OTP Sales Are Driven by Innovation and Variety

E-cigs rebound as smokeless continues to soar.

January 24, 2022


By Melissa Vonder Haar

The year 2020 posed a unique question for tobacco products: Could cigarettes—a huge category that historically declines—and OTP—a slightly less large category that historically gains—thrive at the same time?

NACS State of the Industry (SOI) Report data suggest they can. In 2020, cigarette sales (the top contributor to in-store sales at convenience stores at 27.79%) grew 3.6%, while OTP sales (the fourth-largest contributor to in-store sales) grew by 5.7%.

Even as life returned to some form of normalcy, the three major OTP segments enjoyed double-digit growth: Nielsen data as of October 23, 2021, had total U.S. smokeless dollar sales up 12.5%, cigars up 12.3% and e-cigs up 21.6%.

While cigarettes remain a key convenience category due to the sheer volume of sales, OTP has continued to be a space retailers and manufacturers look to for the future of the overall nicotine category, thanks to a larger variety of products and continued innovation.

Here’s how some of those more diverse nicotine offerings performed over the past year.

Read the remainder of this NACS Magazine article in this month’s Category Close-Up article “Up, Up and Away” in the digital copy of NACS Magazine.

Melissa Vonder Haar is the marketing director for iSEE Store Innovations. Follow her on Twitter at @iSeeMelissaV.