The nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) market has emerged as a major player in recent years, largely due to the changing culture around tobacco use. An article from Nicotine & Tobacco Research notes that individualized doses of NRT products like patches, gums, pouches, and lozenges may lead to better cessation results for smokers. In fact, the research found a strong association between daily NRT use and quit rates among both demographics of light and heavy smokers. Nicotine replacement products are thus recognized as a major contributor to the decline in smoking rates in the last few years.
Even with the presence of other alternatives like e-cigarettes, the NRT market continues to see significant growth opportunities in terms of market size and presence. Read on to learn more about the political, technological, and commercial factors that may potentially increase consumer demand and total sales for NRT products.
NRT market overview
NRT products are designed to help with smoking cessation by supplying fixed doses of nicotine, but without the harmful chemicals found in tobacco. Different nicotine delivery formats have been developed throughout the years, resulting in a wide range of NRTs — from transdermal patches, nasal sprays, and inhalers to oral forms like gums, pouches, and lozenges. This has intensified market competition, with the various product segments contributing to the total NRT market size of $60 billion in 2022. Additionally, the NRT market is forecasted to grow to $302 billion by 2032 with a compounded annual growth rate of 16.5%. The following section highlights opportunities that can positively impact the market’s growth trajectory.
Growth opportunities for the NRT market
Anti-smoking programs and policies
The growing consumer interest in NRT can be attributed to the strong anti-smoking stance in both emerging and industrialized nations. For instance, a major element in the projected rise of nicotine gum sales is the promotion of health programs, such as the United States’ Smokefree.gov initiative, that frequently introduce these products as a viable smoking cessation aid. So, while nicotine gum is already one of the leading products in the broader NRT market due to market players like Johnson & Johnson and British American Tobacco, Vantage Market Research expects the segment to reach $2.3 billion by 2030.
Total NRT sales are largely driven by offline distribution channels like convenience stores and pharmacies. However, the online segment presents high growth potential as it helps expand the reach of NRT and introduce relatively new products like pouches to consumers. Online retailer Prilla.com reports that the nicotine pouch market will grow over the next few years, from 2.18 million units in 2021 to around 14,875 million in 2027. This projected 37.7% increase is likely due to the increased online sales of the top nicotine pouch brands, Rogue, On!, ZYN, and VELO, to most US states, as well as 24 countries currently permitting the sale of nicotine pouches.
Acquisitions by larger corporations
Acquisitions of NRT manufacturers by tobacco corporations benefit both parties, as emerging brands can capture a broader customer base while larger companies can include smoke-free products in their offerings. This opportunity was first observed in the $16 billion acquisition of Swedish Match AB’s oral nicotine products by Philip Morris International Inc., following the tobacco giant’s shift to reduced-risk products. As more and more tobacco companies like Altria are moving beyond smoking and towards smoke-free alternatives, the NRT market is primed for greater investment and commercial opportunities.
On top of these windows of opportunity, NRT brands and manufacturers must still be on the lookout for regulatory frameworks that can impact consumer access to and demand for their products. For example, an interesting regulatory development is the FDA’s crackdown on flavored e-cigarettes, which can effectively push out key competitors and boost market visibility for NRTs.
I’m Robert Neff, a professional writer and editor. I specialize in the entertainment section, providing up-to-date coverage on the latest developments in film, television and music. My work has been featured on World Stock Market and other prominent publications.