Recently we posted an article that posed the question as to whether or not Marlboro, and by proxy their parent company The Altria Group, were in last place among the Big Tobacco companies involved in the electronic cigarette industry. With sales of their Mark Ten e cig showing few signs of growth, and a horde of less than complimentary reviews from those who were able to get ahold of one, The Altria Group’s future in the vapor industry was less than certain. Until this week. Over the past two days Altria has made a major announcement; they are in the final stages of purchasing Green Smoke Inc.
Green Smoke has been putting out good quality e cigs for years now. They offer a series of rechargeable and disposable cig-a-likes that can be outfitted with a variety of flavors and nicotine concentrations. They have a found a good amount of success in the industry thus far, putting up $40 million in sales last year alone. That combination of factors makes them a perfect buy for a company like Altria. It allows the owners at Green Smoke to cash out, and Altria to buy some experience and innovation.
It also seems to confirm, in this vaper’s mind, that perhaps Altria’s Mark Ten offering is struggling. Why else would they drop $40 million dollars on purchasing another brand when that cash could have been pumped directly into R&D, distribution and marketing of the Mark Ten? Altria knows that e cigs are the future, with more smokers ditching tobacco every day they need to be a part of the vapor movement. Their initial foray into making e cigs didn’t work out, so they used their spending power to make up for it.
It’s certainly not a bad plan from a business point of view. Green Smoke has a great reputation and loyal customers because they make a solid product. Their devices deliver as they should, their flavors are as good as anyone’s and they provide good customer service. On top of that they already have distribution channels in place that put their products in stores and vape shops around the country. All of this adds up to a good purchase for Altria, especially considering that they have had a slow start with e cigs.
So what does this mean for the future of Green Smoke? It’s hard to tell. Considering how well they are doing it wouldn’t be surprising to see very few changes at first. Altria can use their connections to get the product in more stores and immediately increase sales. Down the line we would like to think that they would put some money into R&D and come up with innovative vapor products based on Green Smoke’s already successful offerings. We will all have to wait and see, but this buy out is big news for anyone who is following the growth of vapor.