Juul’s mint-flavored e-cig sales skyrocketed after other flavors pulled

Juul Labs’ plan to curb teen vaping by removing most of its flavored e-cigs has only buoyed sales of its remaining flavors, The Post has learned.

Juul, which represented 76 percent of the e-cig market in 2018, has seen sales of its mint flavored pods skyrocket since it stopped selling mango, fruit, creme and cucumber flavored pods to brick-and-mortar stores last year amid an Food and Drug Administration crackdown on e-cig use.

Juul’s mint pods, which reviewers say taste like candycane or Altoids, now accounts for a whopping 74.1 percent of the company’s total sales, up from 35 percent before the other flavors were pulled, according to proprietary Nielsen numbers obtained by The Post.

Financially, that represents a 200 percent surge in annualized revenue over the last 10 months to $2.36 billion, other Nielsen data shows. Before Juul stopped selling mango, cucumber and other flavors in stores, its mint pods were the company’s second biggest flavor, with annualized sales of $791 million, sources said.

The jump in sales of mint pods appears to have financially offset whatever revenue loss Juul might have otherwise suffered from pulling its kid-friendly flavors from retail shelves. That’s because Mango — which had been Juul’s leading product, representing 40 percent of total sales — brought in just $890 million in annualized sales prior to being pulled from store shelves, followed by mint at $791 million, sources told The Post.

“Juul knew kids won’t addict if there’s no flavor,” Dr. Rob Crane, the Ohio State University professor who founded Preventing Tobacco Addiction Foundation, told The Post. “But it also knew kids would accept mint as an effective substitute.”

Sales of menthol have also risen but not nearly as much and still represent less than 10 percent of all sales. That’s because unlike mint, which tastes refreshing like chewing gum, menthol tastes like cough syrup, reviewers explained.

Juul said it kept its mint flavor on the market not to introduce more youngsters to smoking but to help oldsters shake the habit.

“For menthol-based products, including mint, we believe that to encourage adult smokers to switch from combustible use — the No. 1 cause of preventable death in the world — they should be available at retail alongside tobacco and menthol-based cigarettes,” a Juul spokesman said.

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