Are you worried about the juice market? If you aren’t, you should be…
For years we’ve believed the abundance and variety of our supply chain would never change. We thought we’d always be able to offer a new flavor or brand every week.
Right now, shop owners can force e-liquid brands to compete with each other; challenging vendors to do more, offer more, cut prices or else. Retailers have limited funds to tie up in inventory and every e-liquid brand wants a piece of the action. This puts all the power in the retailer’s hands. If you don’t like the MOQ, the wholesale price or the shipping fees… no big deal – just move on to the next supplier who will play nice.
But the days of abundant juice suppliers are quickly coming to an end
By now, most in the industry have heard about the required manufacturer registration and product listings, ingredient listings, and the Pre-Market Tobacco Applications (PMTAs). But few know about the e-liquid manufacturing regulations yet to be announced. (If you’ve been led to believe all that’s needed is a clean room, you have been led astray.) And while these regulations will apply to e-liquid manufacturing and not vape shops, the net effect will apply to all of us.
Manufacturing Regulations will DESTROY Your Shop’s Buying Power
Retailers have buying power because we have options. We have options because there are thousands of juice companies. But what happens when juice companies are run out of business?
The vape industry runs out of juice.
But is it possible to prevent such a catastrophe?
Most e-liquid companies are not equipped to adapt to the new regulations
Most are totally unprepared; many don’t even know what they don’t know. If that doesn’t change, when the regulations hit, they will face a hard reality and most will not survive. Many will be forced to close due to government requirements while others will choose not to fight and simply give up.
But right now, they’re ALL saying they know what to do, they’ve already done it and there’s nothing to worry about. Of course they’re saying that; if they admit anything less, they stand to lose hard-won market share in an over-saturated industry. Better to put up a good front and stay in the saddle as long as possible, right?
Why the doom and gloom? Because unfortunately, it’s the difficult pill we need to swallow.
NOTE: If you’re an e-liquid brand owner, please don’t take this personally. You could be one of those trying to adapt and learn. You may be committed to compliance, honesty and treating your customers seriously. We’re not referring to you. But there are dozens of other brands (and owners) that DON’T do honest business. Unfortunately there are far more of those.
So when a manufacturer is asked about readiness for FDA compliance and they only give some vague assurance, there needs to be a way to know for sure.
Shop owners should work only with brands on the path to FDA compliance
Why should retailers care? Because if they don’t, they’re developing brand loyalty for unsustainable products, taking a risk on FDA penalties for selling misbranded or mislabeled products and taking much-needed financial support away from those manufacturers who have made the painstaking commitment to meet these regulations…those that deserve our loyalty.
We can’t be fooled by a fancy bottle, a sexy brand or an impressive website. We can’t allow ourselves to be misled by promises of “guaranteed FDA compliance” So how DO you know if a brand is on that path?
Asking doesn’t help. If only there were a reliable and trustworthy resource that could examine, vet, and certify manufacturers.
Trade Associations provide representative and other collective products and services to businesses with common interests.
The vape industry has excellent advocacy and legal representation from CASAA, SFATA, VTA and R2BSF, but these groups focus mainly on public relations, legislation and/or litigation.
We understand the need for advocacy for the industry, but what about the business of vaping….from the raw materials to the shop owner’s shelf…? What about certification programs, stabilizing prices in a market with wild fluctuation? Industry best practices? Overall industry health? Group buying power?
Introducing VIBE – Vape Industry Business Exchange
VIBE is the first industry trade group supporting the vape BUSINESS. Founded by leaders in the industry, VIBE has engaged advisory board members and industry experts from every branch of the industry, and could be the best chance we have to survive the bumpy road ahead.
How VIBE helps shop owners:
- Group buying power-
- Attain even higher margins in high volume shops.
- Never let high MOQ’s stop your small town shop from getting great prices
- Great rates on services like, legal, insurance and business consulting
- Know you’re buying from suppliers who are certified to be on the path to FDA compliance
- Industry information, training and professional support for your small business
How VIBE helps E-liquid brands:
- Connect to their marketplace of vape shop owners who are serious about aligning themselves with the right suppliers, are trained by our online courses and by the community
- Become VIBE-qualified, showing you are on the right path to compliance while getting all the extra help you need to reach the finish line
- Shared PMTA development expenses – split the cost of the science, testing and reports between multiple juice brands and drastically reduce your out-of-pocket expenses
How VIBE helps the industry:
- Vape retailers will have power in numbers, helping them to maintain the big buying power they have enjoyed even as supply drastically shrinks
- VIBE will also help serious retailers make the right choices on inventory to avoid losses as well as regulatory penalties
- VIBE will bring manufacturers the help they need to remain in business, thereby reducing the effects of an oncoming eLiquid supply crisis
- VIBE will help every part of the supply chain to identify and do business with those who are serious about long term sustainability rather than just making a quick buck
Our lonely days are over.
Join us for the VIBE Launch Sequence, a series of free webinars starting next week. The first is on Tuesday, July 18, at 5:00 p.m. PST, 8:00 p.m. EST. See the rest of the webinar schedule below. These free webinars will explain what VIBE is all about and how you can benefit.
To your success,
The VIBE team
Webinar#1 – July 18, 2017
We will introduce VIBE to the world and show you how retailers can help you survive the inevitable dip in the industry.
Webinar#2 – July 20, 2017
This webinar is all about the much anticipated Guaranteed Sales Program – an innovative new way for retailers and juice brands to sell more juice with less risk
Webinar #3 – July 25, 2017
This webinar will detail how the Guaranteed Sales Program will help juice brands acquire more customers with less effort and less cost.
Webinar #4 – August 1, 2017
This webinar will cover how the Guaranteed Sales Program gives retailers a risk-free way to test-market certified eLiquid brands, and continually refresh new brands to test in their stores.
Webinar #5 – August 3, 2017
This webinar covers the VIBE certification for juice brands and how it will be essential for saving the industry from implosion.
NOTE: If you register for any one of the above webinars after the date of first showing, you’ll be able to watch the replays with the same link.
Jesse is the Digital Marketing Director at VapeMentors and Chief Technology Mentor. He is an ecommerce and internet marketing expert with a background in business and technology.