Year in Review

2016 YEAR IN REVIEW

2016 has been an interesting and very successful year for us at Social Smoke.  We’ve been busy,  testing out new blends, making new friends, presenting at old and new tradeshows, handling counterfeit issues, understanding the new FDA regulations, and working on enhancing our social media presence.  We’ve learned a lot this year and are looking forward to starting 2017 with a host of new ideas for making Social Smoke the best producer and distributor of hookah tobacco in the US and around the world.

But first, let’s take a moment and review some of the things that made 2016 both challenging and rewarding for the Social Smoke family.

The Company

Social Smoke began this year as a leaner more intense company focused on the continued growth and success of our tobacco blend line.  With our simpler more streamlined processes we’ve found our marketing, distribution, and customer care departments able to work with greater efficiency and more concrete output.  This has effectively allowed us to  fulfill, execute and even surpass our marketing and distribution goals for 2016.

The Tradeshows

We’ve participated in a record number of trade shows this year.  Some were great, some were busy, and some were duds! We started the year at the Tobacco Plus Expo and Tradeshow in Las Vegas for the third year in a row. A few weeks later we were in Frankfurt Germany for the 2016 Hookah Fair.  This wonderful show will also be on our standard list of ‘go to’ tradeshows for 2017 and is one of our favorites.  We took a chance and exhibited at the Miami Asia America Tradeshow.  While this one was fun(read dud), we feel that our energies would be better served at tradeshows that solely concentrate on tobacco products and accessories. Finally we wrapped up the 2016 tradeshow season at the Intertabac Tradefair in Dortmund, Germany. This was our second year in a row exhibiting at InterTabac and we’re looking forward to participating again next year.  The ability to participate in so many shows at so many different venues all across the US and Germany was only possible through the more focused and streamlined attitude and ability of our company.

The Blends

While we didn’t release any new blends in 2016, we spent most of the year creating, testing and sampling several blends that will be released early in 2017 as well as expanding our manufacturing center in preparation for 2017. Stay tuned to the blog for updates on the new flavor releases.  We are excited to see Pear ChillPistachio Breeze, and White Gummy Bear really take off in 2016. Along with Absolute ZeroVoltage, Watermelon Chill, and Lemon Chill; Pear Chill, Pistachio Breeze, and White Gummy Bear have become some of our best sellers this year!

Counterfeit Issues

They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and in this we became aware of counterfeit Social Smoke Tobacco being sold around the world.  While we started dealing with this issue as swiftly as we possibly could earlier this year, it is unfortunately an ongoing problem as we face the new year.  We will be implementing changes very soon to make counterfeit products easier to identify quickly.  For more on this issue check out our blog post: Counterfeit Social Smoke Tobacco.

FDA Regulations

On May 5th, 2016, the FDA passed measures that will regulate the production and sale of all Hookah tobacco and accessories in the United States.  We are still learning more about changes to come and are complying with every measure.  For more information on the passing of these new regulations, please check out our blog post: New FDA Regulations.

Social Media

While the launch of the new Social Smoke website occurred in late 2015, 2016 is the first year of an active Social Smoke blogs .   We have published 20+ posts this year  and are hoping to double that number in 2017.  We’ve been planning ways of having a larger more relevant presence in 2017 on Social Media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

Well that’s it for 2016.  We hope you’ve enjoyed our posts and news as they came out this year.  We always enjoy hearing from our customers so please feel free to comment below or email us through the contact page of the Social Smoke website.

Have an Amazing New Year!

2015 YEAR IN REVIEW

As many of you have already noticed, Social Smoke has gone through tremendous changes this past year.  We’ve streamlined our product line, overhauled our internal company structure, created, produced, and marketed over nine new Hookah Tobacco Blends, and exhibited at some of the world’s most exciting and game changing trade shows.  To put it lightly, it’s been a crazy yet completely exhilarating year.

So let’s take a minute and run through the changes.

The Company:

Social Smoke went through a complete overhaul in 2015.  We’ve taken the time to look over our company, goals, processes and discard the antiquated while refreshing the ones that work.  We are leaner, faster, and better able to grow and prosper with our new product line. Visit Our Story page to read more about the company and its history in the hookah and shisha world.

The Trade Shows:

Social Smoke displayed at a record number of trade shows last year.  Some were familiar, a bit like coming home, and others were new, exciting and at times a bit overwhelming.

An old favorite and familiar stomping ground for Social Smoke was the Tobacco Plus Expo and Trade Show in Las Vegas. Opening in January, it was the perfect place to introduce six new blends to the hookah world. We enlisted the help of our friends from Boba Bear, a boba tea shop and hookah cafe with four locations in Los Angeles and two in Hong Kong.  They provided the hookahs and an amazing staff to keep them smoking, and we provided our latest blends.  In summary, the show was a success.  It was a great for marketing and  getting invaluable feedback. But most importantly, it increased company morale.

We then displayed at the Hookah Fair Show in Frankfurt Germany in May.  This was probably the busiest and most exciting show we have ever been to.  The opening morning was dedicated solely to business to business networking and the rest of the show was open to the public.  Social Smoke is one of the most popular tobacco brands in Germany and our booth was filled to capacity.  There were lots of questions and positive feedback and interest in Social Smoke.  This is a show we have committed to attend every year.

In September we displayed at InterTabac in Dortmund Germany.  This show is business to business only so while we were busy, this one was a bit more laid back.  Our booth was full and our team had the opportunity to meet with and network with visitors from around the world.

Most recently Social Smoke exhibited at the World Tobacco Dubai Trade Show in December.  This is probably the largest and most comprehensive tobacco trade show in the Middle East, and takes place roughly every other year. Social Smoke previously exhibited at the show in April 2014 and was looking forward to returning.  We were expecting chaos.  But the good kind.  The chaos that brings in new business and creates new ideas.  And while the potential was there, the change of date to right before the holidays left a lot of vendors scrambling to make it.  Despite this setback, Dubai was also a success and it set us up for 2016.

Overall the trade shows were illuminating in 2015 and the whole Social Smoke Team is looking forward to repeating them in 2016.  Photos of the show, our displays and our awesome team members will be posted soon.

The Blends:

2015 was a great year for Social Smoke Blends.  Each blend we put out was an effort of passion and love.  This year was the year for experiments and new challenges.  We tested new flavors, discarded a lot, and took a chance on many.  We are so proud of our product line.  Each blend in our line took hours, days, and sometimes months to perfect.

For a list and description of our line, check out Our Flavors.

New Flavors of 2015

Released in first quarter:

  • Ginger Tea
  • Japanese Yuzu
  • Cinnamon Roll
  • Horchata Cajeta
  • Golden Delicious Apple
  • Cali Peach

Released in third quarter:

  • Cantaloupe Chill
  • Pear Chill
  • Hong Kong Milk Tea

The Website and Blog:

The new website and blog was in the works for some time.  Social Smoke has been through many changes and we now have the website and social media infrastructure to talk about it.  Both are the perfect forum to introduce new blends, brag about achievements, and inform.  We are so proud of both and excited to bring them to life in 2016

That’s it for 2015.  The changes, all positive.  The excitement, through the roof.  And the company, strong, proud, and ready to take on the Hookah World!