INSTA FILL: Innovative and Sustainable E-Cigarette
On September 15th, at the Dortmund tobacco exhibition, INSTA FILL unveiled a new product that combines the features of refillable and disposable pod systems. Stan Chng, the sales director of INSTA FILL, expressed to 2FIRSTS that Germany, as the second-largest e-cigarette market in Europe, has promising prospects, and INSTA FILL aims to dominate the disposable product market in the future. How does INSTA FILL, a newcomer to the e-cigarette industry that made its debut at the Dubai e-cigarette exhibition in June 2023, have the confidence to make such a bold statement?
In recent times, disposable e-cigarettes have been facing a series of setbacks in the European market. French Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne stated in an interview that she plans to ban the sale of disposable e-cigarettes. Several British media outlets reported that the UK government plans to propose a ban on the sale of disposable e-cigarettes in an upcoming consultation next week, in order to prevent children from becoming addicted to these devices.
Over the years, disposable e-cigarette products have been criticized by environmental organizations and some members of society due to their appearance and the fact that they are meant to be discarded after use. The e-cigarette industry has also been contemplating how to balance the convenience of disposable products while minimizing environmental pollution. As a result, a new type of e-cigarette that combines refillable and disposable features has emerged, and the market categorizes it as an "innovative disposable product.
INSTA FILL also showcased products of this type at the Dortmund Tobacco Expo this time.
INSTA FILL｜Source: 2FIRSTS
Stan introduced 2FIRSTS, highlighting its prominent feature of "detachable e-liquid, smoking device, and battery." It is also emphasized that this product complies with the EU Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) standards and is identified as a 3500 puff high capacity device that meets the regulatory requirements in both the UK and the European Union.
Stan said that the current core market strategy of the INSTA FILL brand is to comply with European Union requirements, stating that "we designed our products for these policies." Accordingly, the development of innovative disposable products is focused on ensuring compliance. For instance, the product's battery is rechargeable, aiming to reduce the negative impact on the environment. Additionally, the refillable pods allow users to manually fill them with e-liquid, avoiding the need for disposal once depleted."
During the sale, the product comes with a 2-milliliter e-liquid, along with a separate 10-milliliter transparent e-liquid bottle. Once the 2 milliliters of e-liquid are depleted, users can discard the old pod and replace it with a new one filled with e-liquid. Simply connect the new pod to the device and continue using it.
INSTA FILL｜Source: 2FIRSTS
On another level, the design that separates the smoking device from e-liquid also aligns with the current situation in the German market. According to information obtained by 2FIRSTS, Germany imposes a tax of EUR 0.16 per milliliter on e-liquid. It is projected that by 2024, the tax rate will increase to EUR 0.2, reaching EUR 0.26 in 2025, and eventually reaching EUR 0.32 in 2026. This could potentially result in a nearly 40% increase in the retail price of e-cigarettes.
Taxing e-liquids is a measure imposed by the German government to restrict e-cigarettes, particularly disposable e-cigarettes. According to the Dortmund Tobacco Freedom Alliance (BfTG), disposable e-cigarettes are expected to account for 40% of the e-cigarette market share in 2022. However, with the implementation of this policy, the cost of disposable e-cigarettes, especially those containing high-capacity e-liquids, is bound to increase. Furthermore, BfTG estimates that the market share of disposable e-cigarettes is projected to decrease by 10 percentage points in 2023 compared to 2022.
Stan, speaking to 2FIRSTS, expressed his expectation that a separate sales strategy will be adopted in Germany, with the "e-liquid, devices, and batteries being sold separately." The specific approach may involve selling batteries and devices together, but e-liquid must be sold separately to avoid "high overall taxes." Under these conditions, INSTA FILL will be much cheaper than disposable products of the same capacity, making the product more competitive.
According to Stan, there is currently interest in the new product from clients in Switzerland, the UK, and the US. Discussions with clients from the US and the UK have been positive.
In fact, compliance large capacity products have already emerged in the UK, with previous reports highlighting products such as Happy Vibes 3500 and IVG 2400 boasting this feature.
INSTA FILL｜Source: 2FIRSTS
Stan stated to 2FIRSTS that, unlike Germany's separate sales, the British market will adopt a bundle sales model. The retail price of INSTA FILL in the UK also takes into account the positioning price of IVG 2400, which is also £12.99, but INSTA FILL offers a larger variety of flavors.
Stan is optimistic about the future of the German market, believing it has tremendous potential. "We believe that Germany is the second largest market in Europe, after the UK," he said. When asked by 2FIRSTS about which market and target audience the product INSTA FILL will focus on, Stan stated that they aim to dominate the disposable market.
Currently, INSTA FILL is still facing pressure from other e-cigarette competitors. However, if it's a competition of compliant products, Stan believes that victory can be achieved through quality and design. However, due to the existence of a high black market competition in the UK, illicit black market products can be priced very low. "A certain brand's 3500 puffs illegal disposable product can be sold as low as 8.99 pounds in the black market," says Stan.
In other words, the competitors with large market shares are not equally compliant products but rather these black market products, which rely on the same market share but at a lower price, will truly squeeze the market space for compliant products. Regarding this, Stan believes that British consumers prefer to pay for more "affordable" products.
In regards to the future, Stan expressed that the European market is the company's primary objective, with the next step being to enter the American market.
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