Today’s topic hinges on a reality here in Canada that can be a little controversial to some within the vaping community, but some background is needed before we can get into the meaty portion of this article. In regards to Canadian Regulations such as Bill S-5 that reached Royal Assent last May 23rd, 2018; this bill made a lot of changes to how product is bottled, labeled and advertised. Without getting into any political points on the regulations, I want to speak only of the facts that we all know and how it has affected international product entering the Canadian market. There are still several clarifications within that bill that have been left a bit ambiguous to many retailers and flavour crafters and True North Vapor has chosen not to dance on the line of uncertainty in an attempt to be ‘more than compliant’.
For those of you not familiar with Bill S-5, I want to provide simply the gist of one particular portion in regards to flavour naming (Full details can be found here https://www.parl.ca/DocumentViewer/en/42-1/bill/S-5/royal-assent). Products in Canada shouldn’t have names on the bottle that relate to the following five categories; Soft Drinks, Energy Drinks, Cannabis, Confectionary and Desserts. In addition to those five categories, the name or label cannot also be “Appealing to Children”.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way we can get into the main topic of this article. Regulations in the US, although they do exist, are quite different then they are here in Canada. So when bringing in a product from over the border, or any country for that matter, flavour and brand names are two major things that need to be considered before anything can really start to happen. Flavours like “Strawberry Cheesecake” aren’t going to fly here, so we need to propose a change. The goal would be to make a change with as little impact as humanly possible to the original, but more often than not we end up with a number of ideas that are really skirting on the edge of compliance or an acronym that only makes sense when you already know what it stands for.
For this reason, we have a lot of flavours with just a colour for the name, and it can get confusing. We have Blue from Keep It 100 which is a blue slushie, Blue from Tailored Sharks which are the blue gummy shark candies, Blue from Goodyman which blue raspberry taffy and Blue from Salty Dawg which is a blue watermelon tropical flavour. As you can see, the creativity isn’t what it could be.
Just to re-iterate, this is not to knock regulations, in fact, quite the opposite. Health Canada has made it abundantly clear that their primary concern is to avoid marketing nicotine to young persons. This just isn’t at the point of sale that the concern exists though. A child who can read could see a bottle of that “Strawberry Cheesecake” sitting on a coffee table and think ‘That looks tasty’ and proceed to drink it. So product naming and non-appealing labels is EXTREMELY important to the safety of our youth.
The same could be said for Brand Names that also appear on the bottles, as they could have a similar affect as the flavour name if the brand is “Sweet Danish Delights” or something to that affect. This, of course, does pose some problems when bringing in great brands from outside of Canada when the branding changes as well. When the recognition is stripped, it does create a number of questions in regard to the authenticity or identity of the product. A few products we have brought in have undergone many changes to their original design, and the biggest question is this; “Is this product a knock off, or the real thing?” and “How do I tell the difference?”. To answer both of those questions, if you got it from True North Vapor, then the product is legit. We do not carry a single knock off brand and all Intellectual Property is respected. So which brands had to go through a name change?
To name a few, the Emoji brand in the US was renamed to Rivals right around the same time we brought the product into Canada. The lineup is amazing but took a lot of work to get it to that point to get it recognized again. Recently, Candy King made it into Canada, but under the name of Dripmore. The previously mentioned Tailored Sharks was called Shark Gummies in the USA as well as Tailored Refreshers was Tailored Iced Tea. The products are all identical to their US counterparts, but it’s simply called something different.
If you haven’t tried any of those aforementioned brands, perhaps being aware of what they were before they entered Canada may shed some recognition, and maybe it doesn’t… but try them anyways. You’d be amazed by some of the flavours that had undergone the flavour/brand change, you won’t be disappointed.
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