E-cigarette sales grew 49.5% year-on-year in 2014, while sports nutrition products grew by 42.8% and ‘free-from’ products by 15.4%.
The surge in sales in e-cigarettes comes not long after the ASA upheld three rulings against e-cigarette brands in the wake of a ban on TV advertising being lifted.
According to the Nielsen data, the success of the product is already impacting other nicotine replacement products, such as gum and patches, which saw a 6.1% decline.
Nielsen’s head of retailer and business insight, Mike Watkins, believes the category growth is due to the big four pushing more range from its bigger stores.
“The fastest-growing categories are being driven by the major supermarkets who have a strategic advantage over discounters in having a depth and breadth of range, both in store and online.This is particularly important for less frequently-shopped categories where shoppers need a wide choice, such as sports nutrition and free-from, or where shoppers wish to choose from a wide range of brands, such as champagne,” said Watkins.