The Rise and Rise of Juice Consumption
In the hardware department box mods had come about and were gaining popularity. So, with increasingly powerful devices and sub-ohm e-liquid, vaping consumption was rapidly increasing. 30ml bottles soon hit the market and became the most popular size.
Over the next couple of years the e-cig market in the UK and Europe continued to boom:
● Box mods became more powerful
● Tank sizes increased capacity
● Sub-ohm juice became the norm for advanced vapers
These factors created a voracious appetite for more and more quantity of e-juice and subsequently larger bottles. Manufacturers catered for the demand and actively encouraged it, understandably, by introducing 60ml, 120ml and what seemed at the time gargantuan 200ml bottles of e-liquid.
Alongside glass bottles was another exciting innovation: Chubby Gorilla Bottles. Again, they encouraged user friendly, large volume consumption of e-liquid.
So, vapers were having a great time.
● Powerful, crazy looking, innovative, stylish, technological box mods and devices
● Huge tanks with maximum airflow and cutting-edge coils
● REALLY, REALLY BIG BOTTLES OF JUICE!
It was perhaps a golden age of vaping.
So what could possibly go wrong?
The Tobacco Products Directive. That’s what
Now, TPD didn’t come as a surprise to anybody. The industry had been aware of it’s impending implementation for at least a couple of years. During that period there had been frenzied speculation as to exactly how it would be implemented and enforced. The truth is that nobody truly knew exactly how the regulations would pan out and exactly what impact they would have on the electronic cigarette market.
With regards to the 10ml limitation on bottle size, manufacturers and distributors had been readying themselves for the change. Diligent and forward-looking companies had been submitting their brands for approval with the MHRA. Vast amounts of time and resources were devoted to ensuring brands were going to be TPD compliant.
However. Not everyone had decided to comply…
Big Bottles With No Nicotine??
Pre-TPD there had actually been suggestions within the industry that some manufacturers would not be going along with the massively unpopular and divisive TPD regulation.
They had decided to be bold and innovative and would be flouting the 10ml stipulation with a simple, ingenious workaround. So whilst the majority of established and new brands were working towards the new laws, some companies were working on what seemed at the time to be a bizarre new concept: big bottles of vape juice with separate nicotine. It was a calculated gamble that would reap dividends for the early adopters.
In May 2017 when the dreaded TPD finally came into force, the e-liquid market changed dramatically overnight. The huge selection of brands and large bottles had been absolutely decimated. On the shelves were a vastly reduced number of brands:
● Some established brands that had become TPD compliant
● New compliant brands that had taken the opportunity to enter the market while it was in a transitional state
● New brands with short-fill bottles
Initially it was not known how popular the short-fill concept would be long-term. What was apparent though was that vapers had grown accustomed to large bottles and they were snapping up short-fills.
As the market settled down an ever-increasing number of short-fills have entered the market. It seems as though there is a new brand every day. Without having to comply with the costly and time-consuming TPD, the barrier to entry is wide open.
Why Are They So Popular With Vapers and Vape Shops?
Short-Fills are immensely more popular because:
● They are more convenient: Less bottles to carry around.
● Cost-effective: Simple economy of scale. Less packaging.
The Future of Short Fill Juice
By 2018 it had become apparent that short-fill ejuice was dominating the market. TPD had been circumnavigated and effectively bypassed.
Many brands had initially resisted becoming short-fill. Understandably: They had spent considerable time, resources and energy in preparation for the changes. Eventually, however, most, if not all compliant brands had implemented a large bottle. Some of them have done so alongside a 10ml version. Others have phased out their 10ml offering.
Short-fills have not gone unnoticed by lawmakers.
There has been much talk across various EU countries about clamping down on the innovation. The flagrant disregard of the much vaunted Tobacco Products Directive has obviously not gone down too well in some quarters. It remains to be seen what the policymakers’ next move will be.
If new draconian measure are concocted, will the ingenious vaping community respond by taking advantage of other loopholes?
Whatever happens next, for now, the UK vape scene has not just arrived back at the same point as before May 2017. The number of brands and variations in bottle size has far surpassed it.
In short, vapers have not yet had their fill of Short-Fills.