Nicotine Pouches and Esports - The Perfect Combination?

The Nicotine Pouch Market Jan 25, 2021

So I’ll show my age here… but when I was a kid ‘esports’ was spending my lunch break in the computer room for a LAN battle - or visiting a local Internet café - but I think it’s fair to say things have come on a little since then…

Esports and gaming have burst into the mainstream in recent years, transforming from a vibrant niche to a central form of entertainment around the world, and ticket sales are transitioning from the arena, to the internet. While esports may have once stood for a subset of sports culture, it has grown into a full industry in its own right.

I’m a big PC gamer myself - and have watched it rise from shadowy basements to worldwide competitors with millions of dollars at stake. So I thought I’d take a look at the sport - the current trends in nicotine usage - and what the future might hold with regard to nicotine pouches - which seem like a no-brainer in a sport where seconds away from keyboard can make all the difference.

Gaming ready... no ashtray required.
Gaming ready... no ashtray required.
As competitive video games continue to integrate into popular culture, global investors, brands, media outlets, and consumers are all paying attention. Total esports viewership is expected to grow at a 9% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2019 and 2023, up from 454 million in 2019 to 646 million in 2023, per Insider Intelligence estimates. That puts the esports audience on pace to nearly double over a six-year period, as the 2017 audience stood at 335 million.

So that's an audience of 335 million in 2017... a huge and impossible to ignore number - and this creates a whole new market - and what I'd term an 'ideal customer profile' - from the players themselves to the content consumers.

Now we've all got a typical image of a pro gamer in our mind - a Red Bull fuelled, some focused mega nerd basically. Max respect because when that was me it didn't pay!

When I started reading into and researching the sport I found that nicotine was pretty much as commonplace as caffeine and in terms of usage - and vaping seemed to be huge within the esports arena. It's a serious sport - and I've found from basement Call of Duty players to tournament Apex pro's - nicotine is often a weapon in their performance enhancing arsenal.

Overwatch
Photo by Florian Olivo / Unsplash

So here we've got a market with a ton of money, a huge audience and a demand driven desire to nicotine products. This seems like prime territory for nicotine pouches and the many benefits they can offer over traditional nicotine consumption methods - including vaping (no more hazy rooms of vapour!).

In an area where literally milliseconds count - and you don't want to step away for a cigarette or having your hands tried up with a vape - nicotine pouches are going to be perfect. They provide a hands-free way to enjoy your nicotine, without bothering people around you, regardless of the controller you're using and whether you're on the pro stage - or battling online in your bedroom.

I myself will use a nicotine pouch whilst gaming online - it's a godsend. No more ashtray on the desk, no need to pause for a vape - I'm fully involved in the game I'm playing with no mess or hassle.

Ace Super X

What's interesting to see is the advertising around the new Ace Super X product due to be released by Ministry of Snus shortly -

Ace X Promo Imagery

The product design and accompanying marketing are clearly aimed at appealing to the gamer - and in my view it's a market that's a good fit. At the end of the day nicotine pouches are about harm reduction and providing nicotine users with an alternative product. Gamers - much like many other segments - benefits from the advantages nicotine pouches bring to the table.

It will be interesting to watch the development of esports and the nicotine pouch markets involvement. Advertising around a nicotine product obviously presents its difficulties - and you want to ensure the product is aimed at an appropriate age group - but it would be great to see nicotine pouch firms getting in on the gaming action.

Header Photo by Alex Haney on Unsplash
Quotes from Business Insider

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Richard Crosby

Founder of Nicotine Freak, ex-smoker - but lover of tobacco.

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