Interview with Nick Molina, the CEO of International Vapor Group
In this video Deucesjack talks to Nick Molina, the CEO of international vapor group about VaporFi’s line of ejuices.
DeucesJack: Hello everybody, Deuces Jack here and we are at the World Vapor Expo in beautiful Miami, Florida and I have Nick Molina here from VaporFi and we are going to talk to Nick a little bit about how he goes about getting his juices done and the flavoring and things like that. Nick, do you want to introduce yourself and kind of take it away a little bit?
Nick: Yeah, My name is NIck, I’m the CEO of VaporFi International Vapor group which is the parent company that owns VaporFi. You talked about our juices and kind of what really sets VaporFi apart, kind of how we cut our teeth in this industry is really with our custom blending.
DeucesJack: Right, right.
Nick: Where consumers come into one of our brick and mortar stores and actually customize their own flavor experience from something, they’re choosing up to three flavors from our seventy different flavor options and different base mixes as well.
DeucesJack: And they are fantastic because VaporFi was kind enough to send me quite a few of them for review –
Nick: Good, I’m glad you enjoyed them.
DeucesJack: And I got to tell you, the flavor on them is really banging. They’re high quality juices. Now, how do you go about, Nick, creating that kind of quality? Are you like always hands on? What’s the quality control like?
Nick: For the juices? So, we’ve always, since we launched our website, by the way, the custom blending is also available online on our website, as well as the stores. As soon as we launched initially with our website, I mean, we always, even before people were talking about what Diacetyl is, we’ve always been Diacetyl free. I mean, we’ve always been a very very clean juice. We self regulated ourselves before people were even talking about regulation and self regulation. So we’ve really prided ourselves and our juice in being real clean. Our nicotine source, the glycerin source, the flavoring that we use, the conditions that we make our juices in, the pumps that we use to create the batches, everything is just state of the art –
DeucesJack: Top notch all the way through.
Nick: Top notch, yeah. It’s really how we cut our teeth in this industry’s our juice. We consider ourselves a juice company more so than a hardware company. THough we do have a good hardware line as well. But the juice is what really set us apart so we really want to make sure that we left our mark on the industry by doing that really really well.
DeucesJack: Now I think a lot of vapers really want to know this. How do you go about developing a flavor. Like do you have some mad scientist kid sitting in the corner, mixing things and trying different things and then he comes to you and says, Hey Nick, try this, this is fantastic? Like, how do you go about it? Are you looking at the market?
Nick: That’s part of it, so that’s part of it. We’ve got the advantage of being able to have a direct relationship with our consumers. So we sell directly to consumers well. But a lot of juice companies don’t sell directly to consumers directly, they sell to distributors or to retailers who then sell to consumers. We do that as well, but we also sell directly to consumers and we take inbound customer service calls from consumers. So we listen to the feedback that our customers are giving us. We do customer surveys. What kind of flavors are they buying? We see the trends. We see when someone, when the shift starts happening from tobacco to menthol, from menthol to fruits. When you’re looking at the non-tobacco flavors. We’ll start seeing all of a sudden the shift to more candy flavors. And we get ourselves ahead of that.
DeucesJack: So then for you guys, there’s a science to it, then. You guys are collecting the data in order to get ahead of the curve, right?
Nick: It’s very data driven, it’s very analytical. But we also do have the artistic creative side, where we do have that mad scientist in the corner that’s just playing with stuff all day long, saying, “Oh my God, I hit something good, you gotta try this!” And then we try to start our own trends that way as well. But in addition to doing that we’re trying to see where the industry is going so you want to get ahead of that as well.
DeucesJack: So not only are you using the data, but you got that mad scientist kind of kid, so you’re not losing that vaper community feeling that you get from a lot of juice lines. So you guys are basically hitting the best of both worlds.
Nick: Well, listen, I think the answer is yes. But I think that listening to our customers, they are the vaper community. That very much so is staying within the communities. Giving the community what they want. To see what they’re ordering, to see what they’re ordering less of and more of, and making the shift, especially with the custom blending. If we see that people are starting to really blend with some of the dessert flavors, so the chocolate flavors, we start seeing all of sudden a shift toward chocolate, we say, Eh, maybe we gotta start bringing in more chocolate blends, more top blends, more pre-made blends with a chocolate tone to it. And we start testing that and start to see what the take grid is on that and we can test that at a store or at two stores or on the website for a short period of time and if we see traction then we roll it out on a larger scale.
DeucesJack: Here’s a great question. Did you ever find a great juice that a customer came in with, with a custom blend and then you said to yourself, hey, I gotta put this juice to market? Has that ever happened?
Nick: A hundred percent. We actually have contests sometimes where we have customers, say , hey, submit your custom blend, and if you win then we give them a year’s supply of free juice, and then we rename the blend, we actually name the blend after them, they can name the blend themselves if they want. It’s pretty cool.
DeucesJack: That is just phenomenal.
Nick: Yeah, it –
DeucesJack: That’s what this community is all about –
Nick: Yeah, it’s really interactive
DeucesJack: I really love when I see companies like VaporFi part in the community like that. That’s fantastic.
Nick: Thank you, yeah thanks.
DeucesJack: Speaking about community, the FDA just came out with it’s new ruling. I would like to get your opinion especially since you’re so active in the community and you have that data type of background too, I would love to get your opinion on where you think, you know, vaping is going in the next year or so from an advocacy standpoint.
Nick: Well look, I think that was, it was probably one of the best days, the worst day being the day that those (indistinguishable) rates came out. The best day we’ve seen since then was that Friday, a couple Fridays ago. And you know, for the first time, and if you look at the full announcement, right, they’re going to, the FDA came out and said. We are committed now to reduce the nicotine content in combustible cigarettes and we are going ot make it easier for companies, for vape companies, to comply and exist. It clearly shows their intent to shift people from combustibles into vape. They had never ever embraced that before. Is that a result of the new leadership at the FDA? Is it a result of the pressure that the vaping community has put on the FDA? A combination of both? It’s probably a combination of both. I don’t care. It’s a great move for the industry It’s a great move for the consumers. We win. That is a big win for us. I mean, there’s a long way to go, but it’s the first that the FDA has basically said, hey you know what, we’re going to embrace vape. To what extent, we’ll soon see, but it’s, they’ve never done that before to any extent, so it’s very very encouraging. So i look at that as a big positive, I look a t that as really an accelerant for the growth that we’re going to see in this business. I think that consumers are now going to be get less nicotine in tier combustibles theoretically and the only place to get more nicotine content or adequate levels of nicotine in a safer delivery system is vape. I think it’s clear that the path is going to lead to a lot more migration from combustibles to vape.
DeucesJack: You know what the problem it too, Nick, and I see it in my own personal vaping experience. There’s a lot of misinformation out there for the non vapers, the people who don’t vape, who aren’t a part of the community. I can’t tell you have many family members i ve had come to me and say, oh you’re vaping, that’s, you’re going to get pneumonia. I said, where did you see that?
Nick: there’s a lot of misinformation out there.
DeucesJack: There’s a lot of bad information out there.
Nick: That’s starting to turn now that’s starting to turn. And you know the power of social media, the power of this community, the passion of this community, I always said, you know, when things looked very bleak for us, I always said, it can’t die. It just it can’t. You’re not gonna be able to kill it because number one, the product is that good, and number two, consumers are passionate about it. I mean the alternatives to them, to go back to a certain early death in combustible cigarettes, so there’s no way when you’re trying to take that away from them, there’s no way they’re going to be quiet and go away quietly. They’re not. They’re going to make a lot of noise.
DeucesJack: And we’re going to show that passion tomorrow. Because right now I’m here with Nick and this is just a business to business day so that’s why you’re not seeing big crowds here right now. Tomorrow when they open this up to the public, you are going to see the passion of this community, this place is going to be jam packed. Like you’ve never seen before, right? We’ve all done these vape conventions before, right? They’re amazing and that’s how Nick and I know about that type of passion, because we see it when we come to these types of vape conventions.
Nick: It will be fun. It will be fun, I can’t wait to see it.
DeucesJack: Nick, I want to thank you for getting on camera with me. You’re a gentleman and you run a fantastic company and I really enjoyed our time together. This has been Deuces Jack in Miami, Florida at the World Vapor Expo, and this was with Nick Molina and we’re at VaporFi. We want to thank you for watching and please take a look at Nick’s juices, he’s got a fantastic line of juices, you can customize it. I’ve tested his juices, I’m dropping a review real soon. I haven’t had a bad one yet, they’re absolutely fantastic. Alright? Deuces. Have a good one.