Difference between premium and classic e-liquid
As electronic cigarettes and vaping are getting more popular with each passing day, we can say that many vendors are using the word "premium" to tag with their flavor brands. They make their best effort to implicate that their e-juice line is the best and most premium on the market. Similarly, there are a lot of manufacturers charging around $1/ml for one bottle of e-juice, making it around $25 for every 25ml bottle But do we know what we are paying for? How is the price justified? Why should one pay $25 for a 25 ml bottle while they can get the same 25 ml bottle for $10 elsewhere? Is it only a gimmick or are there any real differences between these "premium" e-juice and regular classic e-juice? We'll find out.
1- The ingredients
Okay, so let's start with breaking down the base. Commonly all e-liquids are made up of the three core components that are Nicotine, PG Propylene Glycol, VG Vegetable glycerin and artificial flavorings. So both premium and classic e-liquids contain the same formula of e-juice. This base makes up 80% to 90% of the bottle of every e-juice and it is the same in each bottle. There is no such thing as "premium" PG or "premium" nicotine or even "premium" VG. The only thing different is the flavoring and this is where the term "premium" kicks in. There are numerous different flavoring manufacturers present in the market. Some are in the UK and USA others in China, Italy, etc. However, the ones that come from China are cheap to buy but no very genuine to trust. The imported flavorings (except the Chinese ones) do cost a lot more than local flavorings. As per our observation, no two flavoring companies are the same. All of them have a different edge. One of the most popular choices for e-liquid flavors is The Flavor Apprentice. Mostly because it is very cheap to order in bulk quantity as compared to other flavoring brands. We can pretty much say that premium flavoring has become a thing but no e-liquid vendor would admit to it. They all claim to make their personalized flavorings make it seem more "premium."
However, there are some e-juice vendors who do create their own flavorings and extract flavors from natural ingredients to have their own custom flavoring profile but they charge a lot of money. These vendors sell a small 25ml bottle of e-liquid on high prices like $50 to even $70. These brands are considered as premium brands in the market.
2- The packaging
Another considerable factor that makes premium e-liquids different than classic e-liquids is the packaging. The bottles that are used to store the e-juice play a major role in maintaining the flavor till the e-juice expires. Although this may sound absurd that different types of bottles can have an impact on price and quality of the e-liquid, it is undeniably true. For instance, glass bottles are 10 times more expensive than regular plastic bottles even if purchased in bulk quantity. Most premium e-liquid vendors do not use plastic bottles because they think that it can distort the taste over time as some flavors and plastic do not mingle well together. Even though the flavorings that are delivered to the vendors to be added in e-liquids, all come in plastic bottles. But there are certainly some benefits aside from pure aesthetics with a glass bottle. A glass bottle makes it easy to steep and cure as compared to a plastic bottle. There are times when e-juice is delivered and it needs some time approximately a few days to a week for steeping/curing for the flavors and the base to be homogeneous. For this matter, a lot of veterans choose to give a warm bath to e-juice bottles for about 8 to 12 hours with the help of a slow cooker. So the process speeds up. This method speeds up the whole steeping process from a week to a few hours. As plastic bottles tend to float, they do not seem much favorable in this process so many people prefer glass bottles.
Your e-liquid may come in a glass bottle or it may come in a plastic one but sometimes vendors tend to spice up the packaging to make it look more appealing and exciting. In fact, there are some vendors that go to extreme lengths to package their e-liquids to make them look more premium. Instead of working on the actual formula and flavoring they just create a fancy packaging to make up a facade of premium e-liquid.
There are some companies that use creative ideas to make their e-juice bottles, for instance, there is one brand that makes skull-shaped bottles and then there is another one that makes a dice shaped bottles but these bottles make it hard for the consumers to extract the e-liquid from them. In fact, such bottles require a syringe or dropper for the extraction of e-liquid.
3- The taste
Ultimately, there comes the taste factor that makes the premium e-liquids different than regular ones. The question is, does the premium e-juice actually taste better than classic e-juice? The answer is both yes and no because taste is totally subjective. However, vendors try to make sure that they add the crispest and highly demanded flavors to their e-juices to make it more premium but at the end of the day, it all depends on the consumer behavior. People may like it or they may not like it. As discussed before the base of all e-juice is the same it is only the flavoring that creates all the difference. For premium brands, the flavorings are extracted from more natural resources and tend to last longer and give a more natural and crisp feel. Other than that, the ratio of nicotine, PG and VG also plays a role in making e-liquids different. Most premium brands experiment with different proportions of the ingredients and it usually works for them.