There are a couple of things to understand here, you can tweak flavors without dialing back the overall flavor. IE 6 flavors combine to give a total offering of 25%. By Dialing one back 2%, and another up 2% the overall 'flavor strength' of the particular blend has not been reduced or changed (as was the case with applewood). Sometimes with a tweak of that nature the overall flavor profile is also left relatively unaffected. Also some flavors when used at 1% can be much more potent than a flavor used at 15%. For example, black licorice flavoring can dominate a juice completely while being the lowest flavor percent of the blend.
Most vapers enjoy and will re-order flavors that they can vape all day, every day. So with every recipe our ultimate goal is to end up with a flavor that can be enjoyed for hours, days or even weeks on end. Sometimes we think we really enjoy a flavor, only to find out later that it's not something we can really vape for the long term. It's something we've learned throughout this process, and we've become better at being patient before finalizing a recipe for sale.
We both have learned a lot since we began operating our business, and sometimes we would do ourselves an injustice and our customers as well not to re-visit an old recipe and try to improve the overall quality of the juice. In the end, we want to offer a wide variety of flavors (a little something for everyone), but we also want to be proud (and confident) with every flavor on our website. Often times you only have one chance to make an impression, one order, maybe even one bottle. We just want each one to be something we are both proud & confident with.
Here is a list of flavors that are currently under review for future changes, and the reasons why (these decisions are not made in haste, and these things will not be done tomorrow)
With autumn rain we feel 3 apple offerings is a bit much, a lot of folks pass this one over, for a flavor thats existed on our website since day 1 this one hasn't been ordered a lot. While we don't have any seriously negative feedback on it, there has not been any in the positive department lately either. The kicker is that it's not a flavor either of us circle back to. I can't tell you the last time I had a tank loaded with Autumn Rain. While a few customers did post (even on here) that they absolutely loved this blend and thought it fantastic.. those few customers really haven't ever come back to order it again. In the end we have to assume it wasn't that fantastic of a thing for them. Being that we have both Applewood and Apple Valley, we think this juice spot would be better served for a unique & quality fruit blend that can really add something to our fruit line up. This flavor would be discontinued, and with it, the 'Rain' line desolved. Winter Rain & Summer Rain would stick around, with possibly an enhancement made to winter rain. We are unsure if there names would remain the same or if we would consider a new name for these two flavors.
With our peaches (Just Peachy, Georgia Peach) we've been battling since the beginning to fix some of the issues our customers have reported, and in the end we haven't been very successful. While just peachy and georgia peach both do have some fans, it seems to be almost a love it or hate it relationship. Some people (more than a couple) report that they get NO peach flavor from Georgia Peach at all. Some customers have felt let down by this offering, speaking that it doesn't hold up to the MOV name and the quality we offer with our other products. When one person says something it may be personal opinion, but when other people echo those exact same sentiments, it means their might be a problem and we should listen. One of our good friends (Thehangdude) really really likes our peach! We love that he loves it, but we don't neccessarily find ourselves sharing his sentiments, and as more people voice concerns/complaints, we have to listen to them. To not listen to this I think would only hurt us.
What we're trying to do with our peaches is source an alternate peach flavor that will be stronger, more robust, and more authentic to be used with both of these blends (and we've been through a LOT, from a lot of different vendors and have not met a flavor that has floored us. We are currently testing a peach flavor from a new company that so far we have been pleased with, but we're still gathering the feedback). These flavors would remain available, but the peach flavoring used in them would be sourced from an alternate supplier.
Snow Cream was a recent addition to our line up, relatively speaking, and perhaps one made a little too hastily. This is something we have learned and are still learning today. Patience. We need to be absolutely certain about any additional flavors we are going to permanently add to our line up from this point forward. We have to be steadfast in our resolve to be patient in this department, to give a juice a certain amount of time (perhaps on sale at reduced cost through our website) before making a commitment to offer it permanently in one of our line ups. We want to keep our flavor count as low as possible while offering the highest quality products and the most wide variety of options that we can to our customers.
Spring Rain, in concept, will likely become a different recipe that will still use Cherry as it's main flavor note. These decisions are all based on feedback from our customers (or lack there of), sales data (or lack there of), and our own personal experiences.
Now, You may be thinking we should just keep adding, not changing or removing flavors. So please let me try to explain why we do this:
As a company, we aim to meet any regulations the FDA can throw at us. To be able to offer a quality line up for many years we really have to focus on limiting our flavors. The problem with a huge flavor count is that it quickly becomes unmanageable at the large scale. This is not only in terms of the quality of our blends. Consider this, at 34 flavors with 5 different nicotine strengths we would already have 170 batches of flavoring to maintain for Quality Control purposes. This is not considering PG/VG options (which must be considered for larger scale production purposes). You can see how this increases exponentially. With PG/VG options we are looking at 510 batches with our current offerings. This is why some vendors do not offer the option to 'pick' pg/vg, it's just not feasible or manageable at a heavy operating volume. We have to make the considerations now that Quality Control in the manufacturing process will be critical with future regulations. If we do not plan for it now we could find ourselves in a heap of trouble or in the end being forced to cut away flavors either way.
Consider a company like Pepsi. If they let each store in the country who ordered from them pick the level of carbonation in their blends it would be unmanagable. We all know pepsi has a lot of different soda flvaors, I'm not sure if they have 36. I am sure that they do not allow any customizations for those very same production reasons that I mentioned above. It is the same in any industry. I am not saying we're pepsi, or that we're going to be that big. I'm not trying to be arrogant or pompous or any of those things. It's that old adage "Dress for the job you want, not the job you have." Thats what Mountain Oak Vapors has been doing from day 1, and what we will continue to do, planning for everything along the way.
The counter to this may be that Pepsi doesn't change their recipes. This may be true today, but I am very sure pepsi has changed their recipes over the years as they grew as a company.
That's where we're at, and where we are coming from with every decision. In the end we can understand if you may not agree with those decisions, but we hope at the very least everyone can appreciate our honesty in this. We're not asking for approval neccesarily, but we do hope for the acceptance and understaning of what we feel in our hearts has to be done.
We do see a time in the near future where we will not have to go back and make these sorts of changes. It's not something we plan to perpetually do, but we do not consider ourselves to be locked in just yet. Now is the best time to lay our foundations. We are getting better all the time, we are constantly learning the dos and donts, and we are continuing to grow as a company. We just hope if we continue to pour our heart and soul into every decision big or small that in the end those efforts will show through to the customer with every offering that we have.
We hope you all understand, and we also hope that our honesty in these endeavors is a good thing and not a bad thing.
Brandy & Steve Nair
Mountain Oak Vapors LLC