Vape Radio 49: Mistic E-Cig Retailer Invades Vape Shops

By March 3, 2015Podcasts
Vape Radio 49: Mistic E-Cig Retailer Invades Vape Shops

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What you’ll hear today:

To watch the video version on YouTube, visit http://tinyurl.com/vaperadio. Please note, YouTube does not play the pre-recorded audio interviews.

Show #49, Running time: 20 min. What we spoke about: Guest John Wiesehan, Jr., CEO, Mistic Electronic Cigarettes interview from TPC, Las Vegas.
Key Takeaways:
  • Mistic started in 2012, in 70,000 outlets, #1 in retail outside c-stores
  • Haus offers 12 flavors of liquid
  • They will be getting their lines in vape shops, a new channel
  • New line of natural flavors from the Amazon coming in spring

Norm Bour:

Welcome to Vape radio! The show that we’re about to do right now is show number 49 and within about another 30 minutes, we’re going to be cracking out show number 50.

Norm Bour:

I have a pretty interesting interview coming up. I love going to events because it puts me in front of people that are, I call movers and shakers and sometimes they’re the average people who are really doing significant things, sometimes they’re people who are in the e liquid market. Sometimes they’re people in the hardware market, there’s advocacy groups. We’ve interviewed them all and if you ever want to know what our archives look like just go to vapementors.com and look for the tab up there that says radio and you’ll hear some of our past shows. But what I did was I ran into Mistic e-cigs, and that’s Mistic with an “I” not a “y” you might be familiar with their name. They are very significant players in the e-cig space and we understand that there’s a distinction between the e-cigs and the vaping space and the e-cigs space we have Logic, we have Mistic, we have NJOY, and we have Vues, and they probably command 80-90% of the market.

But Mistic is a very major player. And they also have their own line of liquids called Haus. And for those of you who are on YouTube, I’m going to hold up a carton of it here. So here’s why I mention it. So when I was out there, they are doing some things that are very significant. Again, I don’t like rules, I don’t like people who follow the rules too closely, I like people who are radicals, and rebels and kind of do things differently which is why I’ve been such an advocate and fan of NJOY. Well, Mistic has kind of followed a lot of that same pattern. So what they did, is that they started off as an e-cig manufacturer, and then they decided that they we’re going to develop their own line of e-liquids called Haus spelled a little differently it’s H-A-U-S and you’re going to find out in just a few moments during the course of the interview…

Paul:

It’s house in German you know.

Norm Bour:

Well that’s not why they call it that.

Paul:

Oh, okay.

Norm Bour:

Any you who are curious, you have idle minds there, you’re going to find out why they call it Haus in just a moment. They are really out to make a significant inroad into the vaping industry. They were kind of teasing me, and so I’m going to tease you that they’ve got some new products coming up in April that they’re going to be rolling into vape shops. And they also have this interesting little product, I’m holding in my hand called the Bridge. Now for those of you out there who are not quite technicians but don’t mind fiddling a little bit, this is a refillable e-cig starter kit. And they call it a Bridge for a very significant reason because what it does, it allows you to bridge the difference between a regular contained e-cig and a regular open vapor mod, or pen. And so this is one of their really landmark products. And so again, I’m holding it up on the camera so those of you who are on YouTube, you are going to be able to see it. And when we’re done this interview I’m going to tell you, one of you lucky folks out there, how you can win these products that I hold in my very hand. Just like Vanna White. So Paul go ahead and crank up that interview and let’s hear what John Wiesehan has to say.

Welcome back to Vape radio, this is Norm Bour the voice of vaping. I’m here in Las Vegas on a very nice January day at the T-P-C conference. And here we have several hundred vendors that are in e-cigarettes, in e-liquids, in hookahs, in cigarettes, in tobacco, and various ways like that, and I’m sitting here with John Wiesehan who is the CEO of Mistic e-cigarettes. Now you’ve probably heard of Mistic they are one of the top brands and so I figured, I was going to take advantage of this opportunity to get to know a little more about the company and share that with you. So, John, welcome.

John Wiesehan:

Thank You.

Norm Bour:

So tell us a little about Mistic, how long ago did you start this?

John Wiesehan:

We’re in our 3rd year in business today. Mistic has been around since 2012, we’re in our 3rd year as I just mentioned, we sell two brands. One is an e-cig a like Mistic brand and we also sell out Haus brand which an e-vaporizer that has 12 bottles of different flavors of liquid.

Norm Bour:

And your Haus brand is spelled a little differently, how is that spelled

John Wiesehan:

Haus, H-A-U-S, Haus is for those who are my age who remember the show Bonanza. And the biggest guy there, his name was Hoss and so Haus is bigger than an e-cig and that’s why the name was developed to call Haus.

Norm Bour:

 Very nice. So you started with a regular cig-a-light product, and then you ventured into the e liquid space?

John Wiesehan:

 We did venture into the e liquid space, we saw the market shift and from a business perspective, and in an emerging category like this, you really got to watch what’s going on in the market and what the consumers are looking for. We still do very well with our Mistic brand, we’re very proud of it, it sold in 70,000 retail location around the United States. But we did see that the consumers wanted some different choices in terms of how they get their vapor, and what flavors they had outside of just menthol or tobacco. So we developed 10 other flavors around menthol and tobacco, there’s grape, berry and you can look on our website and see the different types of flavors. But it became a very personal choice for the consumer. We recognize that, and we developed our personal vaporizer called Haus. And then give them 12 choices of flavors.

Norm Bour:

So let’s talk about the e-cig market John, it seems like it’s has a little of a volatile ride and the stickiness of e-cigs has not necessarily been as great as it should be for e-cigarettes, what are your thoughts on that.

John Wiesehan:

I think it’s still a consumer awareness issue. If you look at the consumers today there’s 45 million smokers in the United States today. Of those 45 million, still only about 3% vape. So I think the consumer awareness of such a young industry, we still have to do our job to make the product more aware to the consumers so that they can start to understand what it can, the benefits it could potentially give them in terms of potential harm reduction. I’m not saying it is, we’re still testing our product as the industry is, but the potential is there.

Norm Bour:

Absolutely. So we talked before about the different channels that you distribute the Mistic line through and we were talking about what exactly is a vape shop and of course you’ve got the brick and mortar, you’ve got the convenience store, and you’ve got the big box store, retail is where’s Mistic is especially strong John?

John Wiesehan:

Mistic is, as I said, in over 70,000 locations. We’re the number 1 brand in Neilson track channels for grocery mass, everything but a convenient store. We surpassed out competitor last October to become in volume, in terms of units, the number one brand in those channels and distributions. We do participate in convenient stores, we sell at the pantry, we sell at circle K, we sell at speedway, places convenient like that. But there is a very good community of distribution channels around pure vape shops, and so we’re starting to take a hard look at how we can participate in that space.

Norm Bour:

Okay, that’s great. So you develop your lines of e-liquids to give the consumer more choices, more options out there as opposed to just having the standard cig-a-light products?

John Wiesehan:

Absolutely, I mean it’s all about personalization for the vapor, the person that understands vaping. They usually start with a cig-a-light to understand what it is, and then they start to do their own investigation online. They go to vape shops, they go to the channels that we distribute to, and they look at how they can make it more personal for them.

Norm Bour:

Okay, so where do you see the future of e-cigarettes? They’re ever going to go away, but do you just see more and more people entering the space? Or do you see more and more e-cigarette users venturing in to the liquid market?

John Wiesehan:

I think you have to look at it two buckets. One there is the national brands, and I don’t know how many. I mean, Space is gone at national retail. So if you’re not here, you’re not getting in. And in our opinion, we’re a leader, we’re one of the top 3 brands, and certainly in the United States so we’re going to hold our space there. I do believe though, that there is a whole new channel of vape shops, and we’re looking into expanding that with a new line of high end liquid. It’ll come out in the Spring of this year. I’m not going to talk about the brand, or the flavors yet, but I will tell you that it will be distinct. We’re looking at an all natural extract from the Amazon rain forest area, that we’ll introduce sometime in the April time frame.

Norm Bour:

That’s awesome, sounds very exotic.

John Wiesehan:

It’s very exotic, I can’t wait to go down to Brazil.

Norm Bour:

Okay so let’s focus on your Haus e-liquid. So you’ve got a dozen flavors right now.

John Wiesehan:

There’s 12 flavors.

Norm Bour:

12 flavors, and so let’s talk about those, How did you come up with the 12 flavors and are there any particular flavors that really rise above and beyond as far as popularity?

John Wiesehan:

What’s really funny is, not one shines. They all pretty much do what we expected them to do. We hit in terms of flavors, we did some studies that we’ve had 93% that Americans eat and drink whether that’s a cherry, whether that’s a melon, whether that’s a watermelon, whether that’s vanilla, or coffee, we tried to find what consumers like and what they buy in other products, and we hit every one of those flavors and we have I think 93% of the taste buds of Americans.

Norm Bour:

That’s excellent, so in talking about the convenience store market or the kind that people walk into. One of the things that we’ve uncovered in previous interviews is that the taste in people are changing in the e-liquid market. It seems like you can go to the 7-11 and you can get the bad juice, but a lot of people now have developed a very fine pallet and I’ve interviewed several people on vape radio here that are connoisseurs, can you speak to what you see in your market as far as your research, as far as people really kind of one looking for and recognizing the difference qualities of juices out there.

John Wiesehan:

There is a difference in quality. One of the things is that we have to be very focused as industry leaders. We mix our juices in the facilities that we believe that FDA are going to mandate. I get very nervous when I see vape shops mixing their own liquid and they’re not in clean room and they’re not up to the production standards and manufacturing standards that need to be. We do that today, I know most of my competitors that I compete with, they do that but it’s up to us to make sure that the standards are right and that the quality is correct and that we continue to find the right flavors through the consumer.

Norm Bour:

Well you know, I’ve been in many vape shops that claim to have a clean room, and I haven’t seen very many of them that truly are clean room. Just because you wipe it down with alcohol, does not define it as a clean room, you know? Do you have any thoughts about the big bad wolf and the room and the FDA as far as when they’re going to come up with something final and any insight in where you think they might be going?

John Wiesehan:

Yeah, I don’t look at the FDA as big bad. They’re here to help, we look for reasonable and sensible regulation, and we encourage it. It’s important that that happens, I think it will start to sift out some of the ones that aren’t doing it the way you’ve seen, a clean room, our clean room is a clean room. It certainly is, I mean, you have to dress up, and there’s no windows and it’s all, the air is moved every hour out, and new pumped in. We think it’s very important, it’s the product that people are consuming, so you want to make sure that it’s got the highest safety standards in the industry.

Norm Bour:

Awesome, so what haven’t we talked about that you think people should know about either Mistic, your current line, or where you think you’re going to be going or where you will be going in the future?

John Wiesehan:

Yeah, I think what I want people to understand is that Mistic is a quality brand. And our Mistic line and our Haus brand we sell at over 70,000 locations, we consider ourselves a very high quality product at a very valued price point for the consumer. I think that people need to watch because we’re going to bring up a very high end line of liquid. And when I say high end line, t’s all about the flavoring, it’s all about the back story to where the flavors come from, and it’s all about it being natural. So, for that it’s going to cost me more money to make, but when they buy it, they’re going to feel very confident that they’re getting a quality product.

Norm Bour:

Well in interviews past, we’ve compared e-liquid along with other fine products whether it be wine, cigars, scotch, tequila, and people will pay insane amounts of money for high quality because it seems like this economy is on the mend, people have more discretionary spending dollars, and so they would rather spend the dollar or two more on the e-liquid that they know are made under quality conditions as opposed to something that’s going to give them a really bad taste in their mouth, literally and figuratively at the same time.

John Wiesehan:

No, I agree, and we’re not going to gauge the consumers certainly, but we’re going to make sure that what they buy, they get every value for the dollar that they spend and they can be confident of quality products.

Norm Bour:

Excellent. So can I coerce you into getting us back onto the radio when you start rolling our your special amazonian line come next in a couple of months?

John Wiesehan:

I’d love to. Our target date is April 1 but as a business person, I’m trying to push it as fast as can. We’ll do it right so I won’t rush it, but I’ll get it out there. So sometime in April I’d be happy to do it.

Norm Bour:

And if someone needs more information on your company, where should I send them?

John Wiesehan:

www.Misticecigs.com, No “y” M-I-S-T-I-C

Norm Bour:

Here’s the takeaways that I got from that. One, they’re developing a line of e-liquids that are Amazon forest based, from an exotic standpoint, from a competitive marketing standpoint, kudos to them. They’ve developed a line of 12 house brand and again I’m holding up 6 of them right here on my camera. And what I’m going to do is I’m going to offer you guys a chance to win it because what we need you to do, is that we need you to give us a rating of vape radio. So we need you to go either YouTube or Stitcher or one of the places that you’re going to and we need you to give us a rating and we want you to be honest, we’re going to love you whether you give us a good rating or whether it’s not a good rating. But here’s what you’re going to do, we want you to go rate us on the sites and then you need to send us an email [email protected] and subject line needs to say, “what’s up Haus?” “what’s up Haus?”

Paul:

Do they have to spell it right?

Norm Bour:

It doesn’t matter, I’ll figure it out. I’m going to pick a winner, and the winner is going to get a group of 6 of the flavors, 6 of the 12 flavors that they have. So what’s up [email protected]

Norm Bour:

So here’s another thing that he kind of touched on. One is the FDA who may or may not be the big bad wolf in the room, but it just so happens that our Vape U instructor in 2 weeks is going to be a gentleman who has been dealing with the FDA for a long time and he says that there may be a decision coming down as early as June. So, for those of you who are out there please join us.

Paul:

This is February we’re doing this, you’re talking about a decision in a couple of months because this has been going on for a while now right?

Norm Bour:

Yeah but understand that it’s not going into law right away.

Paul:

Okay.

Norm Bour:

They’re going to come out with the recommendation and the guidelines and it’s still going to take a while before it goes through the whole bureaucratic cycle.

Paul:

Right, people might know what they’re thinking. Where they’re going to come down on this.

Norm Bour:

Ladies and gentlemen if you’re out there listening right now and you have what you think is a clean room and it’s not, and ISO clean room, you better just start cleaning up your act right now or plan on closing it down because that’s just not going to be acceptable. Both from a regulatory standpoint and also from your customer standpoint. They’re going to start asking questions that you aren’t going to be able to answer. But I specifically want to talk about the changing technology in this vaping industry. So for those of you who are under the age of 40, which is probably a huge majority of you, you may not realize that the wonderful thing about history is that you can only really recognize it when it passes. So I look at the whole vaping industry as an industry very much in growth, very much in transition.

And it’s kind of like the computer industry was going back to 1980 and then through the ’90s and the early 2000’s. That’s what we’re experiencing in the e-liquid and the vaping industry. Because we have something that started as a fringe element just a handful of years ago, and we have now medium tobacco and big tobacco coming into it. And so you have a lot of players who are getting in and you have companies like NJOY and companies like Mistic who are taking their e-cig line and actually expanding that into their own line of liquid. So, just pay attention to this stuff because as I’ve said before, the vape space is very generous to vapreneurs and if you have a niche, if you have a market, then I just want you to tap into it, and before we leave on our break, I wanted to share with you another one of our sponsors which is Craft Vapery.

As I mention a few weeks ago, we interviews Randy Freer with POETS, one of the masters of vape and craftsman behind the artists collection by NJOY and five handmade flavors were designed by experts that were hand-picked to appeal to the connoisseurs that of vaping is that you vaping tastes are getting fine as you have just heard and you’re recognizing the good stuff from the bad. Are you ready to try the top of the line stuff? If you appreciate great food drink or lifestyle, we invite you to step up into the artist collection. They’re exclusively carried by Craft Vapery were proud to share them with you on vape radio. Craft finds the best e-liquids out there and each month offers you the premium flavors of the month design to your taste. Vape radio created a special package so pay attention.

And when you order the artist collection through us, you’re going to get a bonus tester bottle, which means and extra bottle besides the 5. You’re also going to get 10% off all online orders and if you become a subscriber you’re going to get 20% off of that.

Paul:

How can they lose?

Norm Bour:

They can’t lose. So go to Vapementors.com and look under resources and you’re going to find our link there for Craft Vapery so we absolutely want you to check for that. So Paul, bring up that awesome exit music and I’m going to read this brand new exit so hey vapreneurs do not go away, you’re listening to vape radio, the number worldwide source for updated information regarding straight to your phones and tablets. Be a part of our growing community of vape masters and vape mentors. Head over to vapementors.com. Catch up on past shows, 49 of them now and to learn how

Author: Norm Bour

Norm Bour is the founder of VapeMentors and the host of the award-winning podcast Vape Radio. He’s a vape industry coach, speaker, author and can be seen rubbing shoulders with the top influencers in the vape industry.