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Column: Winning with a new product

July 19, 2021


Vape Dinner Lady’s chief marketing officer John Taylor discusses the journey of a new product from identifying a trend to development to helping stores to boost sales

Consumer habits have been ever-changing and adapting since March 2020 and during the COVID-19 pandemic people reduced supermarket visits and opted to top-up on essentials at local stores, vape stores had to close for face-to-face sales during lockdowns.

These changes have driven an increase in convenience vape sales, however the convenience market has long struggled to maximise its opportunities in vape – and that’s where closed systems and disposables have come into their own.

Consumers’ need for quick and simple purchases means that products such as the Dinner Lady Vape Pen is an ideal proposition for convenience retailers, where they need to replicate the simplicity of purchasing cigarettes – where consumers request their selected product, pay and go. And where disposable-type vapes also support these trends is that there’s no need to charge them or carry spare pods, they’re ready to use immediately from purchase.

While the industry has been focusing on the capsules sector for a while, disposables are definitely the talking point at the moment. They have become a key product of choice for consumers at various points in their vaping journey – from beginners looking to make the switch away from cigarettes to experienced vapers looking for a simple back-up device.

Dinner Lady launched its new Vape Pen disposable at the start of 2021 and it is proving hugely popular in vape stores, convenience and online.

It’s primarily aimed at supporting adult smokers to make the switch away from cigarettes, offering a simple fuss-free introduction to vape while maintaining a premium vape experience.

Credit: Vape Dinner Lady

Vape Pen offers the equivalent of a packet of 20 cigarettes, but at £4.99 it costs around half the price. Pre-charged and pre-filled with Dinner Lady’s premium nic salts e-liquids, it’s simple to use – simply open the box, unwrap and activate it with a draw action similar to that on a cigarette.

The Dinner Lady Vape Pen was developed after hundreds of hours of research, development and consumer feedback to address their needs.

For retailers, meanwhile, the Dinner Lady Vape Pen offers a simple-to-stock, simple-to-sell vape category solution, which will help mitigate declining tobacco revenue, in a format which requires no specialist training or knowledge for staff. In the unassisted sales model of convenience retail, the Vape Pen replicates the shop-and-go sales experience of buying cigarettes.

So, how should retailers introduce a new product like ours successfully? Stores are best served when introducing new products to their customers when they can work closely with their selected partner suppliers. Merchandising and PoS should be custom designed to meet their particular in-store needs.

This is the level of service that Dinner Lady offers, it’s not a one-size-fits-all operation and we work hard with our retail partners to make sure our products are a success wherever they are sold. Our in-house data team can support our sales teams in working with new retailers for the first time, so they can ensure the right product range is in place for that specific store based on local demographics and purchase trends. Then our marketing and design teams collaborate to create the right display and PoS tools to support the range.

When partnering with a brand like Dinner Lady, retailers can rest assured we will support their proposed investment with the data to back up our products – to demonstrate their success in similar retail environments, to know what sells well in their area, and to offer confidence that their vape category will succeed with Dinner Lady at the heart of it.