-tracked, brick and mortar). Indeed, the deceleration is coming from both negative mix shifts [e.g. margins -- ed.] as well as softening volumes. The negative mix-shift seen for the category is inevitable as technology improves, formats change, competition intensifies, and prices come down.