When the CEO and his wife Anna Facchino founded FlavourArt in 2006, the plan looked very different: He had been working in seasonings and aromas for the food industry for nearly 20 years and aimed to continue in this field.
“We had an online shop just one year in, and that proved hugely beneficial to us,” Mr. Mancini says. “E-cigarettes came to the European market in 2009 and took root quickly. We decided to focus on flavourings for the electronic cigarette market, and our webshop was the perfect platform for that focus. We knew from the beginning that e-cigarettes would not be just a passing fad. I had the wonderful opportunity to establish a market that hadn’t existed before.”
Today the FlavourArt portfolio encompasses liquid bases for ecigarettes, called e-liquids, with or without nicotine as well as electronic cigarettes and accessories, in addition to water-soluble flavourings.
“We offer about 250 flavours: tropicals, florals, savouries, sweets – something for every taste,” the CEO adds. “Customers often buy several different flavours to mix their ideal flavour at home.”
The e-liquids are based on the properties of different varieties of tobacco for a more authentic experience. A research program with a company in Milan supports FlavourArt’s product development. With flagship stores in five major cities in Europe – Milan, Barcelona, Berlin, London and Paris – customers have a chance to buy FlavourArt products in person.
While the company is headquartered in Oleggio, FlavourArt also has a partnership called FlavourArt GmbH in Hamburg, Germany, and the Toronto-based FlavourArt North America is 80% owned by the Italian company. A total of 70 employees work for the company, with sales revenues of 14 million EUR in Italy, one million EUR in Germany and about seven or eight million EUR in Canada. Exports account for 60%.
Fairs in Verona, Dortmund, London, Paris and Moscow, such as the InterTabac, improve customer contact. Mr. Mancini foresees a positive future for FlavourArt. “Vaping is less damaging to health than conventional smoking,” he says. “You smoke an e-cigarette like you would a regular cigarette, but there’s no yellowing of the teeth or fingers because there’s no tar. You get flavour instead of a mouth full of smoke.”
Electronic cigarettes are a global phenomenon, with growth throughout Asia and Africa. Mr. Mancini believes the major tobacco brands are preparing for the change in people’s smoking habits. After all, they will not want to lose business.
“Traditional cigarettes will become a niche product,” the CEO adds. “The number of deaths caused by conventional cigarettes is still considerable, so politicians should be fostering e-cigarette technology. It’s a game-changer that can alter the balance of the economy.”
Nonetheless, current legislation is contradictory and unclear. “Politicians need to listen to the industry,” Mr. Mancini continues. “We could change health statistics. Many people could live longer, better lives by switching to electronic cigarettes.”