So What’s the Real Difference Between a Vape Shop’s House Juice and Those Premium Juices?
Let’s first look at why shops started making ‘house juice’ in the first place. Back in the days when pen style devices were the mainstay, and the largest tank you could get was single coil, probably held less than 3ML of juice, and was still years away from being sub ohm; the majority of eliquid came from China. They were cheap, had high amounts of food flavor; but who knows what else was in it. China loves cutting the cost down on products by any means necessary. This isn’t a dig on the Chinese people at all. It’s just the sad truth behind their manufacturing practices that’s even worse in an unregulated market like ours was. People would want to know what they were vaping; but nobody could really verify it. So, as vaping got more popular, vape shops took it upon themselves to make higher quality juice for their customers. Ones where we could tell our customers exactly what was in the bottles they were purchasing.
Enter House Juice Stage Left
So, having said that, it was up to the shops to develop their own lines. I liken it to becoming a chef. You spend weeks on each flavor dialing in the right mixture of food flavoring, base (VG/PG), and nicotine. How good a shops juice is depends on the pallet of those making it and the time and dedication they put into it. So, when you buy a true house juice you are buying something created both here in the USA, and something a shop has pride in. It can be as simple or complex as that shop chooses to make it. Some stick with more simple flavors, while other choose to go all out. The reason I said ‘true’ house juice is that some shops chose to buy ‘white label’ juices that have their branding on the bottles; but were not created in house. So, feel free to ask that question of any shop you consider buying juice from.
Along Came Premiums
Premiums came along after there was a steady amount of eliquid purchasing happening in the industry. In other words, after it was clear you could actually make money in the space. These at first were a mix of two types of sellers. The first, small DIY people or groups making whatever juice with nicer packaging, and usually with nice glossy labels. They would go to shows, shops, and wholesalers trying to gain brand awareness, and shelf space. Some actually became locally popular enough to grow into full fledge companies. Others lasted until the person or group lost interest in meager net profits. Some were lucky enough to sell their recipes to larger upstarts that had no idea how to create their own recipes yet.
The second type of seller were more legitimate companies comprised of ‘flavor artist’ (those creating the recipes) and business savvy individuals running the actual buying, selling, and marketing side of things. These companies quickly grew into marketing power houses producing their eliquid in labs in multi gallon quantities per day and spending a fortune at shows and online to create brand awareness.
So Which One is Right for You?
So, at the end of the day that leaves us with two main differences between the two products.
House Juice is made in house by your local vape shop and is only as good as the effort that shop put into it. It’s also almost always cheaper than premiums. (Ours Rocks IMHO) lol
Premiums won’t make it to a national level unless they’ve proved themselves in the marketplace and have some serious capital behind them. Look for ones that have been around for a year or more. New ones sometimes are startups, and won’t last because they aren’t that good, or kill coils. They probably come in nicer packaging and can offer flavors your local shop doesn’t carry. However, they will most likely be more expensive. Most of these will be a solid choice for consistency.
If you like the vape shop you go to, consider helping to support them by buying house juice. However, rest assured that premiums are now held to a much higher standard than they once were.
Shameless Plug Time
I like to describe our house juices as ‘premium level’. Meaning that we spent months on each one, some have 3+ food flavorings in them while others have 15+ food flavorings in them. Whatever it takes to nail the right flavor profile. So, always feel free to ask questions of the shop you purchase from.