In the last three years, both PMI and Japan Tobacco Inc. have struggled to keep up with the demand of their own electronic devices. However, when JTI found itself suffering a significant shortage of supply, it had to resign to the fact that Philip Morris International (PMI), was going to lead the market in Japan.
However in a bid to catch up with the tobacco giant, JTI has spent billions on the development and production of reduced-risk products (RRP). “For Japan Tobacco’s continuous growth, we must win in the RRP category,” said JTI’s Chief Executive Officer, Masamichi Terabatake in a news conference last year.
JTI ups its game
In February 2018, JTI had announced that it was planning to launch a new heat not burning product in Japan by the end of the year. To this effect, it started selling Ploom TECH+ and Ploom S in Japan as of January 29th. Ploom TECH+ is priced at 4,980 yen, while Ploom S will sell for 7,980 yen, the same price as the cheapest version of iQOS.
“We are aiming for the No. 1 position,” said Mutsuo Iwai, head of Japan Tobacco’s domestic tobacco business. “Japan is the biggest heat not burning market, a success in Japan will lead to a success globally.
heat not burning products thrive in Japan
When heat not burning products were launched in Japan, they found fertile ground due to a number of factors, amongst which a local ban on e-cigarettes that contain nicotine-containing e-liquid. In fact as heat not burning products entered the US, analysts at ECigIntelligence, an independent e-cigarette and tobacco-alternatives market analytical resource, had said that the products will never reach the same level of success in the States, to match the one in Japan.