Business Irish

Monday 14 October 2019

E-cigarette giant Blu targets €5m in sales after entering Irish market


Carmel Balala, head of marketing, MyBlu Ireland. Photo: Maxwells
Carmel Balala, head of marketing, MyBlu Ireland. Photo: Maxwells

Michael Cogley

One of the world's largest vaping companies, Blu, has targeted sales of €5m within its first 18 months of operation in Ireland.

The company, which trades as John Player here, launched the MyBlu vape brand last week.

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The e-cigarettes operate on a pod system where users can switch to 12 different nicotine-infused flavours.

Blu specifically targets smokers and aims to attract as many of the 800,000 of them in Ireland as possible. The company has valued the Irish vaping market at €50m a year with around 150,000 people vaping regularly.

Blu's Irish head of marketing, Carmel Balala, said the market here has shown "exponential" growth in recent years.

"We will make a multi-million euro investment here and we've started hiring specific staff who will look at our vape channel. Within our first 18 months we expect to gain at least a 10pc share and from then on we expect annual growth of between 10 and 15pc. We're very bullish about what we can achieve here," she said.

The company has secured placement in half of the country's newsagents, supermarkets and forecourts after agreeing distribution deals with SuperValu owner Musgrave and Spar owner BWG.

Vaping is often viewed as an aid to help people quitting smoking. However, current Government policy is that there is not enough evidence present to justify using the products for tobacco control. The Department of Health has said that it is "continuing to monitor evidence" in the area. In the UK the Cancer Research charity has deemed e-cigarettes to be "far less harmful than smoking". The British government also launched a campaign last year stating that vaping was 95pc less harmful than smoking.

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