The big bottle race to the bottom


#1

Let’s use this space to explore the rational behind the big bottle race to the bottom.

can anyone tell me why they think selling 120ml - 180ml of Eliquid for $6 is healthy for us makers and the industry as a whole??

I understand value products, I also understand quality; furthurmore I understand a great deal, but where is the line? Is there one?

Should we produce juice for near free to be competitive in the face of such huge industry challenges ahead?

No Disrespect to those doing your thing, I know many of you personally and many of us have had at length discussions about this at many tradeshows around the country.

So let’s not mention names…

But let’s be honest and real for a second, With so many expenses… lab tests, FDA consults, Legal bills, clean rooms, upkeep, payroll, marketing, cost for goods sold, accountants, liability insurance ect… is this really a healthy way to compete?

Wouldn’t a stable market with good revenue / margins help us all?

Is the 120ml - 180ml for $6 the Future of this industry or is it already undoing it at the seams?

Please comment.


#2

What an incredibly important and well thought out question.

My main comment would be from a customer recency standpoint. Don’t you want your customer coming back often to get different juice? The bigger the bottle the less frequent they will come back.

From an e-liquid brand perspective, you are limiting the reach of your brand because you are selling fewer units, and therefore reaching fewer potential customers. Why not just sell it in a gallon jug?


#3

Who is selling 120-180ml for $6? I have been seeing it for $9.99 but typically around $10-$15 for 120ml online from bulk juice companies.


#5

Personally I agree with Jesse. Smaller bottles. I refuse to try and compete with the budget juice companies. This may eventually be my downfall but I stand behind my products and feel quality is better than quantity. Countless times I’ve had a customer in shop telling me how they got 240ml for 9 and it was awesome juice, then they try ours priced at 15 for 30mls and 25 for 60mls with daily specials etc. 99% of the time their reaction tells the story. They hadn’t tried great juice yet. Not saying all budget juice companies are garbage (because I’ve had some really good ones) but this seems to be the case for us. Budget juice does hurt the industry IMO as mentioned above with labeling requirements, fda reg etc. There is a line that needs to be drawn. Also it’s important to ask, are these budget companies taking the same steps we are to ensure cleanliness, or did they register and are they following the legal path or are they fly by night comanies?


#6

I think that these companies are trying to cash in while they can, dumping their stocks of ingredients before the FDA regulatory deadlines…I haven’t seen too many of them mentioning how they are going to meet the new regulations. In fact, it would be interesting to know just which ones, both big bottle manufactures and small bottle manufacturers, have actually filed their paperwork, lab results, and so on, during this whole regulatory process with deadlines.


#7

I think we are all aware of exactly what is happening in our Industry (in particular Juice Manufacturing) that is fueling our “Race to 0” - in fact it is identical to challenges that another Regulated Industry (Cannabis) is going through right now in California: A brand new Regulated Industry with massive growth and few barriers to entry, nascent Manufacturing Standards and, at the start, almost zero regulatory enforcement.

This has allowed anyone who wants to make a fast buck to start making their own juice with little of the associated costs and hurdles that are the results of traditional barriers to entry: Ingredient and Manufacturing Standards, Labeling, Marketing etc. Normally these barriers would prevent such fly by nighter’s from ever getting into the market. And the proliferation of such individuals - and their sub-standard, even occasionally, dangerous products - allows the FDA and other detractors to paint us all with the same label.

This is why our company has taken great pains to ensure our Manufacturing Standards are in place and 100% compliant with ALL FDA Regulations as well as making any changes necessary when those Regulations change.

Which means we play by the rules.

Unfortunately doing so with the current rules in place has had a severe effect on our ability to compete with other manufacturers who don’t follow these rules. This “one hand tied behind our back” has hampered our efforts in a number of strategically vital areas - new product development, constant packaging changes and limited use of Marketing/Promotional strategies amongst many others. So rather than be rewarded for our strict adherence to Industry Regulations we have to bear the brunt of a “double cost” - paying for the actual costs of these standards (i.e. having a legitimate ISO 7 Clean Room rather than claiming to have one and in reality it’s the Janitors Closet or something) but also in our business results where our Market Share, Brand Awareness and New Product Innovation efforts are all behind those of our un-regulated competitors.

As many have said in the industry…we need to start supporting those companies that are in it for the long haul and not a quick buck. That means Consumers, as well as Retailers and Distros, only doing business with those companies that can show their products, manufacturing and marketing are all 100% compliant. Only then will we be seen as a legitimate industry that upholds the highest standards in providing safe, top quality products within the established Regulatory framework.