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Updated December 16th, 2023 at 10:13 IST

Vaping surges as top category in UK groceries for second year; tobacco sales fall

Sport and energy drinks also saw a substantial increase in sales, rising by £390.1 million.

Business Desk
Britain
Britain | Image:Unsplash
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Vaping products have maintained their status as the fastest-growing category in UK grocery stores for the second consecutive year in 2023, according to industry data. Meanwhile, traditional tobacco sales, including cigarettes, cigars, and loose tobacco, witnessed a notable decline. 

The UK government has proposed a ban on cigarette sales to younger generations, echoing concerns about youth vaping expressed by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. The World Health Organization (WHO) has urged governments to regulate e-cigarettes similarly to tobacco, including a potential ban on all flavours.

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Market researcher NIQ and The Grocer reported that vaping product sales in the UK reached £897.4 million ($1.15 billion) in 2023. The data highlighted Lost Mary, a brand owned by Chinese vaping company Heaven Gifts, as the fastest-growing product in the UK, with sales increasing by £310.6 million compared to the previous year.

NIQ's data revealed growth in both the value and volume of vaping product sales, while sales of cigarettes, cigars, and loose tobacco experienced declines of £849.1 million and £393.1 million, respectively, in terms of sales value.

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Sport and energy drinks also saw a substantial increase in sales, rising by £390.1 million. This growth was attributed to the popularity of Prime Hydration, a brand endorsed by YouTubers KSI and Logan Paul and distributed by Congo Brands.

Several grocery categories experienced growth in 2023 due to inflation, with value sales of milk, cheese, fresh meat, and poultry increasing significantly, although volume declines were masked. 

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Conversely, sales of bagged snacks, chocolate, and sweet biscuits declined in terms of volume.

Meat-free products also saw a notable decline, down £34.8 million in value and volume.

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NIQ highlighted a 12.8 per cent increase in own-label sales, suggesting that consumers sought value by opting for store-branded items over more expensive branded alternatives.

(With Reuters Inputs)

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Published December 16th, 2023 at 10:13 IST

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