You can find a wide variety of small batch, independent shisha tobacco companies in our wholesale hookah tobacco section of the website, but for many lounges and retail stores, it may not be clear why these brands belong in your store. You might not have heard of these labels, maybe you hear occasional requests but don't know where to start, or maybe you are a hookah power user, and are chomping at the bit to bring in these exclusive brands of shisha. We are going to look at the advantages of carrying these brands, who they appeal to, where they come from and how to highlight them in your business to really leverage the power they have to drive higher margins and customer loyalty in your store.
Who Smokes Them and Why?
In this day and age, Millenials are the driving demographic for most hookah business. As consumers, they value choice, customization and individualism and are resistant to being another cog in the corporate wheel. These independent brands of hookah tobacco offer an experience that is outside the hookah mainstream and appeals to the nature of the largest demographic block of the last 100 years. These brands give them a new way to express their uniqueness and exceptional taste and judgement, because they feel like they are part of an exclusive group of true hookah connoisseurs.
Unique Shisha Brands and Exclusive Hookah Flavors Make Good Business Sense
So how can these brands help my store more than Starbuzz, Al Fakher and Fumari? That's what everyone asks for, right? That is right, and that is why every other shop in town is carrying the same products. You might already feel like you are in a price war with your competition as you hear about other shops carrying your products at lower prices. When you can get customers smoking these premium blends a few things will happen. The flavors are better and more unique, so your customers will smoke it more often and be more excited about sharing it with their friends. You can charge a full retail price for these brands, because other shops in your area aren't trying to compete on price. You will notice and instant boost to your profit margins. This will also drive customer loyalty because your customers can't go anywhere else to find these blends. Your store or hookah lounge will be a destination to pick up unique products.
To sum up, you can get better pricing and margins, more customer loyalty and greater hookah enthusiasm by promoting something new and exclusive. All the while your business becomes the hookah authority in the area, drawing more and more hookah business.
Which Brands Should I Consider and What Flavors Should I Start With?
The good news for retailers who want to carry these brands is that they often don't have a flavor list 75 flavors like some of the major brands. They carefuly currate a tight list of exceptional flavors instead of going for mass production. If you decide to bring them into your shop, it's not a huge investment or capital risk to bring the whole line in, but it's perfectly normal to start with a smaller selection of 5-10 flavors, just to test the waters. Here are some or our recommended brands and their best sellers.
Trifecta has a blonde line with a lighter nicotine content and a dark leaf line that has more robust tobacco flavor and a higher nicotine content. Overall, I enjoy Trifecta because the blends a have a distinct earthy to herbaceous undertone that compliments their flavors. Our personal favorite around the office is Blonde TNT.
- Blonde Twice the Ice X - XXXXXXXtreme cold mint
- Blonde Pineapple Guava
- Blonde Mountain Fog - Tangy Green limey Citrus
- Blonde Lavender Mint - Minty and Herbacious Floral Notes
- Blonde Earl Grey - Dark and spicy tea
Ugly Hookah Tobacco
Ugly has a tight flavor list and the blends are sweet with a bright notes of citrus, berries and fruit. The 100g and 250g size options work great for retailers, and hookah lounges can experiment with the 500g lounge packs specifically designed for use in hookah cafes and lounges.
- Orange Keef - Bright citrus-y orange with a kick!
- Secret Agent - Tropical fruits and citrus
- Blue Magic - Candied blueberries with a misty blend
- Sgt. Huckleberry - Mixed berry blend
- Purple Breeze - Rich purple grape with a hint of mint
Pure sticks to the basics and does an amazing job doing just that. First and foremost, FML is the flavor that created the buzz for this brand. It's one of the most extreme mint flavors on the market and is now available with a mint, spearmint or peppermint foundation. They stick to straight flavors with "Pure" flavor profiles, but they have a couple mixed blends just for fun.
- FML - Extremely cold pure mint flavor
- FML Blue (spearmint) and Red (peppermint)
- Maracuja - Passion Fruit
- Ice Berry - Blend of berries and mint
Azure Hookah Tobacco
Azure came out in 2018 with a few blockbuster flavors that we instantly fell in love with. This line also offers a lighter blonde leaf line (Gold) as well as a more intense dark leaf option. These come packaged in "ziplock" 250g pouch and feature a mostly custom mixes and modern flavor profiles.
- Gold Lemon Muffin - Smooth lemon with vanilla muffin mix
- Gold Cinnamon Cookies - Sweet and spicy cinnamon cookies
- Black Bermuda Mint - Solid mint with that dark leaf robustness
- Black San Diego Sunset - Creamy dark and sour raspberry with a dash of spice
- Black Cosmos - Combination of grapefruit and raspberry
We hope this encourages you to try something new for your store or maybe experiment with new featured flavors in your hookah lounge. If you have any questions, or want to know the full top 20 best sellers, let us know. We would love to help you pick up a new line of exclusive flavors and elevate your business to a true hookah destination.