Flavor Evolution: Mint and Menthol Leveled, while Concept and Blend Flavor Surged

Industry Insight

Ellesmere ZHu


Mint and Menthol Trade-off


A USCDC report from 2017 to 2020 showed a change in e-cigarette flavor preferences among users. 


In mid-2018, there was a surge in e-cigarette sales, especially for mint flavor. 


Flavor Evolution: Mint and Menthol Leveled, while Concept and Blend Flavor Surged
Source: USCDC


By the end of 2019, mint flavor sales declined and menthol flavor sales increased. 


Tobacco flavor sales remained relatively stable, with a slight increase starting in 2019, and other flavors (including fruit, chocolate, candy, etc.) rose in 2018-2019, but declined by the end of 2019. 


The growth in overall e-cigarette sales during 2016-2019 was driven by mint flavor sales, with refillable products accounting for nearly 90% of the market, led by JUUL. 


Concept Flavors and Blend Flavors See Emergence


Truth Initiative's research found that e-cigarettes with strong fruit, sweet, and cool flavors are popular among young users. 


A survey of current e-cigarette users showed that over half (56.8%) used disposable e-cigarettes most frequently in the past month, while less than a quarter (22.7%) used refillable ones. 


74.8% used blend flavors, including mango ice (30.2%), banana ice (26.4%), lush ice (23.8%), and watermelon ice (22.9%). 57.9% used new concept flavors (such as blue dream and Marigold), and over a third (38.2%) reported using three or more new concept flavors in the past 30 days. 


The most popular blend flavors were those described with fruit and cooling sensations.



[1] Young e-cigarette users report widespread use of flavor blends and “concept” flavors like Iced Mango, Blue Dream, and OMG

[2] E-cigarette Unit Sales, by Product and Flavor Type — United States, 2014–2020



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