News

Vancouver entrepreneur’s new caffeine vaporizers aimed at 18-to-25 age group

Published on Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Eagle Energy Vapor

The Province article on UBC-afilliated Eagle Energy Vapor.

If you want a quick hit of caffeine, you can always grab an espresso or an energy drink.

But a group of Vancouver entrepreneurs think they’ve found a more convenient way to come by that buzz.

It’s called Eagle Energy Vapor and it looks like one of those e-cigarettes, only there’s no nicotine, just caffeine and a few other ingredients that are typical of energy drinks.

“We like to stay away from comparing our product with other products,” said Stephen Allen, the company’s 32-year-old COO.

“But saying that, a cup of coffee, say, takes a certain amount of time to get into your system.

“When you inhale a product, it gets into your system much faster.”

The caffeine vaporizers were popular giveaways in The Province newsroom and folks said they felt something akin to having a hit of coffee.

The taste (and smell of the vapour that’s exhaled) is vaguely energy-drink-like, “Not like berries or mint, a distinct taste,” Allen said.

Elliot Mashford, a 22-year-old Vancouverite, came up with the idea last year, and online sales began two months ago.

Mashford is in Las Vegas at the Collision tech conference, where Eagle Energy Vapor is getting positive feedback, Allen said.

The source of the vaporizer’s caffeine is guarana extract.

It’s joined by taurine, which some studies suggest improves athletic and mental performance, according to the Mayo Clinic’s website, and ginseng, a traditional herbal supplement.

The rest of the ingredients read like a science test, but “seem to be innocuous and most are standard food additives,” according to a reply email from UBC’s chemistry department.

The UBC faculty member who responded was more skeptical about the caffeine claim: “If people could have vaporized caffeine, it would have been done by now.”

There’s no question energy drinks fly off shelves, however, and that buyers are young.

“We’re aiming at the 18 to 25 market,” Allen said. “That’s our target. They want to get their caffeine in a different delivery system.

“The world, especially millennials, they want their caffeine.”

A stick retails for $8.99 and should last three to five days, Allen said.

Each vaporizer contains about 500 puffs and the company suggests a “serving size” of 10 to 20 puffs.

A label on each stick warns not to go through more than one vaporizer a day and says the product is not intended for anyone younger than 18.

“It redefines the way consumers experience energy-boost products, while taking away the health concerns associated with sugary drinks,” Mashford said.

gordmcintyre@theprovince.com

Eagle Energy has used e@UBC’s Mentor Network for strategic advice and network development for over a year. Read the full article here.