JUUL: After the Dust has Settled

JUUL hit the UK market in August 2018 at a time when it was caught up in the controversy of youth vaping in the States. Shortly afterwards, Impact quickly conducted some research with smokers and e-cigarette users to understand initial perceptions of the brand. We found that despite only having been on the market for two weeks there was already a level of awareness of JUUL, driven by the high volume of conversations on social media.

​To find out how much had changed after almost three months on the UK market, we re-ran the research in November 2018. This time we spoke to 511 smokers and e-cigarette users (18yrs+) and measured their awareness, consideration and usage of JUUL and some of its key competitors.

Little change in overall awareness

Despite increased media coverage and retail distribution, awareness of JUUL has only marginally increased, from 10% to 13%. It’s a similar story throughout the brand funnel with consideration and usage levels all remaining consistent with August data, suggesting the launch hasn’t quite had the momentum first anticipated.

Apart from 18-34 year olds

​When we look at the data in more detail, we see that JUUL has at least had some impact on one age group in particular – 18-34 year olds. Awareness amongst this group has increased significantly in the 3 months since launch, from 17% to 25%.

​This marked rise in appeal for the youngest age group researched does add fuel to the fire that JUUL may be gaining the interest of the UK youth market. This concern is shared by 54% of those aware of JUUL who suggest the product appeals to teenagers.

The online conversation has stalled

Initially, social media was the powerful channel spreading the word of JUUL, but our social listening analysis reveals social media is now having less of an influence. We have observed a significant drop in online conversations between the dates both pieces of research were conducted. It appears the product hype stirred up at the time of launch was unsustainable and has since died down.

Mention Volume.png

Reliance on one or two marketing channels

​Our latest research reinforces this analysis, with those interviewed confirming social media now has less of an influence than it did previously (48% down to 35%).  Interestingly word of mouth is now an equally as important source of information (34% up from 12%). Although word of mouth and recommendation is typically a positive thing, it’s not enough to significantly increase awareness of a brand, and JUUL will need to utilise other channels to increase consumers’ familiarity if it is to accelerate market penetration.

Find out more

We specialise in researching consumer and business views on e-cigarettes. Get in touch with Tom Gould, Head of Consumer on tom.gould@impactmr.com to find out more about our insights into:

  • Awareness, consideration and usage of key products on the UK market
  • Product performance amongst users – overall rating, recommendation
  • Usage behaviours – frequency of usage, flavours used
  • Reasons for usage and barriers to JUUL
  • Where consumers bought products and pods/ cartridges/ refills
  • Brand buzz, what consumers have heard about JUUL and how it’s affected their opinion
  • Some general attitudes towards e-cigarettes and specifically sweet liquids.

Leave a Reply