An Insight into Vaping - The Fastest Growing Industry in the UK

An Insight into Vaping - The Fastest Growing Industry in the UK

Vaping is widespread in the UK and growing at a rate of knots. Walk around your local high htreet and you’ll see people vaping, products in grocery stores, petrol stations and an ever-increasing number of Vape specialist stores opening their doors.

The UK market has already reached £1bn and is estimated to more than double, exceeding £2bn by 2020. It’s the fastest growing industry in the country with the UK boasting one of the largest market sizes across the globe behind the United States. The market is fragmented unlike tobacco, with the ability to buy products online and from abroad.

The rise of vaping is reflected by the continuous innovation in the marketplace which is responding to evolving consumer demand. People are vaping as an alternative to smoking, for health reasons and even as a hobby. There are a number of different vaping products and a whole host of flavours for people to choose from.

ESA visited the Vape Expo at the NEC Birmingham to find out more about the industry and the people driving it. An eye-opening exhibition over 3 days for both the consumer and retailers with 200+ companies exhibiting, mainly manufacturers and distributors promoting well-known brands including Blu, Innokin and an array of own brands.

Products ranged from simple vaping of 3/6mg e-liquids in different flavours to 60mg nicotine salt-based products for the consumer who prefers a higher nicotine content. IQOS presented a tobacco based product that heats tobacco rather than burning it eradicating the typical chemicals associated with smoking yet still giving consumers the smoking experience.

Amongst all the nicotine-based products, CBD (Cannabidiol) derived from Hemp (Cannabis sativa) was the most interesting; Cannabis being a hot topic in the press with recent UK law changes to legalise the prescription of medical cannabis oil. CBD manufacturers clearly stated these were not for medical use and instead are lifestyle supplements aiming to complement general health and well-being.

What's striking is that there seemed to be a vape product for everybody’s needs and the market was far from the early days of e-cigarettes that resemble a cigarette. It’s a market to keep a close eye in the coming year as it continues to grow whilst little UK regulation is holding it back.

For access to a full summary of our findings and further information about how ESA Retail can help you understand the discount channel, please call 01727 847572 or email

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