Last week, Wells Fargo held their second annual E-Cig Forum, hosted by their senior tobacco analyst, Bonnie Herzog. The goal of the meeting was to gather the industry’s top minds to discuss the current environment as well as the future. While discussions went in every possible direction, the biggest area of concentration among all involved was centered on the innovation of products. International Vapor Group’s Nick Molina was in attendance at this meeting, and brought much insight to the discussions on the present state, and future of the market.
The conference had a greatly positive affect, enabling the industry as a whole to meet, discuss, exchange ideas and focus on the future. Because as much as there is competition in the market, there is still the common ground of innovating for the betterment of the products, which all who are truly passionate about the potential of these products is committed to.
The topic of innovation was very much a focus, as most people in this industry consider electronic cigarettes more along the lines of tech products as opposed to tobacco products. Our CEO made the excellent point that consumers are extremely pleased with using electronic cigarette products, especially for the endless options of flavors, and this is one sector of the market that is not being given enough attention. Tobacco and menthol flavors are obviously popular choices, especially for smokers who first start using e-cigarettes, however more and more users want greater variety. Vape shop owners were in total agreement that long term users’ purchases account for 60-90% of non tobacco and/or menthol e-liquid flavors. “Tank consumers want choice,” Molina said. “They haven’t had that in cigarettes.”
All members across the conference, regardless of which sector of the industry they belong to, agreed that the industry is still in its earliest stages, and there is still a long way to go, especially in the direction of developing products that truly appeal to the widest reach of smokers. The world’s smokers are seeking products that come even closer to the real thing, and they still have not been invented yet despite the immense growth and usage. It is the goal of all in the e-cigarette industry to create the product that will inherently appeal to all smokers in such a way that makes them want to switch. Every manufacturer present at the conference, however, shared optimism that these innovations will come with time.