In February, the estimated number of adult vapers in Portugal was 160 000. Not such a small count, given the country’s population, which is between 10-11 million people. In this article, we will briefly analyze the Portuguese vape market.
According to the ECigIntelligence report, the market size in that country was worth 38 million euros in 2018 and grew to 40 million in the following year. Then, however, came the crisis. The first thing we may think of, considering 2019, especially its final months, is the Covid-19 outbreak. It impacted the Portuguese to a lesser extent, however. The major hit came from the west – the United States. In September 2019 there was a peak of a vaping crisis which regarded the EVALI disease associated with vaping, which led to hospitalizations and deaths. As stated in the aforementioned report, the crisis led to a decline in sales of vaping products in Portugal in 2020, consequently lowering the market size to 38 million euros again. Then, last year, its size grew to 45 million and is estimated to reach 51 million in 2023.
Sales channels in the Portuguese vape market
Let us state that the Portuguese market has very strict vaping laws. The online sales of nicotine-containing products are banned there. Consequently, shortfills are popular, and vapers made more than half of their online orders in Spanish Internet shops. Moreover, the Portuguese tax is the highest in Europe when it comes to nicotine e-liquids. Since July it has grown to €0.323/ml. Moreover, 70% of sales in Portugal happen in vape stores, 25% online, and 5% in traditional retail. An average price in the first quarter of 2022, in Portuguese online retailers, was 3,21€ for 10 ml e-liquid.
Additionally, an important fact is that cross-border sales are prohibited in Portugal. Many vapers are not aware of it, due to which they unconsciously transgress, consequently getting fined.
Preferences & prices in the Portuguese vape market
What systems do the Portuguese prefer?
As the report states, the Portuguese prefer open pod systems for vaping the juices, as closed disposables and closed systems are not a good value for money, due to their high price. The document also contains a comparison of open and closed system products, which is 95%:5%, respectively. Among the open ones, 42% are advanced and 58% are basic.
According to The Portugal News, an average salary in the country, in 2021, was, approximately, €1,361. As the ECigIntelligence report states, an average citizen had to work for 3 hours to buy an advanced open system kit, 1,4 hours for a basic open system kit, or 0,3 hours for a 10 ml e-liquid. Meanwhile, the same average prices in Spain and Italy were: 1,9 (Spain) & 1,8 (Italy) hours; 0,8 & 0,7 hours; 0,3 & 0,2 hours.
How did things change since February?
What is essential is the fact that the ECigIntelligence report was published in February 2022. Since then, a few things have changed. Due to this fact, let us post a minor correction.
Over the past months, the population of vapers in Portugal has grown. As mentioned at the very beginning of the article, when the report was prepared, it was around 160 000 with a monthly growth of 1,8%. Right now, the count is 200 000 with an estimated growth varying between 5-10%.
Moreover, the average price of the product, which was 3,21€ in the report, was based on the largest national store chain, which sells some products at lower prices, compared to the ones smaller stores offer. A more accurate assessment of this matter can be done with VAPY products and their 10 ml e-liquids, which cost around 5€ if nicotine-free, or around 7€ for the nicotine-containing version. Let us add, that Chemnovatic products, such as VAPY e-liquids, are present in most of the stores in Portugal.
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