Republic Technologies (UK) Limited, the company which has pioneered the growth of the UK’s RYO accessories market in recent years, is introducing OCB, continental Europe’s best-selling rolling papers brand, into the UK’s fast-growing e-liquids market.
The OCB range (10 ml; rrp £3.99) will offer vaping enthusiasts a choice of six flavours, which currently account for 80% of the market, in four nicotine strengths.
John Catania, Managing Director of Republic Technologies (UK) Limited, says: “There are now approximately 3.5 million e-cigarette users in the UK, a number which has more than tripled in the last two years. They are now faced with an overwhelming amount of choice in a rapidly-emerging market that’s largely unregulated. Despite all the attention the market is receiving, this is leading to confusion and uncertainty.
“With OCB e-liquids, retailers can be reassured that they are offering a range that is produced to exacting standards, providing vapers with the reassurance, quality and choice they are looking for, at an affordable price point from a well known and trusted supplier of RYO accessories.”
OCB’s six flavour range includes Original, American Tobacco and Oriental Tobacco, complemented by Menthol. Two flavours, Coffee and Red Fruits, will also be available as nicotine-free options.
The flavours are sourced from a renowned supplier in the French region of Grasse, an area well known for its world leading quality perfume and flavouring production, described as the ‘perfume capital of the world,’ to Europe’s most stringent production criteria. The products used to flavour OCB e-liquids are of food grade.
OCB e-liquids are manufactured in Republic Technologies’ own production facility in Perpignan, in the South of France.
The production process is rigorous and involves a number of stages. Firstly, the raw materials used are subjected to strict testing procedures checking for, among other things, quality, chemical composition, colour, texture and purity.
Dosing and blending of the different ingredients is then carried out and, once preparation is complete, the bottles are filled. For this, an innovative filling process is employed using inert gas, which means that OCB e-liquids last for up to 2 years, much longer than many competitive products, with childproof caps also fitted for additional safety.
The bottles are then packed on site, and labelled with the batch production number and optimal use by date.
The OCB e-liquids range will be complemented by a range of accessories which includes starter kits, cartomisers, coils and chargers.
The OCB starter kit (RRP £14.99) will include a battery, clearomizer, coil, suction cup, plastic case and instruction manual.
John Catania added: “At a time when the market is flooded with brands with a lack of proven credentials, consumers are looking for vaping brands such as OCB – a global brand – to provide reassurance in terms of the source of production, quality of manufacture and safety of usage.
“Consumer uncertainty is highlighted by research (TGI GB 2014) which shows that one in five e-cigarette users say they will only be safe when they have received NHS approval. This is an opportunity for retailers to take the lead in offering vaping brands which provide consumers with the reassurance they’re seeking.”
The OCB e-liquids range will be backed by a comprehensive range of POS including dedicated display stands, posters and window stickers to increase consumer awareness and drive traffic into stores.
Recent research (ASH, April 2014) confirms that whilst e-cigarettes have the highest penetration of initial usage, e-liquids have the biggest penetration (41%) in terms of ongoing usage.
Republic Technologies is also using recently-commissioned research, which has segmented the e-cigarette market into five user groups, in its nationwide marketing support, details of which will be announced shortly.