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Why Products Get Discontinued

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Why Products Get Discontinued

I get this question all the time, especially when someone’s favourite flavour is no longer available.  The funny thing is, the most obvious answer is actually the rarest one to occur.

  1. Poor Seller – This is the obvious one that most people assume; that a flavour is discontinued because of a lack of sales.  The reason this one isn’t as popular is because it’s still pretty easy to maintain a product that sells poorly by simply keeping a very small supply on hand.  Although it is rare, it does still happen, but it’s the most unlikely reason.  One of the best ways to combat this problem is to move it to a Blowout Section on our website.  By making the price more alluring it will quickly reveal if the product truly is a slow seller, or maybe it’s pricing structure was incorrect.  If you ever see your favourites here, vote to keep it on board by grabbing a bottle or two.
  2. Raw Ingredients Unavailable – This doesn’t happen too often, but I can name a few specifics where it did.  The first one that comes to mind is “King Tut’s Black Licorice” from Gold Seal.  When the flavour company that supplied one of the key ingredients for King Tut’s became unavailable, we attempted several alternatives, but the end result was simply too far from the original.  Another great example of this was our old “Rock It Pops” in Gold Seal.  In that case though, we were able to create an extremely reasonable duplicate, but it was different enough to change the name and thus “Rock It Pops 2” (now known as “Rock It”) was born.
  3. Deal Complications – Sometimes it can be just about business where a brand owner that we license the product from has different expectations of what sales should look like.  This can be challenging to overcome when dealing with our partners to the south as they have a population that is ten times larger than Canada, so expectations can be skewed disproportionally.  This is also not very common, in fact when this happens, usually it becomes available from more sources.
  4. Regional Flavour Differences – Different demographics have different flavour preferences all across the world.  Sometimes a brand or flavour does really well in one small area but the rest of the country has no interest.  This does sort of hinge on point number 1, but the reason the product gets discontinued rather than just maintain a low inventory has to do with Minimum Order Quantities.  If we need to order a minimum of a thousand bottles but only sell 100/month, then product left over after a year becomes even less desirable, even though there is nothing wrong with it.  The perceived value lowers the sales even further, this resulting in not restocking.


That’s really the nitty gritty of it.  The honest truth is that we really dislike discontinuing any products if it can be helped.  We service, directly and indirectly, millions of consumers across the country.  Removing a product from our catalogue will almost always generate a complaint and so we do our best to avoid it.

If you’re looking to try a few amazing flavours that are currently in our Blowout Section, here’s a few suggestions:

  1. Pink Crunch – Crunchies
  2. Coloured Cotton – The Hype
  3. Brown – Gumee
  4. Signature – One Up



Tim Howey

General Manager

True North Vapor


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