Juul e-cigarette expands to England and Scotland, eyes Asia

Health, Fitness & Food

E-cigarette company Juul Labs is setting its sights overseas after dominating the U.S.

Starting Tuesday, Juul e-cigarettes will be available in England and Scotland. Juul’s first international market was Israel, where it launched in February.

The e-cigarette brand has quickly become the dominant U.S. market leader, seizing 68 percent of market share, according to the most recent Nielsen numbers. It will now try to pursue the same dominance overseas.

Juul Labs, the company behind Juul, has raised $650 million of a $1.25 billion fundraising round, according to a regulatory form it filed last week. The round would value the start-up at $15 billion, people familiar with the matter told CNBC.

The company plans to use the money in part to fund its international expansion, a person close to the situation told CNBC. Juul is currently hiring for various positions based in Singapore, including finance director, marketing director, recruitment manager and regulatory affairs director, according to LinkedIn.

The listings say employees “will be a founding member of JUUL’s APAC team,” referring to the Asia-Pacific region. A Juul spokeswoman told CNBC the company is “evaluating and assessing the marketing opportunity” but does not have any specific plans yet.

Juul has become a phenomenon in the U.S., so much so that it has its own verb: Juuling. Dollar sales skyrocketed 783 percent in the 52 weeks ended June 16, reaching $942.6 million, according to a Wells Fargo analysis of Nielsen data.

In entering the U.K., Juul will take on a robust e-cigarette market. Last year, the U.K. smokeless tobacco and vapor product market hit $1.72 billion, up 33 percent from the previous year, according to Euromonitor International. British American Tobacco led with 14 percent share between its Ten Motives and Vype brands, according to Euromonitor.

Japan Tobacco represented 6 percent of the market with its Logic Brand, according to Euromonitor, and Imperial Brands accounted for 3 percent of share with its Blu brand.

Juul will sell its starter kits for 29.99 pounds, or roughly $40. That’s less expensive than an American starter kit, which sells online for $49.99. The U.K. refill packs will contain five pods, while the U.S. packs contain four. The flavors will be mostly the same, but some will have slightly different names. For example, the U.S. flavor creme brulee will be named royal creme. Apple orchard will be exclusively available in the U.K.

The U.K. pods will contain 1.7 percent nicotine to comply with the European Union Tobacco Products Directive. Most pods in the U.S. contain 5 percent nicotine, except for Virginia tobacco and mint, which will soon be available in 3 percent.

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