HQD: The Leading E-Cigarette Brand in RussiaArvin Peh
2FIRSTS reports on HQD’s success as a leading e-cigarette brand in Russia, despite recent industry struggles and new regulations.
On June 17th and 18th, the Vape Club Show Moscow e-cigarette exhibition took place at the Crocus Expo Convention Center in Moscow. As the official media partner of the event, 2FIRSTS provided on-site coverage of the exhibition.
At the exhibition, 2FIRSTS interviewed a representative of HQD, a Russian distributor for the e-cigarette brand. He shared with 2FIRSTS the reasons why HQD is leading the e-cigarette market in Russia and his outlook for the future.
In 2019, the e-cigarette industry faced a downturn with people doubting its future prospects. Sales decreased and the path to market recovery seemed uncertain. However, during this critical time, HQD saw the potential in a new disposable device based on nicotine salt, becoming one of the first brands to promote this category of product in Russia.
The distributors of HQD have consistently received support from professional retailers by offering the best commercial terms, high-quality service, and superior product quality in the market. As a result, all e-cigarettes in Russia are now colloquially referred to as “Ashka” or “Ashkudishka” (both of which are phonetic translations of HQD in Russian), similar to how all printers are called “Xerox.
He summarized the three key factors that contributed to HQD’s success in the Russian market.
First and foremost, collaborate with reliable partners. Secondly, provide high-quality product standards. Lastly, formulate strategic and effective marketing plans after careful consideration.
He holds an open attitude towards a series of e-cigarette control bills recently introduced in Russia.
He believes that when it comes to restrictions on certain ingredients in e-liquid, communication and negotiation should be held with industry representatives and associations. Only by fully understanding the market situation can positive decisions be made that benefit the market changes. These bills and upcoming lists of substance ingredients will have a significant regulatory impact on the market, so it is important to involve as many stakeholders as possible in the decision-making process.
He himself holds an optimistic view on the development of the e-cigarette market in Russia. He believes that within the next 10 years, up to 30% of traditional cigarette smokers will switch to smoke-free products, thus greatly reducing the mortality rate caused by traditional tobacco consumption.
Furthermore, extensive research, including studies conducted by medical experts, has demonstrated the benefits of many other vaporized products such as e-cigarettes, particularly in terms of their lower health risks. Therefore, whether decision-makers have taken these factors into sufficient consideration will have a significant impact on the development of the market.