About the Vaping Industry
Mommy, Where Does E-Liquid Come From? 0
Mommy, Where does E-Liquid come from?
Is something you’ll probably never hear, but makes for a good article nonetheless, as people seem to have pretty wild and varying ideas on the subject. Most people assume the big brands have big labs and the small companies have small labs or no labs at all. I frequently wander into Facebook threads that argue the merits of the word “premium”, arguing that there are certain manufacturing standards that warrant the title and others that don’t. Part of this debate is amusing, but the other part illustrates a pretty valid point in our industry today – that there is a bit of a veil that exists between what you see on the shelf and how it got there. This isn’t necessary a bad thing or even an uncommon thing. Most industries evolve into complex supply chains and ours is no different. But to help the casual vaper out I thought it would be worth it to take a look at how that bottle ended up in your hands:
It all starts with the flavour companies who produce the concentrated flavours that are in every e-liquid that you know and love. Most of these companies are medium to large sized businesses that started off in food flavouring and inadvertently caught the vaping wave. Some of these companies, like Flavour Art and a handful of others have seized on the opportunity and started gearing flavours and processes towards the vapor market while others are still passively taking the business that comes to them without really investing in the industry. What’s interesting about this is that these guys are really the driving force behind the flavour trends we see in finished e-liquids. When a new base flavour hits the market, you’ll quickly see hundreds of e-liquids coming out to try and capture that new opportunity. Yogurts, Cereals, Donuts…all started with flavour companies putting out a new base flavour. The moral of the story is if you want to know what’s coming out 60 or 90 days from now in the vape industry, get on the mailing list of the flavour companies.
This used to be synonymous with the brand owner with the assumption being that if you owned the brand you made the liquid. That’s not really the case anymore, and for a variety of different reasons. My company, Vape Brands International, operates in this space as well as a distributor and brand owner. It comes down to economics basically. Instead of each brand investing in an ISO clean room, equipment and staff, it became cheaper to outsource this type of work to companies that could provide a finished product faster and cheaper thanks to the sheer scale at which they operate. In the US, there are some very large contract manufacturers that make most of the big brands you see on the market today. For example, brands like Cuttwood, Mr. Good Vape, Frisco and Von Vape all come from the same manufacturer. By allowing a manufacturer to handle this part of the process, the brand is free to do what they do best and market the product. This also allows for international distribution to take place more seamlessly, as the cost of shipping VG is actually higher than the VG itself. My company does this for a lot of US and European brands in Canada. Rather than shipping finished product to us, we manufacture the product locally to the brands specifications. This greatly increases a brand’s reach while also simplifying their supply chain. Recently we also moved into Private Label Manufacturing, meaning we’re now creating brands from the ground up for individuals, stores and aspiring e-liquid companies. To be honest, if these services existed in 2013 when I started Moshi E-Liquids, I probably would have made it to market 9-12 months quicker than I did and the impact of that is huge.
Distributors handle the messy business of getting a finished product onto the shelves of your local B&M. The expertise here is in sales and account management, which is no easy task in a marketplace that has over 4000 competing brands. Distributors provide a ton of value to both stores and brands. For stores, it’s the benefit of curation and a centralised order process. Most stores carry hundreds, if not thousands of SKU’s and trying to place orders with each company individually is not feasible. Good distributors provide the added benefit of actually vetting products making the selection process easier for stores. We do this as well in Canada, having created a portal for stores to purchase all the brands that we manufacture. We also provide the sales and account management services that allow for an easy entry to the market. For brands, the big benefit is not having to find stores to sell to. The cost of acquiring a new customer is often bigger than a start up brand has anticipated and they can quickly find themselves struggling to find space in the market without a plan for this.
Lastly, we have the brand itself. In the old days (like, 2 years ago) the brand would have been responsible for 3 of 4 processes in this post, but now its really about the concept and flavour design. In fact, even these can be outsourced now quite easily, but lets just assume that’s what the brand does today. A well thought out brand, with the right number and types of flavours and a great marketing package will still separate itself from the pack. It is getting harder though. One of the big downsides (or upsides, depending on your point of view) of this supply chain expansion is the ease at which a brand can be created and brought to market. I remember when I started Moshi having to make calls to China sourcing bottles at midnight eastern time, then waking up to go into the lab to work on flavours and spend my afternoon making sales calls. Now, if you have a basic idea of what you want to do, you can come to a company like mine and the rest of the project is taken care of.
- Beju Lakhani
Are E-Cigs the Latest Fashion Trend? 0
For the professional vapers, the former smokers who credit the vaping industry and to everyone that takes vaping as a serious matter, you may be wondering if the people who call themselves vapers truly understand vaping the way you do?
While some may take the concept of vaping being a ‘trend’ as offensive, others may just be happy for the exposure of the industry. Let’s explore both sides:
There are so many testimonials about vaping from former smokers who have tried other popular methods to help them quit, such as the patch, nicotine gum and even counseling. Many people credit the vaping industry for their success with being able to quit. It allows them to get their nicotine fix without the use of cigarettes. With such an amazing outcome, you may be wondering why anyone would take it lightly.
While many people involved in the vaping industry are former smokers, there are still vapers who were not initial smokers but are still in love with the vaping community.
Vaping is not smoking, most wouldn’t even consider it a ‘substitute’ for smoking as there’s so much more to the vape industry and its culture. This is probably what draws in the non-smokers and makes it so appealing.
For those who aren’t smokers and have no inclination to vape nicotine, there are many E-Liquid lines with 0 mg nicotine levels. This means you can vape your favorite E-Liquid flavors without the unwanted nicotine.
Usually, as people get further into the vaping community/industry they quickly realize the benefits of vaping as opposed to just the ‘cloud chasing’ or the flavors. What they instead find is a community of vapers ready to welcome each person on their journey and willing to share their own lives with their fellow vapers.
So Much to Love about the Industry
There’s so much to learn and explore about the vaping industry. Once you start, there are so many E-Liquid lines to get started with and so many flavors to try out, yet this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Once a line is found, and one decides to represent this line as their E-Liquid provider and there’s the swag that comes with representing your line:
- Drip mats
- Vape bands
So much to get excited about!
Turn your cloud gazing into cloud chasing! Once you've made yourself part of the vaping family, those clouds that you fell in love with seeing will get easier to do over time and once you’ve got it down, there are cloud competitions with major cash prizes you can get involved in.
The Vape Meets and vape expos:
Meeting with other vapers Meeting with people that have the same interests is always fun especially if you get to meet the creators of your favorite E-Liquid lines. These usually come with lots of freebies, whether it's food, juices, kits, or even getting to sample the newest liquid flavors.
Make it your own:
Lastly, let’s look at the customization. Once you feel pretty confident with vaping you’ll probably want to start customizing your mods to increase your cloud output and increase the flavor.
What’s the final point?
Vaping as a fashion trend simply means we’re getting our name out there as vapers. The more people representing the vape community means the more reach it’s getting in the public. This also means we have more people to fight with us for all of our vaping rights.
We’re all part of the vaping community; let’s continue to work together to show why we love to vape, how it’s helped us individually and help others one vape at a time, Until then, Happy Vaping!
#Girlswhovape - Women in the vaping industry and why we love them 0
International Women’s day is here; celebrated every year on March 8th to honor women and their accomplishments, specifically recognizing the strides made by women in their fight for equality, it's a day to reflect on not only the women in our lives but all women.
Let’s take a moment to recognize and understand the women in the vaping industry who bring their talents, skills, and passion to the vape scene to make it what it is today. These ladies are the biggest influencers, the most passionate advocates and of course the most beautiful vapers!
President of E-Cig Flavorium and organizer for Toronto Vapers Rally, Maria is a huge figure in advocacy and definitely someone fighting for the rights of all vapers. She and her husband own the popularly known E-Cig Flavourium, downtown Toronto and she posts regularly on her facebook page as well as blogging on the E-Cig Flavourium website. Her passion for vaping, especially as an alternative to smoking for those actively seeking a way out, drives her to continue her fight for vapers' rights. She’s a special guest at this year's CVE in Edmonton so make sure you go say hi if you’re there!
Talking about women making strides no matter what field they’re in, let’s take a look at Sadie Chase. She is the originator of women’s vaping, owner of ‘Evaperated’ and maker of E-Liquids. Sadie is very interactive on her website, especially to those who are new to vaping and not sure what to do and even more active on her facebook page. She can usually be found answering questions and offering helpful advice to those that follow her. She uses her platforms to advocate for vapers and challenges the common false notions
of the vape industry.
If you're a vaper following many accounts on Instagram and you’re not following @___JustPeachyy you need to. She has almost 87K followers and her posts are amazing. She also does some really cool vape tricks.
@mekaylavapes is a lifestyle photographer and her vape skills are just as great as her shots. If you’re into clean sharp images that will have you dreaming of your next flavor; add her and thank us later.
Althea is a vape photographer with almost 12,000 followers on Instagram; not only are her photography skills A1 but her edits are just as amazing. So much talent from this vaper and we can’t wait to see what else she has in store.
Rose is a great advocate in the vape industry. Add that to being a nurse and mother, she fights against the unfair industry vape regulations in and around Ontario. She also runs a popular Facebook group called 'Vape Tricks and Dipshits' with almost 5,000 members, where the group members share their thoughts, vaping advice and of course, their vape tricks.
There are so many women actively on the vape scene; whether they’re mixing the next best E-liquids, advocating, packaging, photographing or simply vaping; they are the ones who carry this industry and we really appreciate them all.
Happy International Women’s Day and until next time, Happy Vaping!
- Ashley Chambers
5 Things you need to know before St. Patrick’s Day 0
It’s getting closer to St. Patrick’s Day and that means a day of celebration for those of Irish culture and those who observe the day. For many people, there isn’t much known about Irish culture or even the everyday life of those in Ireland, outside of what’s seen in the media and what’s portrayed in the floats in parades.
In North America, St Patrick’s day is typically celebrated with parades, pints and parties, yet there is so much more to this day that we should know. We’ve compiled a list of things everyone should know about St. Patrick’s day.
Not Irish? … No Problem
St.Patrick’s day, which is a celebration held each year on March 17 to celebrate the life of the patron saint of Ireland, is celebrated in more countries than any other national festival. Of course those of Ireland descent who live in different countries across the world will be celebrating this day but there’s no restriction on who can observe the day.
The Deal with the Green ...Facts or Folklore?
Legend says that the Leprechaun (Irish fairy) can’t see you if you’re decked in green as he is known to pinch anyone he can see, (unless of course you’re camouflaged in green).
There’s also the reason that Ireland was known as the “Emerald Isle” because of its green countryside and with that name, the color green began taking over and replace Ireland’s original Blue…. Yes; believe it or not, we could have all been wearing blue this St.Patrick’s Day.
What do you mean St. Patrick wasn’t Irish?
St. Patrick taught Christianity to the Irish but he wasn’t born in Ireland. While some believe he was British/Roman, few make that as a sure claim. What is known however is that his parents were Roman citizens. St. Patrick was kidnapped by pirates and sold as a slave in Ireland where he spent his days herding his master’s sheep, until he escaped 6 years later. Patrick recalls a vision where God told him of a ship that would be leaving which led him to freedom and after his return home and studied priesthood. St. Patrick returned to Ireland years later to preach the gospel and spread Christianity throughout the Island.
How did the drinking get involved?
There’s actually a few theories about this to be perfectly honest, one being that drinking is given up by many catholics but on St Patrick’s day they are allowed to feast in celebration of him and for that they go all out including with the drinking but here’s another story:
What’s being called ‘Pota Phadraig” or ‘Patrick’s Pot’, comes from an old Irish legend that St. Patrick was served a glass of whiskey that was less than full and that he used this as an opportunity to teach generosity to the server. He told him a devil lived in his cellar and that the only way to get rid of it was to change his stingy ways. When St Patrick returned to the inn he found that the innkeeper was now filling the glasses, so in celebration of this we drink up!
Our Irish Vape Fam
You’re probably pretty aware of the vaping scene here in Canada and even in the USA but what’s going on with our friends in Ireland.
HIQA, Ireland’s Health Information and Quality Services is an organization dedicated to improving health and social care services in Ireland. They have acknowledged the success of E-Cigarettes in helping people quit smoking, noting that 29% of smokers in Ireland currently use e-cigarettes as an aid to quit smoking.
While others are hesitant to recommend using e-cigarettes because of its short term existence, HIQA’s backing may cause Ireland to move closer to recommending e-cigarettes to those wanting to quit smoking.
Even the smallest news of positivity for the vaping community is a win for us and that’s something we can all celebrate!
While vaping isn’t restricted by the Irish smoking ban, there may still be restrictions by managers or owners of public places so just check before you take out your E-cigarettes.
We’re looking forward to a great St Patrick’s day with overflowing cups, decking ourselves in green and our vaping devices of course!
The Vape Brands family wishes you a Happy St. Patrick's Day and until then, Happy Vaping!
- Ashley Chambers
Why Spring is about to be your Favorite Season 2
Spring is near and that means brighter days, blooming flowers, warmer weather and Vape meets?
Yes! The CVE is almost here and we’re excited!
If you don’t know about it; the CVE stands for Canada’s Vape Expo and it is Canada’s largest Vape Trade Show. It is put together by Dash Vape and Vape Meet and is a huge space for Vape enthusiasts, manufacturers, distributors and pretty much the entire vaping public to meet and share new ideas, gadgets and engage in a space 100% dedicated to Vaping.
What you can expect
Expect to sample some of your favorite E-Liquids or even flavors you haven’t tried yet!
Many distributors use the expo as a launch pad to introduce new lines and products and you’ll get the chance to see them and sample them before they even hit store shelves.
How about discounts created just for this event? Your favorite e-liquids at ridiculously discounted prices. Start filling your piggy bank to splurge on the liquids you normally don’t buy in store because of their high costs. Sales and promotions you probably won’t get again until the next CVE. Get lots of freebies and even some vape swag from your favorite lines; so much stuff to take home.
For distributors, it’s a chance to meet and introduce their products to even more Canadians; the CVE will be held in Edmonton and for those retailers who are Ontario-based, Alberta-based and others it gives them an opportunity to reach new customers. They’ll get to meet new retailers in the industry and sell their lines and you’ll have the chance to talk to the manufacturers of your favorite lines and start great relationships with your vaping family.
We’re talking advocacy
At the CVE it has always ranked priority to focus on advocacy for the cause; and this comes as no surprise. Although many ex-smokers credit vaping to being a major help for them to quit smoking, vaping is still seen by many as a negative thing.
At the Expo, you can expect speakers trained in the field of Harm reduction and quality standards to be speaking on topics that you’ve probably seen in the Media or heard from those against vaping. This doesn’t mean the CVE won’t be entertaining but as one of the goals of the expo is to promote education about the industry you can expect it to be equally informative.
But wait, there’s more!
Yes there is; How about a free starter kit and Juice? The ultimate Giveaway at Canada’s Vape Expo is here and it’s presented by Rope Cut. In an attempt to introduce more smokers to the Vape life and help them get started on a vaping journey of their very own, Rope Cut presents “Stomp those Butts” an initiative where every smoker can trade in their pack of smokes for a starter kit and free juice!
We’re excited for Canada’s Vape Expo and you can definitely expect some fun stuff from Vape Brands International there this year as well. Come out in support for your favorites lines, products, free stuff, or just for the experience. We’ll see you there!
- Ashley Chambers
Canada’s busy week 0
Late November is typically pretty quiet in the Great White North. We celebrate Thanksgiving in October, so November tends to be known largely as the month that lies between Thanksgiving and Christmas. However, if you’re a vaper in Canada, this November couldn’t have been much bigger. Over the course of seven days, we had Canada’s largest vape expo take place in the nation’s capital and then the release of the federal government’s long awaiting regulatory framework for vaping. Suffice it to say, November was a busy month with lots to digest.
Canada Vape Expo – Ottawa
This was the fourth edition of Canada’s Vape Expo, with the last edition having taken place in May in Toronto. It was the first time that CVE had ventured to Ottawa and it was also the largest CVE to date in terms of vendors. Also, the number of international vendors was at its highest and this trend is a good sign for the industry as it continues to grow in Canada. Canada’s advocacy organizations were well represented at the show with the Canadian Vaping Association (CVA), Tobacco Harm Reduction Association (THRA), Association Québecoise des Vapoteries (AQV), and Electronic Cigarette Trade Association (ECTA) all having a presence at the show. One of the many highlights of the show was having representatives from the CVA and AQV take the stage accompanied by Phil Busardo & Dimitri Agrafiotis. Both associations had launched suits against the government of Quebec to challenge Bill 44 and this had led to quite a bit of tension over the last few months. In an effort to show that the greater good was more important than individual egos or bragging rights, the groups exchanged shirts and addressed the audience.
Friday, B2B day, was excellent, with several hundred buyers in attendance meeting with vendors and manufacturers. On a personal note, its pretty amazing to see how far this industry has come. When I launched my company in 2014, I did so at the show that preceded the first CVE. For that show, we had a tablecloth set up in the ballroom at the Holiday Inn by the Toronto Airport. Within 2 years, we were now set up with 1500 square feet of space within the almost 50,000 square feet at the EY Centre. When I look around the shows now I see a lot of familiar faces and its incredible to see how far many of the businesses have come. Canadian brands have used these shows to springboard onto international success and its great to be able to walk the floor at shows around the world and see the proliferation of great Canadian products on the world stage. Saturday and Sunday were consumer days, and drew a sizeable crowd, with over close to 6000 tickets having been sold in advance. The crowd was energized and vendors were game, offering some great show deals and a ton of new product launches. Overall, CVE Ottawa was a great success and we can’t wait for the next one.
And then came the government…
Just after getting back from CVE we received word that the federal Liberal government would be announcing regulations for vaping in the form of Bill S-5. The CVA had been working with Health Canada and the Minister’s office for most of the last two years and the effort has paid dividends. Bill S-5, as proposed, draws a clear distinction between Tobacco and Vapour products. It removes Vaping products from the Food and Drug Act and moves them into a newly revised Tobacco and Vaping Products Act. It also provides a pathway for companies who wish to make therapeutic claims (quitting versus harm reduction) and treats the use cases differently. Also included are expected prohibitions on minors being able to buy or use vapour products and limitations on where vapour products can be used. The government also intends to implement restrictions on marketing, including specific restrictions on the marketing of certain flavours but with no prohibition on flavours outright. Manufacturing standards and submission of products are part of the package of regulations too, but there isn’t too much in the way of specific details at this point. One thing is clear, however. The Canadian government, by working with the CVA, has recognized the value of vapour products as a tool to lower smoking rates. That’s big news, as it means the laws are being designed for safety reasons, not to prevent access. There’s still a long way to go before this becomes law, as the Bill needs to pass through three readings in the Senate and the House of Commons but it’s a good start and bodes well for the future of vaping in Canada.
- Beju Lakhani