Sub Ohm = Cloud Nine?
It’s a common problem for retailers: Vaping customers buy a starter kit and a liquid, then come back and buy a liquid and a tank.
But then they disappear—often flocking to vape shops.
To break this cycle, Mistic E-Cigs, Charlotte, N.C., introduced the Haus Craft Collection, which was driven by retailers whose basket analysis showed the aforementioned scenario, says John Wiesehan III, vice president of sales for Mistic.
The Craft Collection includes new e-liquid flavors and a mod-style starter kit with a sub-ohm tank and coils. The key is sub ohm: “[It] is the next generation in the product life cycle of the vaping and e-cig category,” Wiesehan says.
Sub-ohm coils have less than 1 ohm of resistance. This lower resistance (normal tanks fire at 1.5 to 2.2 ohms) creates more vapor, a stronger throat hit and a bigger cloud.
“Hopefully it’s a good enough experience to keep them forever."
“Sub-ohm tanks were a huge trend in 2015,” says Steve Hong, a principal at Roebling Research, a New York-based market research firm for the vape industry. The firm, along with ECigIntelligence, E-Cigarette Forum and the Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association, released the 2015 Vape Shop Index, which tracked data and trends from 540 vape shops spanning 42 states.
The index found that e-liquid with lower nicotine concentration was “most popular,” Hong says, which was “driven in large part by sub-ohm vapers who consume a high volume of liquid daily and don’t want to ingest too much nicotine.”
Staying ahead of these vaping trends and evolving with an ever-changing category will better position c-stores to compete with vape shops. But Mistic found with the Craft Collection that pricing also plays a part.
“[Vaping customers] are price-conscious, and I think they found out really quick they can save anywhere from $40 to $50 buying the unit at a current retailer vs. a vape shop,” says Mistic’s Wiesehan. “Hopefully it’s a good enough experience to keep them forever. If not, we absolutely want to, at the very least, keep them longer.”