We took another leap forward in 2014. E-cig trends changed direction somewhat with the use of e-cig tanks and e-liquid on the rise and the entrance of cigalike brands Vuse and Mark Ten. It was a year with a lot of change, as millions embraced electronic cigarettes and big tobacco took its first big steps into the market. Maybe some of what we saw over the past year could be foreseen, like Blu e cig seeing a drop in their retail domination due to increased competition.
Plenty of things couldn’t have been anticipated in 2014 and 2015 will be surprising in its own right. We’re still going to take a stab though. We’ve taken a look at the tea leaves as well as our intuition, and here is what we came up with for 2015 e-cig trends:
More e-cig tanks and e-liquid
This one isn’t too difficult to predict as 2014 saw a huge rise in the interest of e-cig tanks and the e-liquid that you put in them. While the reasons for this upward trend aren’t clear, we do know that e-cig tanks can provide consumers higher performance than the average cigalike. By average cigalike we refer to the ones you find behind the shelves of gas stations and retail stores. The best cigalike e-cigarettes such as those you find on our top ten list are a cut above but many have yet to discover the quality e-cig brands we discuss here.
So while the typical consumer may have started off with a Blu e cig and found it wasn’t cutting it, they went looking for more. This next year we’ll see more of that, as current vapers become less wary of handling e-liquid and many will take that next “step up.”
Or, using Blu E-cig as our example again, closed tank systems like the Blu Plus may take a portion of the market. Closed tank systems will probably be promoted by Big Tobacco as they seek to gain control of public attention from refillable tank systems. Closed systems are simply disposable tanks that do not expose the vaper to handling e-liquids. We shall see.
More cigalikes, too
Just because we are bound to see more e-cig tanks being used in 2015, it doesn’t mean the day of the cigalike is over. Especially with big tobacco companies like RJ Reynolds pushing the Vuse. Cigalikes are still the most familiar e-cigarette design to smokers and mimic smoking more closely than e-cig tanks are capable of in many respects.
Not to be left out, Altria launched their cigalike product the Mark Ten. Like the Vuse, the Mark Ten e-cigarette is a two piece system with a rechargeable battery that you attach to a cartridge. It has a low initial cost but the cartridges are priced at a higher price point than the best e-cig brands
We are bound to see more use of the more mainstream two-piece system. Many smokers will make the switch, and vapers who don’t want to fiddle with e-liquid will remain in their comfort zone. This doesn’t mean they won’t go trying out other brands, however. So while some vapers will shop around for a better performing cigalike, they will be joined by an increasingly large number of smokers who will find e-cigs as a viable alternative to tobacco cigarettes.
More exposure, but also more controversy
If you think electronic cigarettes were in the news a lot in 2014, get ready for much, much more of that. Not only because we’ll have all the big tobacco companies with a stake in the market, with Vuse, MarkTen, and Blu e cig, but because e-cigs are still that hot. They are a hot topic in pop culture, a hot topic on capital hill, and a hot topic among smokers.
The immense amount of marketing dollars about to be poured into the industry by big tobacco will only make it hotter in terms of exposure. Along with that, 2015 will likely see more e-cig controversy, as opponents of the e-cig revolution will pull out all the stops to slow down the a train that has already left the station. They will thrive on fear mongering and manipulated data but they won’t succeed.
As you can see, we are very confident in 2015 being another growth year for the electronic cigarette industry. While some are getting swept away with what e-cig tanks mean to consumers and even speaking about the deal of the cigalike, we think that is all premature. There is space for both, and there is a need for both.
Think of it like a supply line where smokers come in, try a cigalike, and often graduate up to refilling their own tanks with e-liquid. But then the next batch of smokers is introduced to e-cigs, and the supply is replenished.
We also think that there is plenty more to be said about the cigalike, even among current vapers. It still offers a more mobile and no mess solution, which appeals to a big segment of smokers. The additional marketing by Vuse and MarkTen this year will only add to that appeal, as both try to overtake Blu e cig for brand recognition. A lot more money is heading into the industry and the longer-term question is what that will do. We hope it will catapult the growth of the electronic cigarette even further, as it is the best hope for smokers we may have ever seen.
Yet as we look at the more immediate term, we see a 2015 that simply exudes potential for the e-cig market. There is plenty more to come and we’ll keep taking it all in and filling consumers in along the way.
Here’s to a great 2015 for the electronic cigarette.