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9m55sWhat we’ll be covering: The Realities of the E-liquid MarketUpside & downside, manufacturing options, ISO standards and much more. You may need 24 hour security to manufacture-liquids, similar to alcohol and tobacco guidelines.
14m30sCaveats, things to avoid:a) Diacetyl (popcorn flavoring)b) Acetyle Propynol, which is similar to Diacetyl

Formaldehyde is controversial and can be generated from excessive heat, but is not usually in e-liquid formulations.

15m10sLabels and chain of custodyLabels are important and must list any carcinogens and be clear on contents and ingredients; be aware of state propositions and restrictions.
18m25sISO standards are international guidelines for air qualityISO 7 is a high quality room that is tested and monitored for contamination. The lower the number the more clean, but requires more restrictive access.
20m20sThere are three levels of watchdogs: the FDA, your state and your city.Indiana is considering guidelines to restrict the sale of nicotine products from out of state. Hawaii has new age restrictions to age 21. Check your state.
23m05sWhat is done in the clean room?Everything before the bottle is capped.
24m30sHow did we get here? A brief history and a lesson in measuring.The proper way to measure liquids is by weight (gravimetrically), not volume, especially with larger volumes. Contract manufacturers should use this technique since it is difficult to calibrate between volume and weight.
26m20The challenges of building your own lineEasier today since it can be outsourced; harder since there is more competition
27m20sWHY are you building your business?You must have passion, not just dollar signs in your eyes, or for ego
28m30sThe vaping business will not go away…It will morph into something else; highly regulated, run by fewer large players
29m25sKeys to e-liquid successGreat customer service, high quality formulations. They are a reflection of you. Find your niche.
30m40sBranding and market penetrationEmpathy means understanding what your customers want; focus on your chosen path. Don’t get fancy. Packaging is important but not sustainable if flavor is lacking. FOCUS on what you do.
33m00sPay attention to your ingredientsNot all PG, VG and nicotine are the same. There are dozens of variations; find what works for your formulation
33m55sQuestions: are there concerns about colorants negative effects?Do not add colorants, they can be harmful. Request ingredients without added color. Be aware of what goes into those ingredients from your supplier. Replacing one component with another is time consuming.
36m10sWho is your customer?What do they want or like? Look for trends and provide flavors that your customers want.
37m25sHow will your flavors differ from well-known brands?Those flavors are designed and well known for a reason. It takes time and patience; make and take notes to get it just right. Small differences can result in different outcomes.
39m45sYou must be consistentWith your packaging, your look, your flavorings (including VG/PG); they all must align. Taste and vapor production must also be consistent. Make all batches the same, especially higher volumes.
43m09sHow do you compete with the “Big Boys?”It can be done: events & trade shows, be part of the community. Be professional, network with competitors as well as friends. Develop relationships. It is not too late!
46m25sRun like a business, not a hobby.Find professional help with accounting, taxes, distribution, marketing, etc… You cannot do this alone.
46m50sWhat are reasonable volume goals?That will be based on you. Determine how big and uncomfortable you want to get. Are you looking for world domination or a comfortable lifestyle? Most of Michael’s clients start at 10K bottles. Some have 100K bottles.
49m20sMichael’s opinion: this market is untappedThe vape business will remain, but the mechanism and guidelines may change. You must change with them. Will open tanks be around in five years?
50m15sWHY create your own flavors?What is your motivation? You must build momentum to be sustainable or to be a target for acquisition.
51m15sQuestions: Glass vs plastic; which should you do?Glass is impermeable, allows no leeching; amber and cobalt blue bottles are the best since they are tinted against light diffusion. Child resistance caps are highly recommended. Use a certified cap, do not use imported products.
53m20sHow often or should you change your formulas? Should you vary them?Develop different lines or brands rather than changing the original formulation. The only reason to change the original is if it had something in it that should be removed. NOTE: customers like to see the liquid levels
56m10sThere are different types of plasticsThe best are the PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles which are firm; don’t use soft plastic
57m20sPros & Cons of in-house manufacturingPros: higher profit margins (?), may be easier to build a brand, more controlCons: expensive, working with hazardous/ dangerous chemicals, liability exposure, EPA regulations, proper attire required to work in the clean room.
1h,00m10sSome high profile companies are being investigated.Insurance is a must, protect yourself whether you make it yourself or outsource it.
1h02m05sSome terminology and organizations to knowGMP (Good Manufacturing Practice), AEMSA, American Vaping Association, TVECA
1h02m05sA quick primer on the components in e-liquidsWhat to look for in each. If you buy from a third party, know the source they purchase from. Your components must be consistent.
Nic levels are down, the quality of hardware is increasing
1h07m30sWarning: e-liquids can be prone to theft or high-jackingWrap in black plastic, use generic labels, treat it as a valuable product.
Questions & Answers
1h08m45sCan you reverse engineer flavors?Formulations can be reverse engineered, but not candy or finished products. Michael stares a story about trying to be too “unique.”
1h11mo5sWhat are the options for steeping?It can be done with heat and different agitators with proper speed and RPM. Use low RPM, do not aerate! Do not steep with nicotine; add it later. Can be done with ultrasonic and even excess cold. Steeping is a valuable part of the process.
1h13mo40sDo you need to clean or sterilize the bottles first?If you get them from the right sources you may eliminate the issue.