E-Cigs Getting Serious Street Cred

Just read a nice update on a website called “Convenience Store News.”  It brands itself as the industry’s #1 publication.

Here is some text from their “about us” page.

Convenience Store News’ mission is to deliver the insight, analysis, market research and business intelligence that helps c-store retailers stay ahead of what’s next – critical information to grow sales and profits.

Today, the feature story I read was about e-cigarettes.  Naturally, I felt compelled to read it and see what they say about the product that has changed my life.

The story talked about how e-cigarettes are here to stay, and it cites numerous credible sources.  For starters, it leads by stating that “Wells Fargo Securities Tobacco Talk survey found that retailers and wholesalers think e-cigs are here to stay.”  Boom.  That’s all I needed to read to know this was going to be an article I liked to read.  And re-read.

As we know, and as I previously reported, BluCigs sold their brand to giant Lorillard for a whopping 135 million.  That’s not a gamble, that’s a predetermined investment from a company with some serious skin in the tobacco game.  Owners of Newport and many other brands of tobacco cigarettes, they obviously did their homework before stroking a check to Blu Cigs of that nature.  The article talked of speculation that Reynolds American Inc will also make a move.

Boo-ya.

If you think e-cigarettes are a passing fad, well, the convenience store news respectfully disagrees.  The Blu Cigs move was all they needed to see to get them to a level of credibility where people are viewing them as a long term product on the shelves of retailers.  I’ve been saying this since 2009, but it’s nice for a credible industry publication like this one to feel the same way.  Lorillard CEO Murray Kessler put a number on the electronic cigarette industry.  It’s whopping.

You ready for his number?  300 million.

He also says that within years he feels the industry will do about one billion dollars.  Certainly, with all the investment going into R & D, marketing, etc, the brands already in the game will certainly have great success going forward.

Here’s a quote from the story that really hit home with me and shed some light on where things will be going:

“We think e-cigs are to tobacco what energy drinks are to beverages. In other words, similar to energy drinks, e-cigs are profitable, growing quickly, gaining shelf space and consumer acceptance; therefore e-cigarettes are an important new niche category for retailers,” Herzog explained.

This is really good news, you guys.