Examining Market Trends in Smokeless Tobacco Sales in the United States: 2011–2019

Cristine D. Delnevo, Mary Hrywna, Erin J. Miller Lo, Olivia A. Wackowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: The smokeless tobacco (SLT) industry in the U.S. continues to transform with novel products amid an evolving regulatory environment. We report SLT sales trends in the U.S. by analyzing retail market scanner data from 2011 through 2019. Methods: National SLT sales data were obtained from Nielsen's Convenience Track System for January 2011 to December 2019. UPC codes were used to classify products by attributes including type, parent company, brand, form, and flavor. Market share was calculated as percentage of total unit sales. Detailed product analysis was presented for moist snuff, snus, and tobacco-free nicotine products. Results: SLT sales increased by 5.8% between 2011 and 2016 but declined by 3.9% from 2016 to 2019. Moist snuff sales increased by 8.1% between 2011 and 2016 and then declined 7.4% from 2016 to 2019 but still accounted for roughly 90% of the overall market annually. Between 2011 and 2019, snus sales consistently increased while sales of chew, dry snuff, and dissolvables decreased. Tobacco-free nicotine products emerged in 2016 and captured 4.0% of the market by 2019. Portion pouch packaging and flavors showed consistent growth although their popularity varied by the type of smokeless product. Conclusion: This study extends our previous work on U.S. SLT market trends through 2019. Overall sales increased between 2011 and 2016 but there were signs of leveling off including declining sales of moist snuff. Newer products continue to gain market share. Continued monitoring of SLT sales is needed, particularly given the new modified risk status of several products. Implications: This study analyzed the last 9 years of smokeless tobacco market data (2011–2019) to describe recent trends in sales. Overall, the smokeless product category is quite resilient although signs suggest downward trends among some product categories and features. New types of smokeless tobacco products (eg, snus and tobacco-free nicotine pouches) account for a growing share of the market.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1420-1424
Number of pages5
JournalNicotine and Tobacco Research
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine

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