Dinner Lady is one of the UK’s most beloved and recognizable e-liquid manufacturers. They’re best known for their iconic Dinner Lady Lemon Tart e-liquid flavour, but over the years they’ve branched out to include a comprehensive range of over 100 liquids and disposable vape bars.
I caught up with the team at Dinner Lady to ask them about their process and their plans for the future.
What do you think are the greatest challenges/difficulties that affect the vape industry?
The vape industry is still a relatively infant industry with huge potentials for growth over the coming years. With Dinner Lady offering our premium products globally, our biggest challenge and our biggest opportunity is the introduction of new rules and regulations across the globe.
How did COVID-19 affect your business?
COVID-19 had a severe impact on all businesses throughout the world. Some are still feeling this effect today and it has undoubtedly changed the way we all operate. At Dinner Lady we were proactive from the outset and adapted to the lockdowns and government guidelines promptly. All our members were committed and were productive whilst working from home. We worked closely with our existing relationships to develop successful outcomes and we have been very lucky to develop some great new relationships.
Dinner Lady has won over 50 awards. Which one are you most proud of?
We take pride in all our awards, knowing these are mainly chosen by consumers it shows the love between them and us as a brand. From our first award back in 2016 to our most recent this year we stand proud and continue to thank and appreciate everyone for their ongoing support. Most recently we have been awarded with prestigious entry to Vapourounds Hall of Fame 2021. To be recognised as a company that has “shaped the market” and is in this industry “for the long haul” is a remarkable achievement for everyone at Vape Dinner Lady.
Dinner Lady is active in over 100 countries. What difficulties do e-liquid manufacturers face in global markets?
The most common challenge operating in over 100 countries is to ensure we have the right products for each market, the right variation and most importantly we adhere to all the compliance and regulatory standards to market our premium products in that region. We must ensure we understand the product requirements, the chemical prohibitions, the registration requirements, packaging and translations and we have to ensure that through great research, insights and development we have the right product available.
What is the typical process that goes into coming up with a new flavour?
Before any product is considered we must ensure that there is a need for this product. We work with our partners, retailers, and consumers to obtain insights and research on what the actual needs are in the market. In a growing market, these needs can change quickly and as a business, we must assess, validate, and adapt very quickly. Once we have identified the need we then go through a vigorous development and testing process. This includes internal and external testing. Finally, before signing off we must ensure that the product will meet all compliance needs in all territories that we operate in before we can officially sign the product off.
Dinner Lady has moved into the disposable market. Can you tell us a bit about the device you use?
We launched our first disposable in 2019 and then launched a follow-up device towards the end of 2020. Our current Premium Vape Pen was launched in the UK with 13 premium Dinner Lady flavours, manufactured in the UK. The device offers 400 puffs and is available in most vape and convenience stores.
What advice do you have for other challenger brands (in the vaping industry or not)?
Since 2016 we have focused on keeping the customer at the heart of everything that we do. We work together to create solutions to market needs. We will not compromise any relationship; we will not compromise any product and we will not compromise our premium brand presence.
To be successful, you need to have a few failures. What e-liquid flavour has Dinner Lady launched that didn't work?
100%… success can only be achieved through failures, and we have experienced many. We learn from our mistakes and in such a dynamic industry we must learn fast. Luckily, when it comes to development and launching products, we have a validation process and most of these mistakes are identified prior to any launch.
What is the most innovative product you've seen in the vaping market?
It’s a hard one to answer! In the vaping industry where things are constantly changing be it new flavours, products, or innovations it’s hard to pinpoint the most, but we think the switch to disposables is a strong contender. In a world where we are aiming to reduce the number of smokers in the world, the disposable device really does make it simple to pick up and use and to ditch the cigarettes.
What can we expect from Dinner Lady in the future? Any upcoming flavours you'd like to tease?
Good question! We are always working in the background to come up with new flavours and products, but how about we ask you, what would you like to see come from Dinner Lady in the future?
OK, then, challenge accepted.
The top 5 flavours that I’d like to see Dinner Lady do next are:
1) Bread and Butter Pudding
Bread and butter pudding is a classic UK dessert. It could be non-distinct on its own, so I’d spice it up. Blackcurrant and pudding on the inhale, with a layer of creamy custard on the exhale.
2) Arctic Roll
Light sponge, vanilla, strawberry jam: Arctic Roll would be a trip down memory lane for vapers of a certain vintage.
3) Carrot Cake
Arguably the greatest of all the cakes. Go heavy on the cake batter, with a hint of carrot and some cinnamon. On paper, it sounds great.
4) Lost Cherry
OK, bear with me on this one. It’s not an existing dessert, it’s a unisex perfume. But Lost Cherry isn’t just any perfume—it’s got a touch of almond that comes out more like marzipan, mixed with some sour cherries.
5) Sage & Sea Salt
Another perfume and another leftfield suggestion. I’m not sure why I think this one would work. Salt is excellent, but no one eats it on its own. Maybe the sage would be enough to carry this flavour? Or perhaps it would be horrible? We won’t know until you make it.
It’s easy to see how Dinner Lady has become one of the most popular vape brands on the market. From their iconic debut Lemon Tart 50/50 E-liquid, Dinner Lady has built an empire with product ranges catering to everyone: Dinner Lady Nic Salt E-liquids for beginners, Dinner Lady Shortfills for seasoned pros, and everything in between. With flavours ranging from desserts to menthol to sweets and more, there’s something to satisfy even the pickiest of vapers.
New to Dinner Lady’s E-liquids? We recommend their flagship Lemon Tart flavour to those with a sweet tooth.