JTI to Re-Enter Korean Market with New E-Cigarette
Japan Tobacco International (JTI) is preparing to re-enter the domestic electronic cigarette market with a new product. JTI had previously launched the heated tobacco product 'Ploom Tech' in 2019 but discontinued sales in South Korea in 2021 due to a lack of consumer response.
According to industry sources on the 26th, JTI Korea plans to add a case for their stick-type electronic cigarettes to convenience store tobacco shelves during the process of replacing the existing cases.
While the specific type of the new stick has not been determined, it is rumored to be a new electronic cigarette product. A JTI Korea official familiar with the matter stated, "The case for convenience stores will be changed, and an electronic cigarette stick will be added. Since we currently do not sell stick-type electronic cigarettes, the possibility of launching a new product is high."
JTI Korea entered the domestic market later than competitors such as Korea Philip Morris' 'IQOS,' KT&G's 'lil,' and BAT Rothmans' 'Glo' when the market for stick-type electronic cigarettes was rapidly growing. Although it attracted attention as a hybrid-type electronic cigarette that uses liquid cartridges, JTI Korea was unable to expand its market share and ultimately decided to withdraw.
Since then, JTI has been focusing on conventional cigarette brands such as Camel in the domestic market. In particular, they are expanding the range of capsule cigarettes, emphasizing odor reduction.
JTI's sales and operating profit for last year decreased by 1.3% and 1.2% to KRW 197.8 billion and KRW 8.4 billion, respectively. Unlike competing companies that are entering the electronic cigarette market and achieving solid performance, JTI Korea's operating profit is decreasing as they have not entered the market.
Furthermore, the fact that JTI is expanding its electronic cigarette business in global markets also adds strength to the possibility of their domestic launch. This year, JTI plans to release new stick-type electronic cigarette products in more than 10 countries and aims to expand to 20 countries by the end of 2024.
In Japan, JTI's predecessor, Japan Tobacco, announced on the 4th of this month that it will end the sales of heated tobacco products, 'Ploom Tech,' 'Ploom Tech+,' and 'Ploom Tech+ with ', and introduce a new hybrid-type electronic cigarette, 'Ploom Tech with2,' this summer. The company will continue to sell its existing stick-type electronic cigarette, 'Ploom X.'
A JTI Korea official stated, "It is true that we are planning to launch electronic cigarettes domestically, but there are no confirmed details regarding the timing or specific product.
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