Exclusive with KangerTech CEO: Innovation Drives Development
Recent years saw the thriving of disposables thanks to their convenience and simplicity. However, the integration of vaporizor component and tank often results in the entire e-cigarette being discarded when the e-liquid is depleted. This not only wastes materials but also has negative environmental impacts.
Since this year, the e-cigarette consumer market, represented by the United Kingdom, has paid increasing attention to issues such as resource waste and environmental pollution associated with disposable products. Media outlets like The Guardian have reported that 1.3 million disposable e-cigarettes are discarded in the UK every week. UK Prime Minister Sunak has expressed his determination to crack down on illegal e-cigarettes, and leading e-cigarette retailer VPZ has announced its support for a ban on disposable e-cigarettes. Meanwhile, the French government has decided to ban disposable e-cigarettes this year, and the German market is leaning more towards pod-style products.
In response to these concerns, many e-cigarette manufacturers have proposed their own solutions. Several companies have launched environmentally-friendly recycling programs in the UK and other markets, partnering with retailers and recycling organizations to collect used disposable products. Some manufacturers have introduced disposable products with a recyclability rate of up to 99%, reducing the costs associated with the recycling process. Shenzhen KangerTech Technology Co., Ltd. ("KangerTech") recently applied for an innovative patent and presented its own solution, which involves an e-vapor device with a replaceable tank component. 2FIRSTS interviewed Danny Zhu, the CEO of KangerTech, who introduced one of the prominent technical features of this patent series and shared KangerTech's perspective on the future e-cigarette market.
Innovative Reservoir Component
Founded in 2007, KangerTech is a high-tech enterprise that has obtained multiple certifications such as ISO 9001, 45001, 14001, and GMP. The company is dedicated to the research, development, production, and sales of electronic vaporizing devices.
According to Mr. Zhu, this patent solves the problem of the difficult replacement and material waste associated with the reservoir component in existing electronic vaporizing devices.
In this patent, the reservoir component consists of a reservoir and a reservoir element contained within the reservoir, with a central channel defined. The vaporizing component includes a hollow shell and a vaporizer fixedly connected to the shell. One end of the shell axially has a first opening, through which the reservoir component can be inserted or removed from the shell. When the reservoir component is inserted into the shell, one end of the vaporizer will be inserted into the channel of the reservoir component.
Compared to traditional electronic vaporizing devices, this device features a simpler and more rational assembly method and saves space. Most importantly, the reservoir component can be replaced independently of the vaporizing component, effectively reducing material waste.
According to Danny Zhu, this technology allows users to independently replace the reservoir component, achieving higher sustainability and environmental friendliness while reducing the cost to one-eighth of a disposable product.
The product utilizing this patent has received positive feedback from multiple potential customers, and KangerTech will continue to iterate and upgrade its product. The latest generation of products will be released after obtaining global certifications. Danny Zhu emphasized that this product should not be defined as disposable or pod-based. It combines the convenience of disposables with the sustainable usage of pod systems.
"The product is designed from the perspective of addressing user pain points, breaking the limitations of current types."
Innovation and Compliance as Core Competencies
During the interview, Danny Zhu emphasized the importance of innovation, which was the initial driving force behind KangerTech's development of this product.
He explained that there hasn't been much innovation in disposable products for the past three to four years, and breakthrough innovation is needed to address user pain points. He also pointed out the leaking issues associated with pod-based e-cigarettes and the high cost of replacing pods, which can become a financial burden for long-term users.
Danny highlighted the significance of innovation in solving industry pain points, and this new technology addresses the aforementioned issues by saving materials and reducing usage costs.
He believes that besides innovation, the biggest factor influencing the e-cigarette market is the regulatory requirements in different countries. He gave the example that the majority of e-cigarette brands in the United States have not obtained FDA's premarket tobacco product application (PMTA) approval. However, they have gained market share through factors such as pricing and flavors, creating a "prosperous" situation in the US market.
But he believes that this is not true prosperity, stating that "genuine prosperity should be built on compliance, and stable growth is the key to sustainable development." Currently, the FDA has initiated strict regulations on e-cigarettes, which have impacted various brands entering the US market to varying degrees.
This reflects the different attitudes and decisions of different companies in the face of this reality, requiring long-term planning and decision-making.
Danny previously collaborated with international tobacco company Altria and mentioned that Altria maintains a distance from flavored e-cigarettes.
"International tobacco giants like Altria prioritize social responsibility and compliance, and they do not produce fruit-flavored e-cigarettes."
Furthermore, Danny Zhu pointed out that the current global e-cigarette market is driven by price, but blindly pursuing price competition has resulted in uneven product quality and potential health risks for consumers. Companies should reduce costs through technological innovation while respecting compliance, meet consumer demands, and provide higher cost-effectiveness products.
Disposable Products Not the Future Direction
Currently, different categories are competing in the e-cigarette market, and the industry is exploring which category will produce the next "hit" product.
Before early-stage capital entered the e-cigarette market, the overall market development was slow. However, innovative disposable products have rapidly propelled the market, transforming e-cigarettes from niche to mainstream. Danny believes that product innovation has driven the industry's development.
"The product from Puff Bar directly triggered the popularity of disposables, leading to everyone else making disposables."
Danny told 2FIRSTS that disposable e-cigarettes are not the future direction. As long as there is consumer demand, there will be opportunities for innovation. In the future, disposable products will face more challenges due to strengthened regulations and increased costs associated with recycling, among other factors. New products should address user pain points, such as the hassle of replacing heating coils.
However, he emphasized that this is not an overnight process, stating, "When a product has no pain points, it has reached its maturity."
As an e-cigarette manufacturer with 15 years of experience, KangerTech has laid out multiple patented technologies in the e-cigarette field to address industry pain points. KangerTech is committed to developing technologies that extend the lifespan of heating coils and is undergoing certifications in countries such as Germany and Italy. The company aims to meet consumer demands through a long-term technological matrix layout, providing healthy, comfortable, and satisfying experiences as its corporate mission.
"A product should offer a 'comfortable' user experience."
KangerTech's future development goal is to continue focusing on functional innovation while highlighting visually impactful designs in electronic vaporizing products. By combining technological innovation with visual aesthetics, KangerTech aims to provide higher-quality products and better serve global consumers, contributing to their health and providing enjoyable experiences. KangerTech's technological innovation and globally oriented patent layout will inject new vitality into the e-vaporizing industry's innovative development, promoting progress and upgrades in the industry's products.
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