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Products & trends

New heat-not-burn brand from RAI

05 Jan 2015. Reynolds American (RAI) plans to launch a new heat-not-burn brand in 2015, identical in design to a 1990s predecessor but with a different marketing approach. Machine maker TOMRA, not one to miss a trend, is touting tobacco sorting technology to complement efforts toward achieving reduced risk products. More on what's new and different below.

RAI to launch Revo

Reynolds American, the company that launched Eclipse in the mid 1990s, plans to put its heat-not-burn products back into the limelight with a new brand, Revo, and an updated marketing strategy. The US state of Wisconsin has been selected for a statewide launch in February, 2015.

“There will be no radio or television support because Revo is a cigarette”, said Richard Smith, a Reynolds spokesman.

As with its twin, Eclipse, the appearance of a single-use, disposable Revo stick is hard to distinguish from cigarettes.

Unlike the battery-powered iQOS heat-not-burn system undergoing test marketing by Philip Morris International, Revo is fired up like a standard cigarette. However what ignites is a high-purity carbon tip that creates heat that is sucked down a rod packed with blended tobacco to be inhaled -- like aerosol or vapour. The stick employs a hollow filter.

As the picture above shows, Revo will be marketed in a cigarette-pack sized package of 20. Reynolds says it plans to price Revo equivalent to what consumers pay for a pack of premium cigarettes. In Wisconsin, that would put the cost of Revo around USD 7 (EUR 5.60).

Sales of Eclipse were a disappointment for RJ Reynolds Tobacco, although the product is still on the market. One reason is that consumers found the stick hard to light. Revo advertising unveiled by Reynolds advises the new brand is -- A little hard to light -- But totally worth it.

 

Opus Tobacco from TOMRA

The Opus Tobacco offers green leaf threshing (GLT) processors the first ever tobacco sorting technology that can assist them in obtaining reduced risk products by implementing an advanced removal of non-tobacco related materials (NTRM) and non-desired tobacco products (NDTP), according to the Norway-based company.

Opus Tobacco is a sorting machine that was inspired by the free-fall Opus sorter, a product with a proven track record in the food industry. The Opus is able to process up to 2,500 kg of stems per hour for a 1000mm-wide sorter machine. This tobacco sorter represents a new generation of sorting solutions for mechanically harvested tobaccos and in a short time, the company predicts, will be an essential piece of the GLT processors’ equipment portfolio.

Steven Van Geel, market manager tobacco at TOMRA Sorting Solutions had this to say about the company's new offering. “What differentiates the Opus Tobacco sorter from any other optical stem sorter is that is does not only accurately detect and reject NTRMs, but more specifically also efficiently removes ‘woody’ stem stalks [such as] stem knuckles, split stalks, partial or whole stalks.

“It is known that in the process of white paper cigarette manufacturing, woody stems cause pull-outs during cutting; this will result in uneven filling power of the cut-filler tobacco. Consequently this leads to waste as a possible consumer product with incomplete filling will be rejected. Stalks or woody particles are also known to cause paper piercings, resulting in unwanted waste and production stoppages,” he said.

Woody stems and stalks, are a typical result of mechanised tobacco harvesting but can influence the taste, and also the combustibility of consumer tobacco products. Stalks have a higher level of cellulose which can lend a harshness to a tobacco blend. Woody stems, which have a higher level of polymerization of cellulose, which can generate a higher level of nitrate leading to faster combustion. These factors can potentially cause harm to the consumer.

“By implementing TOMRA’s Opus Tobacco sorter into your tobacco processing line,” the company said, “consistent and reliable ‘tobacco stems only’ and ‘reduced risk/harm’ products are made available. These products end-up with the leaves to be processed in a GLT plant. By already accurately removing woody stems and stalks during the GLT process, a consistent and trustworthy tobacco product can be delivered to the PMD or the Recon plant,” the company said.

 

Altadis limited edition cigar

US tobacco sales and distribution company Commonwealth - Altadis, a subsidiary of Imperial Tobacco, has sweetened up their product portfolio. Their first limited edition cigar, Backwoods Honey Bourbon, contains a blend of natural tobaccos flavoured with Kentucky bourbon and golden honey. The cigar is available in single packs and five packs and began shipping to stores in November. Impact rich displays and colourful point-of--sale materials will supplement the launch, along with a new website geared to adult smokers: www.backwoodscigars.com.

 

Mistic Bridge

Mistic, a US maker of value-end e-cigarettes and e-liquids, introduced its latest generation of cig-alike rechargeables, described as a product line that combines the flexibility of an open-tank system with the cig-alike appearance of a traditional cigarette.

“Mistic Bridge refillable tanks are available to use with Mistic’s current and new line of rechargeable cig-alike batteries”, the company says. “Additionally, specially designed Mistic Bridge tanks are available to use with batteries of other leading e-cig brands. Equipped with the company’s Haus open vapor system and easy-draw technology, each refillable tank is cotton-free, giving users a bigger plume and a more authentic vaping experience.

“We estimate that there have been more than three million cig-alike batteries sold in the marketplace over the last year”, said Mistic Chief Executive Officer John Wiesehan. Bridge users can switch their tanks to major brand batteries, broadening the selection.

 

TJI publishes global e-cig directory

TJI also has a new product. It is with great anticipation that we announce the first global directory for the e-cig and e-vapour industry is now finished. As of December 2014, this publication will be hot off the press and ready for order either in hard copy or pdf. We’re excited about this new product.

We’ve been writing about e-cigarettes for a few years now, and during 2014 we’ve attended many the major vapour events – from the US to China and back. We’ve also launched the TobaccoCampus conference event which focuses on the e-cig and e-vapour industry. Wiesbaden, Germany, was host city this December for the second time, and we will hold an event in Vienna in 2015.

Since TJI became involved with this industry, one of the things that has come to light is the sheer number of companies making products, and the diverse geographical spread of these companies. Many good products continue to come from China, but also from the US and many European countries.

New markets are springing up overnight and a vast variety of communities and associations are battling for the rights, and for the future of these markets. There are many sides to this expanding industry; analysts and researchers are studying market trends and growth; standards and testing are getting much deserved attention.

For these reasons we saw the need to compile a document to help companies in this sector stay in touch with one another and to create strong networks. Who can supply me with the best contract manufacturing in Shenzhen? Who has the best Mod parts at the lowest prices? Who are the companies to be watching, and how to best stay in contact with them? Which associations are working in which areas and how to get in touch with them? Our directory is truly global and lists e-cig companies by country, and by category, to help answer these question.

The directory is available from mid-December 2014 and will be an annual TJI production. If you would like to be included in the 2015 directory, get in touch with TJI today.

 

The Shenzhen Electronic Vaporizer Industry Association (SEVIA)

Late in November TJI receive word that a new e-cig association for China had been formed. SEVIA is an industry association that serves companies situated in Shenzhen. In our last issue (TJI #5, Oct-Nov) we reported on the e-cig industry in Shenzhen and the challenges that this community of companies who produce around 95 per cent of all vapour products are facing. SEVIA is dedicated to meeting these challenges.

According to the association’s English language manifesto, SEVIA is “dedicated to the promotion of advanced personal vaporizers and electronic cigarettes through a union of communication of ideas and through healthy and orderly competition and advancement. SEVIA assists in developing vaporizer, electronic cigarette industry and safety standards to develop the technology and industry globally. SEVIA assists government and educational institutions through training programs and curriculum design to provide students with the most relevant and up-to-date technological and market information who will have possess resources and vision upon graduation.”

The association is dedicated to helping bolster the Shenzhen industry, by making sure that its members are well equipped. This includes providing access to the up-to-date knowledge in advancements in technology, branding and marketing, through seminars, publications and knowledge pooling.

SEVIA holds a programme of regular cooperative activities to orchestrate a platform for the exchange of information and growth opportunities. Founding members of SEVIA include Innokin, Technology (president of the council), Hangsen Biotech, Elego Technology, Eigate Technology, Green Vaper Technology, JSB Technology, and Kanger Technology. To find out more about SEVIA visit sevia.org/English

 

Curved papers – easy to roll

One of TJI's discoveries at the recent Inter-Tabac in Dortmund was a simple variation on a product we're all familiar with. Curved Papers, Inc., of New York and Toronto, has tinkered with cigarette rolling paper design in an attempt to bring ease of use to a new level.

Since the 1700s there have been rectangular rolling papers, the company said. Only in the 1970s was there finally an innovation in the shape of rolling papers, when the first industrially-produced cut-corner papers were introduced.

They were easier to insert into the new single-cigarette hand-rolling machines with which they were sold. Vendors never explained why the corners were cut, and over the years as these papers began to be sold without the machines, urban legends sprung up about the reason for them. It was ease of use.

“For 2015, Curved Papers introduces to the RYO market the logical extension of the cut-corner: the Easy To Roll curved-edge rolling paper,” the company said. “New and experienced hand-rollers alike will rejoice at the dramatically increased utility. The challenge of keeping your top and bottom edge parallel is gone; no more catching corners at all. Everyone's an expert with Curved Papers”, the company says.

Curved Papers has developed a process for producing the curved edge papers and continues to streamline its methods at factories in Europe and Canada. Papers of any size and/or material can be cut with the easy to roll curved edge, so curved variants of many popular brands are expected to follow.

The market for cut-cornered papers is large worldwide, so the major vendors have continued to produce cut-cornered papers. These easy-to-use papers are popular in the UK.

“In a sophisticated messaging campaign,” the company announced, “Curved Papers will explain in 2015 once and for all why the corners were cut, and why the curved edge is even more desirable for ease of use. Curved Papers give you an edge.” Curved Papers' partners are two graduates of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US, both with long careers in design and innovation.

Contact person for more on this product is Michael O'Malley, President, Curved Papers, Inc. Inquiries to; momalley@curvedpapers.com.

 

New Li-ion battery tackles drain

Since their introduction, disposable e-cigarettes have been plagued by the problem of battery drain. This is a phenomenon in which traditional batteries lose around 25 per cent of their capacity after one year, significantly reducing the overall strength of the device.

That was until one leading e-cig manufacturer decided to tackle the problem head on.

Hoping to attract new users of e-cigs, Kimree Technology Co., Ltd has now developed a disposable lithium ion battery, which, the company claims, retains 90 per cent of its capacity after one year.

According to Kimree, their new li-ion battery brings a 20 per cent improvement on traditional disposable batteries, greatly reducing the self-discharge rate and lowering the speed of battery drain: The development is, according to a communication from the company's R&D department, “a breakthrough in the field of disposable e-cigarettes.”

Battery drain and storage capacity have long been obstacles in the way of disposable e-cig development, and the new battery “effectively solves these two problems, said the company in a press release.

With over 2,000 domestic and international patents on electronic cigarettes, Kimree is a company with a commitment to improving e-cig technology.

As sales of disposable e-cigs struggle to keep up with the more powerful tank systems, Kimree's li-ion battery could supply a boost to the sector.

VeppoCig toughens up VAULT

High-tech vaporizer manufacturer VeppoCig has announced an updated version of their flagship product The VAULT. Marketed as “a vaporizer for a lifetime of vaping”, the VAULT SS is designed to endure even the most extreme conditions with a full stainless steel tank construction, and no plastic. The updated product boasts a variable voltage battery 3.2V to 4.8V for a custom “throat hit”, as well as a dual-coil atomizer, which, the company says, has the advantage of twice as much power in vapour delivery. The VAULT upgrade can also be adapted for customers who have already purchased the original VAULT, the company says. Just replace the Pyrex tank with the stainless steel option. VeppoCig's range of products, which in addition to several vaporizer lines, includes e-cigars and e-liquids can be viewed at www.VeppoCig.com).

 

TJI Staff