Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, e-cigarette and vape vendors have adopted several COVID-19 based marketing strategies to increase product sales. The growing emphasis on adopting safer alternatives to smoking is anticipated to drive the adoption of e-cigarettes and vape devices over the forecast period. As the supplies of e-cigarette and vape devices became scarce in physical stores, the vendors started offering their products through online platforms and offered hand sanitizers and face masks as gifts to purchase vaping products.
The e-cigarette and vape market has evolved considerably since 2017, and the devices have become more efficient in battery life and the number of flavors available in the market. Additionally, various flavors such as menthol, tobacco, fruits and nuts, and chocolate are available in the market, attracting many customers. These flavors emit aromas when used in an e-cigarette or a vape device. Additionally, the increasing cost-effectiveness of these devices has further enhanced customer adoption and is expected to drive market growth over the forecast period.
The e-cigarette industry has witnessed a high rise in atomizers and e-liquids owing to high demand in regions such as North America and Europe. Countries such as the U.K. have legalized the consumption of e-cigarettes, which has stimulated market growth significantly. Furthermore, vape shops have been established where customers can personally visit and test the devices and e-liquid flavors before purchase. In England, tank e-cigarettes have remained the most popular device type; however, pod e-cigarettes have become the most popular, owing to the surge in JUUL (Juul Labs, Inc. is an American electronic cigarette company) use.
Market participants in the e-cigarette industry are prominent players who own a significant market share. The companies have primarily invested in e-cigarettes as it is expected to be an effective alternative solution for tobacco consumption. However, the industry has a presence of various small players that offer efficient vaping devices and e-liquids, thereby acquiring a large customer base. Small companies usually outsource the manufacturing of e-cigarettes to Asian countries such as China to competitively price their products.
However, the regulations levied by local authorities across various countries such as the U.S. and India on the sale of vaping products and e-liquids have restrained the market growth. Furthermore, stringent trading laws have made it difficult for retail consumers to import vaping devices for personal consumption. However, it is expected that regulations on traditional cigarettes are expected to accept e-cigarettes as a healthy alternative to tobacco consumption, thereby regulating the technology for safe distribution and usage. Also, the vaping industry has formed various associations to counter the policies against vaping products and regularize the industry for supervision, eventually driving the growth of the market for e-cigarettes and vaping.
The rechargeable segment accounted for the highest market share of over 40% in 2021. The adoption of rechargeable devices is expected to increase as they tend to be affordable and eliminate the need to re-purchase supplies, such as cartridges. Also, customers making DIY e-liquid need not purchase pre-filled cartridges. Seasoned vapers particularly find it economical to purchase rechargeable e-cigarettes. Also, rechargeable e-cigarettes produce less smoke and can be charged in the USB port, thus are becoming popular among youth in many key countries.
The modular devices segment is anticipated to register a significant CAGR over the forecast period. The key demand factor is that these devices offer high-level customization options to combine different features and parts. These parts and components alter the flavor and the amount of vapor generated from the device, depending on personal requirements. Various vaping events, such as vape conventions and competitions, are organized regularly in North America, thereby stimulating the demand for modular devices in the region.
Distribution Channel Insights
The retail store segment accounted for the highest market share of over 84% in 2021. Earlier, e-cigarettes were sold in retail outlets such as vape shops and gas stations. These shops assisted customers in selecting from a wide range of devices and e-liquids. Furthermore, vape shops allowing customers to try out and test these devices before making a purchase decision is expected to drive the retail store segment growth over the forecast period.
The online segment is anticipated to register a significant CAGR over the forecast period. The benefits of online marketplaces in terms of competitive pricing, convenience, and access to a wider variety of products encourage people to purchase e-cigarettes and vape online. The Asia Pacific region has witnessed several online shopping websites selling e-cigarettes coming up. The region has also been witnessing a rising demand for e-cigarette products, encouraging sellers to sell e-cigarettes online.
North America dominated the global market with a share of over 40% in 2021. The social media presence of major industry players is widely used for selling e-cigarettes and vaping products. The young population has largely adopted vaping devices as a safer alternative to tobacco, which is expected to boost the adoption of the product. However, the current ban on some e-cigarette flavors, including fruit and mint flavors, in the United States to limit underage vaping in the country is expected to stifle market growth in the region to some extent.
Given that most e-cigarettes are imported from other countries, such as China. Furthermore, customers find it more convenient to purchase e-cigarettes in bulk via online platforms, which is expected to drive Asia Pacific regional market growth. Over the forecast period, the European regional market is expected to grow significantly. The region's health bodies approve e-cigarettes and vaping from vendors such as British American Tobacco Plc's Vype and Imperial Brands Plc's Blu as a better alternative to tobacco smoking, which is expected to drive market growth in Europe.