Witco: New vape to boost revenue

A close look at WITCO's new product, Vuse, on display at its offices in Champ Fleurs on April 17. - Photo by Venessa Mohammed
A close look at WITCO's new product, Vuse, on display at its offices in Champ Fleurs on April 17. - Photo by Venessa Mohammed

Witco’s managing director, Raoul Glynn, said he expects the company’s new vaping product, the Vuse, to have a strong and positive effect on revenue this year.

He said this at a media conference after the company’s annual general meeting held at Queen’s Hall, Port of Spain, on April 23.

“The quality of the product is superior to the others on the market, the price points are attractive, the margin structure is very good and the strength of Witco on its ability to distribute and get the product where it needs to be is something that we are confident we can do without detracting from our core business.

And I’m not just saying that because we make it,” he said, taking one of the vapes out of his pocket and taking a puff. “I’m saying it because I am a consumer.”

Glynn said about 12 per cent of the market uses vaping products. Most of these consumers use vaping machines only, but a few use both cigarettes and vapes.

“We have anticipated the market and we have seen it grow in a way that there isn’t less cigarette sales in favour of vaping,” Glynn said.

The Vuse, launched at Witco’s offices in Champs Fleurs last week, was in full display at Queen’s Hall on Tuesday, with assistants giving out samples of the products for shareholders to try and experience.

One man who didn’t wish to be named said it was his first time vaping.

“I have never done this before in my life,” he said. “But I tried the banana flavour and it was very nice.”

The Vuse is a disposable vaping machine which comes in eight different flavours including mango, banana, blueberry and mint. The Vuse Go 700 (non-rechargeable) and the Vuse Go 3,000 (rechargeable) cost about $130.

Last week Witco revealed that it saw a 5.9 per cent increase in profits for the year ending December 31, 2023, as compared to the year before in its consolidated financial statements for the period.

Johan Grosberg, head of finance, said despite operational efficiency initiatives taken over the year last year, cost of sales increased, affected by increases in inputs such as raw materials, packaging and people costs. However, they were able to benefit from expense decreases.

“Brand support expenditure lined up with our marketing plan and we were able to trim that back a little and execute the plan a little more efficiently and because we are part of a larger group we were able to benefit from some reductions through some of the restructuring which took place outside of Trinidad and Tobago,” he said.

“Last year was very much about a continued transformation,” Glynn added. “In 2023 it was all about how we improved distribution. What we saw was, one of the elements of covid19, we found that there were quite a few places that we weren’t in anymore. And that has created opportunities for illicit cigarette sales to grow and flourish. I know we have to let the police do their jobs but we have to do ours as well and ensure that we get into these nooks and crannies, to provide the products and make sure that when a consumer comes they have legal options.”


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