Velo is one of the largest nicotine pouch brands in the world. It also happens to be one of the oldest. Velo’s roots and long history make it the oldest nicotine pouch brand in the world, albeit not originally under the name ”Velo”.
But who is it that manufactures Velo nicotine pouches and what is the story behind it? That and much more is what we are going to take a closer look at in this article.
Understanding Velo Nicotine Pouches
Nicotine pouches have completely exploded in popularity in the last couple of years as a smoke-free and tobacco-free alternative to traditional tobacco products.
As people realize the dangers of smoking, there is a growing interest in harm-reduction products. And nicotine pouches are certainly at the forefront of this shift.
With its long history, paired with the strong backing of its owner, Velo has managed to establish itself as a leader within this space, known for its quality products and wide selection.
Velo nicotine pouches come in a wide array of flavors, catering to different preferences and taste profiles. From mint and citrus to berry and coffee, Velo ensures that users have a plethora of options to choose from, enhancing the overall experience of nicotine consumption. Moreover, Velo also offers a wide selection of nicotine strengths, from light options for beginners to extra strong nicotine strengths for more experienced users.
The Manufacturer Behind Velo
In short, Velo is owned by British American Tobacco (BAT), which is a leading multinational tobacco company with a rich history and a global presence. It was founded in 1902 and has grown to become one of the world’s largest and most diversified tobacco groups. Headquartered in London, the company operates in more than 180 countries and serves millions of consumers with a diverse portfolio of tobacco and nicotine products.
British American Tobacco is at its core a tobacco company that predominantly makes it revenue from the sale of cigarettes. However, BAT has a clear goal to get half its revenue from non-combustibles by 2035. In December 2023, combustibles accounted for about 83% of its total sales according to the data firm FactSet. Under the slogan ”A Better Tomorrow™”, the goal is to reduce the health impact of its business. To do this, they work to transform their portfolio by actively encouraging people to switch to less risky products compared to smoking.
As a result of this, BAT has actively worked to incorporate and develop new smoke-free products into its offering. One of its key segments is nicotine pouches, specifically under the brand Velo.
British American Tobacco states:
”It is widely acknowledged that most of the harm associated with conventional cigarettes is caused by the toxicants in the smoke produced by the burning of tobacco. That is why we are dedicated to the development and commercialisation of alternative tobacco and nicotine products that don’t burn tobacco to deliver nicotine to the user and offer smokers an enjoyable, reduced risk alternative.”
The story of Velo goes back to 2015 with a brand called Epok. Epok originally launched in Sweden as the world’s first all-white tobacco snus. Epok, unlike Velo today, contained tobacco (like traditional Swedish tobacco snus) but with the key difference being that the pouches were all-white thanks to a washing and purification process.
The purpose of this was to allow for a fresh alternative that didn’t stain the teeth. Epok quickly gained popularity, partly because the purification process removed the traditional tobacco flavor and made it possible to give them completely new, fresh, and exciting flavors.
Epok was founded by the Swedish company Winnington which was later acquired by British American Tobacco in January 2017. This acquisition was an important step for British American Tobacco on its journey to expand its offering of smoke-free products in line with its mission.
Epok was available on the market until the Fall of 2018. At this point, the company underwent a huge rebrand and changed its name to Lyft. This rebrand, however, did not only involve a rebrand. In fact, BAT completely revamped the product by removing the tobacco from the product altogether. They replaced the tobacco with plant fiber and the nicotine pouch as we know it today was created. With a completely tobacco-free alternative, Bat was able to cater to a wider audience and also avoid strict tobacco legislation.
In 2022, it was time for yet another change of the brand. BAT changed the name from Lyft to Velo, which is the brand we know today. It’s important to point out that unlike the change from Epok to Lyft, nothing changed with the product. It remained exactly the same, completely free from tobacco, just like before.
The reason for the name change to Velo was that BAT had already used the Velo name in multiple markets outside of Sweden already so they wanted to build a more consistent and uniform brand.
Kingsley Wheaton, Chief Marketing Officer at BAT, said the following:
“Consumers want brands they recognize and can purchase wherever they are in the world. This way, we can more easily convey our message about the alternatives we offer to cigarettes.”
Therefore, BAT changed the name to Velo so that customers can recognize the brand no matter where in the world they are.
At the same time, BAT did not discontinue the Lyft name altogether. Instead, they established Lyft as a premium nicotine pouch brand focused more on research and innovation by launching new and interesting flavor and designs. BAT then analyzes the response of these products and sometimes decides to incorporate these into the standard Velo product range.