l Founded in 2015, VAPO is a New Zealand vaping brand with years of experience in the distribution of open system products before moving in 2018 to the design of an easy-to-use prefilled device.
l In 2018, FEELM established a strategic partnership with VAPO and created the closed vape pod brand - alt. which within four years is now ranked no.1 in the niche category, with the most market share.
l By virtue of the success of alt., VAPO seized the market and became the leading brand in Oceania.
About 387,000 people in New Zealand smoke every day, and nearly 4,500 people die from tobacco-related diseases each year. The New Zealand Ministry of Health has taken a series of measures to accelerate the pace of achieving a smoke-free goal by 2025, including the approval of e-cigarettes as a means of quitting smoking.
In addition to policy support, Oceania, especially New Zealand, has a mass consumption market. In 2018, New Zealand's market size was just US$42 million. By 2021, the market share has grown rapidly to US$88 million, doubling in just 3 years. In addition, there were 220,000 of smokers were vapers, with a market penetration rate of 56.8%. The dual benefits of policies and markets have prompted the rapid development of e-cigarettes in New Zealand, and Oceania.
Earlier in 2018, BAT entered into New Zealand to expand its range of smoke-free products. Through local and international research, VAPO recognized the need for New Zealand smokers to have access to better products in order to support the transition to less-harmful alternatives like vapes. This means a product that is simple to use, a product that provides satisfaction similar to a cigarette and, importantly, a product from a New Zealand company and not manufactured by a big tobacco company.
FEELM and VAPO agreed a partnership in 2018. Two different atomization solutions – ceramic coil and cotton coil were provided based on VAPO's purpose. To ensure VAPO’s position within the market, FEELM continues to work with VAPO to develop new products to complement its existing lines. Alongside its two top selling closed pod products - alt. and Vapix - Haiz was released to offer a different experience for users.
From the very beginning, VAPO has quickly seized the market opportunity to increase its sales volume.. However, due to a lack of investment, VAPO did not see a sustained increase in its customer base, resulting in a low product repurchase rate.
After realizing the market situation, the FEELM team immediately reached out to explore how we could help VAPO. Based on our experiences in other markets, FEELM developed a customized plan to support VAPO centered on its market specifications, including implementing different marketing strategies at different stages. Thanks to the partnership with FEELM, VAPO was able to expand its user base and increase the repurchase rate of its products
VAPO's set up at Mardi Gras Ohakune & Coronet Peak in Queenstown.
In order to expand the influence of VAPO in Oceania, FEELM actively promoted alt. to participate in the 2018 New Zealand Vape Expo and provided a variety of material support including product display stands and brand accessories. Additionally, FEELM offered technical endorsement for alt., illustrating a story behind about good taste. The exhibition was a great success and was seen to enhance consumers’ trust in VAPO as a brand.
The FEELM R&D team monitored the performance of VAPO products, and has carried out 5 major upgrades for VAPO products, as well as cooperating with Quality Control Department to inspect shipped products.
As brand influence gradually expanded, an increasing number of smokers joined the VAPO community and shared their stories of successfully switching from smoking to vaping. These included comments like "VAPO's products are cheaper than cigarettes, high cost-effective", "After switching to e-cigarettes, there is no disgusting smell on me anymore", "I like every flavor of alt.", which were widely spread by consumers. Meanwhile, Vapix has also been adopted on prescription for smoking cession by the New Zealand Ministry of Health. It is sold in pharmacies across New Zealand.
VAPO has developed considerable experience in the industry over the years. In New Zealand and Australia, VAPO continues to expand its market share, and has established a considerable presence both online and offline. Jonathan Devery, one of the founders of VAPO, said: "Our online store continues to grow well, but for ex-smokers, 'brick and mortar retail' is still very important. By continuing to increase the number of VAPO stores, we hope to encourage more smokers make this switch." As the Government's regulations on e-cigarettes became more stringent in 2020, VAPO has also become one of the few brands certified as specialty store and continues to provide smokers with multi-flavored products.
FEELM, a company rooted in atomization technology and intelligent manufacturing in the industry, remains true to the original aspiration of "atomization makes life better". Combining the cutting-edge technology with traditions, VAPO and FEELM are contributing to the health of Oceanian smokers. FEELM will continue to improve its innovation and R&D capabilities, and the two companies are committed to strengthening cooperation.