Juul, forced into a defensive crouch by a federal ban on flavored prefilled vape pods and negative attention surrounding the teen vaping epidemic, has been increasingly losing market share to the rival Vuse Alto. While Vuse Alto did lose their Mixed Berry Flavor, almost the entire Juul lineup has been wiped out including their most popular flavors: Juul Mango and Juul Mint. Click here to view the best Vuse Alto Mixed Berry alternatives.
RJ Reynolds Vuse Alto has gobbled up convenience store and gas station sales at the expense of Juul, as their aggressive marketing strategies have paid off at a time when Juul has been compelled to shut down just about every promotional channel.
While Altria, maker of Marlboro, purchased a large stake in Juul early last year, Vuse was and has always been a subsidiary of RJ Reynolds. As these two tobacco giants battle for shelf space, it is worth looking at how Juul has lost their supreme advantage.
While Juul has had to keep quiet and take their lumps from indignant anti-vaping activists, shutting down every social media and nearly every traditional media advertising campaign, Vuse has been free to competitively pursue market share. Juul learned first hand the dangers of marketing ecigs on social media, as their every move was vilified. We take a deep-dive into this accusations in our feature: the Dangers of ECig Marketing on Social Media.
As reported by the Wall Street Journal, Vuse has aggressive priced their device with special promotional codes, hired musicians and actors to pose with custom designed skins and even relied on social media campaigns. None of these are new strategies per se. Third party Juul skins and limited edition Juul colors have long been a part of their appeal. But Vuse is taking this tack at a particularly fraught time. Those hell-bent on regulating vaping out of business have some difficulty accepting that Millennial no longer equals minor, as they now range from 25 to 40 years of age. The huge decline in tobacco use simply did not impact the bulk of the Millennial age cohort. ECig companies would simply be remiss to ignore smokers between 25 and 40 because lobbyists who would prefer if no one vapes will take offense.
In a perhaps futile effort to avoid criticism from anti-vapers, Vuse campaigns do not use anyone who appears less than 25 years of age and only appear on content where at least 85 percent of viewers are 21 years of age or older.
Juul versus Vuse Alto
The main selling point of the Vuse Alto is the quality of the product compared to the Juul ecig. We pitted them head to head, Juul versus Vuse Alto, and felt the Vuse was the superior product but Juul had a much wider selection of flavors. This is no longer the case, removing Juul’s one big edge. A CDC survey into Why Kids Vape, found flavors were not at the top of the list. Or second. Or third. None of this changed the trajectory of ecig regulations. Politicians remain obsessed with flavors, often dragging the most fanciful high-VG ejuices on the market into their press conferences, even though by all accounts Juul Mint nic salts made up the bulk of underage sales.
The tale of the tape heavily favors the Vuse Alto. It is fractionally larger, although its more rounded shape mitigates a size difference measured in millimeters and fractions of inches. The Vuse Alto has battery that is nearly twice as large: 350mAh versus 200mAh for the Juul.
The difference in pod size is even more marked. The Vuse Alto sporting a 1.8ml pod to the Juul’s 0.7ml. More Juul pod’s come in pack but the Vuse Alto remains the better price performer when comparing volume of nic salt.
Both devices rely on smooth nic salt ejuice formulas and both are available exclusively in tobacco flavors. If you are looking for the bright and bold fruit and mint flavors that the majority of adult vapers prefer, you have to look elsewhere. If you are stuck in a state with a flavor ban, the Vuse Alto is not a bad option. The nic strength options are comparable. Both come in a 5 percent strength and also offer a pod with a nic strength of half that. Vuse Alto actually has three options now: 1.8, 2.4 and 5.0 percent nic strength. This is a great move, as 5 percent nicotine is simply quite strong and more than many former smokers and current vapers desire.
The Vuse Alto generates more vapor. It has a lower resistance coil, 1.1ohms versus 1.8, but both have a power output of about 6.5 watts, which makes it a very comparable vaping experience.
The Vuse Alto uses QuietDraw technology, there is no hissing, spitting or crackling. For good or ill, the Juul is almost silent as well. If you are a parent worried that your child is using a Juul device, check out our feature on how to detect teen vaping. At Vapor4Life, we have no interest selling to either minors or adults who do not currently smoke or vape. Our goal is to provide the best smoke and ash free cigarette alternatives. We would like if our customers switched from cigarettes to vaping, but then continue to reduce their nicotine intake to zero with an eye on living a totally nicotine and vape free lifestyle.
As far as flavor, the Golden Tobacco and Rich Tobacco Vuse Alto flavors are both top-notch. There is nothing wrong with the Juul Tobacco flavors, but the Vuse versions are a couple years newer and taste very realistic.