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Convenience stores have always been some of the most important retailers of tobacco products. Smokers love having the ability to grab packs of cigarettes while they’re also stocking up on beer or soda or filling up their gas tanks. Buying tobacco products from a convenience store is also much quicker than standing in line at a supermarket’s customer service counter. With those factors in mind, tobacco products are often extremely important sources of revenue for convenience stores.
If you’re a convenience store owner, though, you’ve probably noticed that your earnings from tobacco products haven’t been quite as strong in recent years as they once were. It’s even possible, in fact, that sales of tobacco products have dropped enough to cause real concern for your overall profitability.
It’s time for your convenience store to evolve. To do that, you need to adopt a more holistic view of nicotine products and nicotine alternatives. Smoking simply isn’t as common as it used to be. Although there are still plenty of nicotine users in the world, tens of millions of people are now using nicotine in different ways and probably won’t be buying cigarettes from you again in the future.
Let’s discuss what you need to do to ensure that your convenience store remains profitable and continues to grow in 2022. These are the nicotine products and nicotine alternatives that you need to stock.
Without a doubt, disposable vapes such as wholesale Draco Vapes are the most important nicotine products that you can stock in your convenience store in 2022. More often than not, tobacco users who switch to vaping are making disposable vapes their products of choice. They’re doing that for two key reasons.
- Disposable vapes are available in much higher capacities than ever, and that’s helped to make them significantly less expensive per unit. A single disposable vape can now last as long as several packs of cigarettes. Enjoying the convenience of a disposable vape used to be expensive. These days, it isn’t expensive at all.
- Disposable vapes have taken over the segment of the market that was once ruled by pre-filled pod systems such as JUUL and Vuse. That’s because pre-filled pod systems are subject to a flavor ban that was implemented in the United States in 2020. Following the flavor ban, pods for those devices are only available in tobacco and menthol flavors. Disposable vapes, meanwhile, use e-liquid made with synthetic nicotine – which isn’t regulated by the FDA and isn’t subject to flavor bans at this time. Until and unless that happens, people who enjoy flavors – which is pretty much everyone – have largely switched to disposable vapes.
With those two factors in mind, it should be pretty clear that disposables are definitely the vaping products you want to stock in your convenience store. If you do that, you should also bear in mind that many of today’s disposable e-cigarettes are using rechargeable batteries for improved longevity. To keep costs low, those devices generally don’t include charging cables. It’s possible that you’re already stocking USB cables in your convenience store – but if you aren’t, you’ll want to add them.
Among those who don’t vape and are either no longer smoking or are trying to quit, nicotine pouches are probably the most popular nicotine products for convenience stores in 2022. That’s partially due to the flavor restrictions that have helped to make disposable vapes so popular; because nicotine pouches are generally made from synthetic nicotine, they aren’t currently regulated by the federal government and are therefore available in a wide variety of different flavors except in states and localities that have instituted their own regulations for synthetic nicotine.
One of the biggest problems with traditional nicotine replacement products such as gums and lozenges is the fact that they taste horrible. With flavors like mint, whiskey, cola and mango, that’s definitely not an issue for nicotine pouches – and consumers have responded in a big way. To use a nicotine pouch, you simply take the pouch and park it under your lip. It’ll deliver nicotine to your bloodstream slowly over the course of about 30-60 minutes. Nicotine pouches are completely discreet because they require no spitting – and unlike other pouch-based products like snus, they also contain no tobacco.
As popular as disposable vapes have been within the vaping community over the past few years, traditional vaping devices – and the bottled e-liquid that those devices require – definitely aren’t going away. Some convenience store owners have taken advantage of that trend by essentially turning small portions of their stores into miniature vape shops. You might consider going that route if you happen to be a former smoker who has quit with the help of e-cigarettes.
Even if you don’t want to devote that amount of shelf space to vaping products, though, it still might be wise to consider carrying a selection of bottled e-liquid in your convenience store – especially if you can find a range of products that you can sell at affordable prices. Brick-and-mortar vape shops are notorious for charging high prices. If you can sell bottled e-liquid more affordably than other local sellers, you’ll be able to capture some of that business. If people can buy e-liquid cheaply from you while stocking up on other items, they’ll skip the vape shops and buy from you instead.
The last thing to consider as you plan which nicotine products to add to your convenience store in 2022 is that there are many smokers and former smokers in your community who are looking to quit nicotine entirely. Maybe they’re doing it for health reasons, or maybe they’re simply tired of the government actions that have resulted in the removal of many nicotine products from the market. For those people, you should consider stocking alternative nicotine-free products such as mint pouches or coffee pouches. These products create a tingle in the mouth that feels similar to the sensation of using a nicotine product. However, they contain no tobacco and no nicotine.
Adopting a holistic view on choosing which nicotine products to stock in your convenience store requires you to look beyond traditional tobacco products and understand that many of today’s nicotine users no longer have any interest whatsoever in buying anything made by a tobacco company. In other words, it may be necessary for you to adjust your supply chain slightly and seek out new distributors that carry the types of nicotine products today’s consumers want. The reward for that effort, however, can potentially be a new level of profitability that your convenience store hasn’t experienced in years.