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At the 2023 InterTabac Show held from September 14th to 16th, we found that more than half of the vape manufacturers and brands display pod vape systems on the exhibition.
In fact, as early as May 2023, the top vape manufacturer, VPFIT have report that Germany may become the first market in Europe to abandon disposable vapes. At that time, the decline of disposable vaping devices in the German market is just a forward-looking prediction. Today, this trend has become an indisputable fact.
At the 2023 Dortmund InterTabac Show, we get the answer why disposable vapes are unpopular in German now from the vape manufacturers and brands.
At the exhibition, many vape related companies complain that Germany has very strict regulations on vapes. And is one of the most strictly regulated markets in Europe.
The charging person of the booth of German distributor E-ZIGARETTEN-HANDEL.DE said that the compliance procedures in the German vape market are relatively cumbersome and require more time. In addition, the packaging and compliance information of vapes selling in German are extremely strictly regulated. Therefore, the vape brand owners need to invest more costs in this area.
Mary Carmen, European general manager of ANDS, a large vape distributor and brand, even said that excessive government regulation may cause compliant companies to be “squeezed out” of the market.
The environmental issues of disposable vapes always attract much attention in the European market. Many environmentalists criticize disposable vape products, pointing out that users need to completely discard these products after the e-liquid is used up. And the built-in batteries are difficult to recycle, which puts huge pressure on the environment.
It is for this reason that disposable vapes face the risk of being banned in the European market. Germany is one of the countries most vocal about banning it. For example, in early September, German Environment Minister Steffi Lemke called on the EU to completely ban the sale of disposable vaping products.
In addition, Europe will implement restrictions on disposable vape’s batteries in 2026.
Under these pressures, vape manufacturers and companies have to adopt a “negative” and cautious attitude towards disposable vape devices.
According to data released by the EU Statistics Office (Eurostat), the German vaping products import value in 2022 is about 1 billion euros. Moreover, according to data from China Customs, in July 2023, China vapes exports to Germany were approximately US$69.36 million. It is a month-on-month decrease of 20.95%, but a year-on-year increase of 138.75%.
The above data shows that the German vaping market is huge and has considerable potential. Therefore, Germany is recognized as the third largest market for vapes in Europe.
The vape manufacturers and vape companies are naturally unwilling to give up such a huge market. Therefore, when the development of disposable vapes was restricted, manufacturers immediately turn into a category that has been “left out” by the market – pod vapes.
Nick Schonfelder, sales manager of German vape distributor FEAL, says that as the disposable vapes market declines, the business of pod vapes is increasing. According to him, many vape companies have now shifted their main business to open pod system and closed pod systems.
In addition, during the InterTabac exhibition, more than half of the vape manufacturers such as VOZOL and VOOPOO have brought pod vape products to the exhibition.
This situation does not only occur among vape companies. Even Daniel Terveen, the public relations director of the international tobacco giant British American Tobacco (BAT) Germany, also says that pod vapes are the future development trend of the German vape market.
Can the pod vapes become the largest category in the German vaping market?
Some industrial insider thinks that pod vapes do not have the communication attributes of fast consumption goods and are not targeted by the same group of people as disposable vapes. So pod vapes cannot replace disposable ones.
In addition, those who are not optimistic about the development of pod type vapes in the German market include the well-known Italian vape brand KIWI. The relevant person in charge of KIWI said that the performance of the pod vape market in Germany is mediocre and difficult to develop.
At the 2023 Dortmund InterTabac Show, exhibitors from the Croatian vape brand Wiip says that they bring pod products to the exhibition, hoping to find new customers at the show. Although the related products have not yet been officially launched, many users at the scene have expressed their willingness to use Wiip’s pod vape products.
In addition, some vape dealers also say that many consumers in their stores have asked whether they have pod products. So once related products are launched, there will be no lack of purchasing power.
At the same time, some vape brands also expresse that pod vapes are not stagnating and are still innovating and iterating to keep up with market development trends.