The NATO Show New Product Roundup

Suppliers continue their evolution through the world of vapor

Published in Convenience Store Products

By  Abbie Westra, Editor-in-Chief, Convenience Store Products

LAS VEGAS -- While some retailers may try to slow down their e-cig and vaping SKU growth as they wait for regulatory news, the category is moving at full throttle on the supplier side. At The NATO Show, held last week at Paris Las Vegas, it was obvious companies are making their way through the continuum of electronic options while focusing on consumer education.

Among the trends percolating on the NATO Show floor were female-centric vaping products. Tryst’s electronic line now extends to e-shisha sticks, a longer, slimmer device targeted at women that comes in flavors such as Jasmine Spice and Watermelon Honey Dew. Likewise, V2 Cigs continues to push its Vapor Couture e-cig, which now comes with accessories such as a charm necklace that doubles as an e-cig holder. The company has focused on word-of-mouth brand building through style bloggers and social media.

With its tobacco, electronic and general-merchandise portfolio, Trendsettah had a huge presence on the show floor. Less than a year old, its BLOW vapor line may stand for “Because Ladies Own the World,” but the company has not focused its portfolio strictly on female-centric products. Nonetheless, it has experienced strong interest from females. The line includes disposables, tanks and a wide assortment of liquids.

Another trend reflected on the show floor is the emergence of kiosk and franchise concepts spun out of product lines. Along with its South Beach Smoke Air line, International Vapor Group was highlighting its new Vapor Zone store. A handful of corporate stores are currently opening, with franchises and express, kiosk-type opportunities available for retailers. Similarly, Vapor Corp. earlier this year rolled out a “store-in-store pop-up vapor lounge” for authorized-dealer retailers carrying its VaporX line.

Along with an expansion into e-hookahs such as Nicotek's East Indies line—and which are often nicotine-free—many suppliers who entered the electronic market through “cig-alike” products are now expanding into open-tank systems, such as CB Distributors and its Vapin vaporizer and e-liquid brand. And on the heels of Republic Tobacco and Johnson Creek Enterprises’ new business endeavor, Republic rolled out its new Real Ultra Premium e-Liquid line at the show. The line features three flavors—American Blend, Turkish Blend and Virginia Blend—in full flavor, menthol, gold and silver.

While the show floor featured a bevy of e-liquids, some manufacturers are finding other ways to vape. San Francisco-based Ploom provides an entirely new way of smoking tobacco: Small pods filled with dry tobacco are baked just enough to release a vapor, so no combustion occurs. Flavors include Rocket (cinnamon and mint) and Orchard (peach). Taking it one step further, The Happy Cig by Cigalectric can vaporize liquid, wax or dry product.

Unique merchandising opportunities were seen at the Harbor Industries booth, whose tobacco fixtures are created in 1-foot elements so that as a retailer’s set changes, the fixture easily adjusts with it. Light-up merchandising signs top the fixtures and likewise come in 1-foot increments. And Boveda has been working with cigar manufactures to put its humidity-control packets inside pouches to eliminate the need for a humidor. Various sizes and humidity levels are available for manufacturers, retailers and consumer sales.

For complete coverage of the 2014 NATO Show, watch for the June issue of CSP magazine. 

By Abbie Westra, Editor-in-Chief, Convenience Store Products
View More Articles By Abbie Westra