There’s a certain arc that’s common to almost all new tech industries. When a new industry appears, small businesses pop up everywhere as entrepreneurs try to capitalize on the opportunity and claim market share. After a while, the market begins to consolidate. Big companies get bigger, and smaller companies begin to fall away.
In regions such as the United States and the United Kingdom – where the vaping industry is now more than a decade old – it’s definitely safe to say that the consolidation phase has been reached. One by one, the smaller companies are either dropping away or getting acquired by larger brands. Many local brands, however, do still exist.
In the United Kingdom, the legal climate for the vaping industry is much more favorable. It is still possible there to launch a new vape juice brand without jumping through an onerous set of legal hoops.
The Effect of Consolidation in the Vaping Industry
From the consumer’s point of view, the primary effect of consolidation in any industry is that you have fewer choices. As the big companies get bigger, they secure distribution deals to ensure that they’re available in as many stores as possible. The end result is that, from one vape shop to the next, the product selection looks more or less the same. If you’ve become a bit tired of seeing essentially the same set of e-liquid brands at every local vape shop, the best thing that you can do is explore regional brands like UK vape juice company Second City Vapour. It’s going to make vaping fun again for you in a way that it hasn’t been in years – and if you live in the United States, your time to explore local e-liquid brands is most likely just about up.
Why Is It So Much Fun to Buy From Smaller Vape Juice Brands?
The best reason to try a boutique vape juice brand is because you’re not just seeing the same selection of brands at your local vape shops; you’re also seeing much the same flavors. How many mango-and-ice blends, blue raspberry e-liquids and passion fruit, mango and guava vape juices can you experience before it all starts to get a bit old? The big e-liquid brands tend to release vape juices with similar flavor profiles because it’s a natural tendency in any industry to copy what’s successful.
Smaller vape juice companies, on the other hand, tend to experiment a bit more with flavor development because they know they’re serving niche audiences. They make their products specifically for vapers who are on the hunt for flavor experiences that are out of the ordinary. If you want to try flavors that you’re not going to find anywhere else, the best way to do that is by buying vape juice from companies that don’t have wide-scale distribution partnerships.
Buying Local Vape Juice Supports an Up-and-Coming Small Business
The next reason why it’s so great to buy vape juice from a local company is because, by doing so, you’re supporting a small business and keeping money within your community. If you’re fortunate enough to live in a pro-vaping nation such as the United Kingdom, you should be thankful that you have an opportunity to buy vape juice from a brand that’s truly local because UK law actually makes it quite feasible for new e-liquid brands to launch without much trouble. In some regions, starting an e-liquid brand is almost impossible because the legal hurdles involved are simply too difficult to overcome.
In a region where starting a new vape juice brand is still a viable business model, buying from a local e-liquid maker means that you’re voting with your wallet. You’re saying that you want the vaping industry to remain independent and that you don’t want the big companies to swoop in, consolidate the smaller brands and remove the wide selection of flavors that you currently enjoy. You’re saying that you want the vaping industry to continue presenting great opportunities for smaller entrepreneurs. Most of all, you’re saying that having a huge selection of creative flavors available is a major part of what keeps vaping fun for you.
If You’re in the United States, Your Time to Try Local Vape Juice is Running Out
If you live in the United States, buying e-liquid from a small regional brand means something slightly different from what it means in other regions because your opportunity to do that is likely to disappear soon. In the US, the climate for the vaping industry is extremely unfavorable. For years, the FDA has been on the verge of fully controlling the industry in the US. What that means is that all manufacturers of vaping hardware and e-liquid will need to submit applications to the FDA for permission to continue marketing their products.
The deadline for submitting those applications was May 2020 until the COVID-19 pandemic began. When it became obvious that the agency wouldn’t have the necessary resources available to process those applications, the FDA requested and received permission to delay full regulation of the vaping industry until September. Unless the FDA delays regulation again – which could happen, since the pandemic shows no sign of stopping – it means that you have just two months remaining to explore the regional e-liquid flavors of the United States and stock up on your favorite flavors before they go away for good.
What does full regulation of the vaping industry mean in the United States? The FDA has deemed all vaping products to meet the legal definition of tobacco products. To sell those products legally, the makers must file applications showing that those products are beneficial to public health. The cost of compiling a single application is more than $100,000, and all individual e-liquid flavors – and all nicotine strengths of those flavors – count as individual products requiring their own applications. Since paying those costs is completely unrealistic for a small business, we are now approaching the final countdown for small e-liquid brands in the United States. Stock up on those unique flavors while you still can.