In the past two years, e-cigarettes have gained momentum overseas. According to data released by the General Administration of Customs on December 20, China’s e-cigarette exports totaled more than 70 billion yuan in the first 11 months of 2023, and the annual export volume is expected to reach 78 billion yuan. Under the wave of Chinese e-cigarette manufacturers going global, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Russia, etc. have become red sea markets. Fierce competition has promoted industrial upgrading. What trends will e-cigarettes have in 2024?
- Environmentally friendly and biodegradable e-cigarette packaging and shells
In the European market, environmental protection issues have become an important factor restricting the development of the disposable e-cigarette industry. Government departments and consumers have gradually become aware of the environmental damage caused by e-cigarettes. Therefore, for e-cigarette brands, it may be more in line with the current European market trend to promote waste e-cigarette recycling services on the one hand and promote the design and production of environmentally friendly e-cigarettes on the other.
At present, many domestic manufacturers such as Smoor and Zhuolineng have environmentally friendly e-cigarette solutions. It is expected that in 2024, as the controversy between government departments and consumers in Europe over the environmental issues of e-cigarettes becomes more and more loud, there will be more and more e-cigarettes. More and more manufacturers are following up on the application of environmentally friendly and degradable materials such as PLA and PBAT in e-cigarette packaging and shells.
- Growth opportunities for reloadable and bottled oils
In 2023, thanks to the advantages of cheap prices, diverse flavors, and easy portability, disposable e-cigarettes will explode in markets such as Europe, North America, the Middle East, and Russia, and government departments will speed up the supervision of disposable e-cigarettes. At the same time, due to the characteristics of disposable e-cigarettes that can be thrown away after use, environmental issues have attracted people’s attention, and environmentalists continue to criticize disposable e-cigarettes.
Especially in Europe, under the dual pressure of supervision and environmental protection, many manufacturers have begun to be cautious about disposable e-cigarettes and have begun to deploy reloadable e-cigarettes, such as Hanqingda, LUCKEE, and ANYX. It is expected that the market share of reloadable e-cigarettes in Europe, Russia and other countries will grow further in 2024.
In addition, open oil-filled e-cigarettes in Indonesia and other Southeast Asian countries are more favored by local consumers. In 2023, many domestic major manufacturers have deployed bottled e-liquid in Southeast Asia. Bottled e-liquid may win greater growth opportunities in 2024.
- Large-scale application of MEMS integrated microphones
The microphone is one of the core components of electronic cigarettes. Currently, the most widely used electronic cigarette is the electret microphone, which has the advantages of stable mass production and low cost. However, with the technological development and industrial upgrading of the e-cigarette industry, the disadvantages of electret microphones have gradually become apparent, such as not being oil-proof, poor consistency, self-starting problems, and poor SMT compatibility.
In order to improve these problems, many companies have developed MEMS integrated microphones in recent years, and are expected to be widely used in 2024. Compared with traditional electret microphones, MEMS integrated microphones perform better in terms of high temperature resistance, oil resistance, and evaporation resistance, and can achieve high consistency in automated production.
- E-cigarettes with screens will become more popular in 2024
Limited by cost and portability, the initial design of disposable e-cigarettes seldom considered additional functions. However, in recent years, the global market has become increasingly involuted, and products have become highly homogeneous. Any innovation may make the product an explosive product. For example, adding a screen to the e-cigarette that can display information such as fuel level and battery power.
At present, the cost of electronic cigarettes with a screen is not much different than the version without a screen, and it can greatly improve the user experience and add new selling points to the product. In 2023, many brands have launched e-cigarettes with screens, which have been welcomed by some overseas markets. It is expected that by 2024, more brands will consider e-cigarettes with screens. The screen size may become larger and larger, and even follow-up may be possible. Touch the large screen to enhance product interaction experience.
What other trends do you think will be in the e-cigarette industry in 2024?