While smoking products are neither food nor beverage, they’ve often gone hand-in-hand with the same café culture that drives food and drinks trends. We all have images of people in older times smoking pipes on café streets and, not so long ago, many indulged regularly in cigarettes alongside coffees and pastries.
Even today, we see some crossover with vaping and (where legal) cannabis, with users often combining these indulgences with treats and drinks they can have in public.
Current trend towards Nicotine Pouches
We’re also largely seeing smoking drifting into the past, with nicotine pouches emerging as popular alternatives. According to Market Research the global nicotine pouch market was valued at US$ 2.33 billion (£1.72 billion) in 2020 and is expected to increase to US$ 21.84 billion (£16.11 billion) by 2027. Despite representing less of an “activity” than smoking, could pouches actually integrate even more closely with café culture? Could popular drinks and snacks in fact help to drive the pouch market?
Why people like Nicotine Pouches?
One of the main reasons for the pouches’ appeal is the flavour. Beyond the early examples, Prilla’s already suggesting some new pouch flavours we could see in this emerging market such as mint, citrus, or cinnamon, to name a few.
As the market expands, it would make perfect sense for the companies involved to tap into café culture and use the trending snacks and beverages as inspiration for flavour concepts.
A few years ago, a cake pop flavour would have been trendy, like red velvet and salted caramel. Early in the pandemic, Dalgona coffee was wildly popular for its foamy, silky, pillow-like substance.
And of course, one need only look to the bubble tea hot spots around London to take note of what sort of innovative beverages consumers are favouring. It is obvious, even a general “milk tea” flavour would likely capture some interest.
Another reason why cafés could influence pouch flavours is that people simply love cafés. The cafe culture has transitioned a lot in recent years. In traditional cafés, patrons consumed coffee or espresso as the widely consumed flavoured beverage. In modern cafés, patrons now have the choice between coffee, tea, milk tea, or bubble tea as the flavoured beverage.
While the café culture is still a social hub for meetings, the availability of flavours on the menu have greatly expanded. The expansion of flavours as a ‘new item’ on a café’s menu always makes a great topic for discussion as well as an exciting advertisement.
Along the same line, it makes sense for nicotine pouches to join the modern-day café culture as there are already several flavours being offered as well as many more possible flavours being developed, as stated earlier.
One such possible flavour in tea is chai. Chai offers a mild nutty flavour and tastes delicious when sweetened. A nicotine pouch in chai or even dirty chai flavours could be exciting for tea lovers as they could relax in a café, mingle with friends, and enjoy the tea flavour combined with a bonus buzz.
Another popular café flavour of coffee is pumpkin spice. Actually, pumpkin spice has already made its way into coffee creamers, cookies, candies, as well as lattes – all of which are items sold on the menu in a café.
Not to mention, Starbucks’s pumpkin spice latte even became a media obsession. If nicotine pouches come out in pumpkin spice flavour, there is nothing stopping it from soon being offered on a menu in a modern café.
Our last item to talk about is hot chocolate. It is not coffee, it is not tea, but it is served in modern cafés, especially as a warm winter drink. What is not to love about hot chocolate? It’s sweet, comforting, has a hint of marshmallow, and it’s perfect during the winter.
If nicotine pouches came out with a hot chocolate flavour, users could enjoy a winter feeling any day of the year. What’s more, if patrons like it, they will rave about it to their friends, and post photos of it on social media.
Coming soon to your nearest cafe
Pouches are not snacks or treats in the traditional sense. But they’re acceptable in public, popular due to flavours, and the market is growing. They could thus become the first smoking alternatives to not just be popular in cafés, but to match café menus –– potentially even to the point at which they’re sold at counters alongside coffee and pastries.