If you are a regular on Blog Vape, then Fontem Ventures will be a familiar name. Indeed, this company has backed and promoted a number of studies on the subject of vaping that we have covered previously. Recently, we covered the myBLU pod with a review, which was produced and marketed by Fontem Ventures. You may be interested to know that behind this brand are two big names in the tobacco and vaping industry: Imperial Tobacco and JWEI. Imperial Tobacco needs no introduction, as it is the mother corporation of Fontem, that is to say the apex of the group, where all the money goes. The second, JWEI, is a large vaping company.
Imperial Tobacco and vaping have a long history together. Hon Lik, considered the inventor of vaping, partenered with the mega-corporation to monetize his invention. Despite the patent, the technology was copied on a wide scale until Imperial Tobacco decided to put its foot down. They bought up the patent in 2013 and proceeded to sur a number of manufacturers with little success, as we will see.
Give me a J! Give me a W! Give me an E!
JWEI is an acronym, or rather, a series of initials: Joyetech, Wismec, Eleaf, and International. In other words, the alliance of some of the biggest e-cig manufacturers in the world, all under the same corporate umbrella. The figures speak for themselves. 6100 m² of factory floor space, 400 employees and 10 production lines dedicated to OEM* / ODM* (Joyetech, Wismec, and Eleaf have their own dedicated production lines) that produce over 100,000 coils every day. JWEI is the brand behind the various e-cigs of the BLU range, marketed by Fontem.
This is somewhat ironic, knowing that Joyetech, working with other manufacturers, cancelled Hon Lik’s patent in 2016.
As it stands, JWEI produces for Fontem who sells for Imperial Tobacco. And they are selling so much that this year the majority of JWEI’s sales figures come from Fontem Ventures. Tobacco companies are the biggest customers in vaping?
Why is Big Tobacco trying so hard to take market shares from e-cig companies? The answer is simple, e-cigs may come to replace tobacco.
This paradigm shift has been predicted before, but the speed at which it is arriving is pushing tobacco giants to invest massively in order to survive the transition. Philip Morris, for example, has already invested several billion dollars to promote the IQOS.
*OEM or Original Equipment Manufacturer: a company that manufactures spare parts, mostly for other companies that integrate or assemble them into new products.
*ODM or Original Design Manufacturer: a company that designs a non-branded product that will be branded and sold by another company.