Blendfeel is an Italian manufacturer of e-liquids and aromas, one of the liveliest and more creative of the entire Italian landscape. We met Mr. Blendfeel, Renzo Cattaneo.
How was Blendfeel born? Can you tell us a bit more about the brand’s history?
It’s a short history, as we talk about a company that was set up in 2013, a little bit less if we talk about vaping. At a time when the market was about to enter a waning phase we started with a project that primarily aimed to making quality products. Few resources but much effort and passion allowed us to grow little by little. In 2013 vaping was at a stage that I dare to define pioneering. We were certainly working with technical expertise but with needed to learn every day something new. The e-liquids were manufactured using production methods that could no longer be usable because the development of a mix follows protocols that have been refined over time, that not only aim to obtain a pleasing product but also a chemical recipe with characteristics defined and analytically evaluated along the entire production process.
The company’s development and its growth and popularity were significant in its early international debut. 2014 at the Vapexpo in Paris we presented the Evolution line and some products gained a great consensus among the vapers. They were among the first complex mixes al all – not only in Italy – and some are still in production.
After having refined the e-liquid preparation techniques and increased strictness in the selection of the raw materials, we began to manufacture aromas. In the summer of 2014 we designed and built an extraction plant with which allows us, starting from the leaves of agricultural tobacco, to obtain the aromatic extracts that gave life to the Slowvape line. It was an innovative concept that ambitiously wanted to introduce the concept of “slow” to vaping, proposing the use of extracts, exactly as they were cut tobacco. It was one of the first incentives to passion and sharing that the historical origins of the jerk started from the definition of electronic cigarette. A significant name that is used today but I think it is absolutely misleading and misleading.
When the government imposed the tax, we created the NTL system that allowed us to reduce the tax impact on liquids and which allowed us to maintain a suitable level of production despite those difficult times.
The follow-up, with a point of pride, has been a continuous growth with the aim of always giving innovative products and product qualification. Last year we invested in an internal analysis laboratory with very sophisticated equipment. Investment that allowed us to offer analysis services to other companies as well, but principally enabled us to raise the quality control bar. I think it is something quite rare in absolute value at the level of companies specializing in the production of aromas and liquids for the snout.
Today we are also busy with Nutrogenomics in a major project on the release that somebody calls therapeutic, we are working, although honestly I thought it was a simpler thing, the issues are really complex and long time but I am very confident about closing this project as well.
How is the company currently structured? Considering the different lines of Blendfeel products, do you have different divisions that deal with each of the different types of production?
We work in an industrial building of about 1,000 square meters. Within the company apart from the spaces of the administrative offices, the canteen and the meeting spaces, each activity has a precise location and functionality in the production process.
Please note that all production cycles are within the company.
Apart from purchases of some raw materials such as bottles, PG, VG nicotine and some of the aromas I would say that we work in autarchy. For mentality, productive independence has always been a stopping point and therefore basically we do not outsource anything, if machinery or plants are used, we prefer to buy or grow as a staff.
For example, with regard to packaging, we have assumed a graphic technician, bought industrial printers that allow us great flexibility and cancellation of issues related to procurement in labels.
With the recent increase in production, we have recently bought two other industrial labellers, last month, an automatic inflatable plant.
Blendfeel in Italy is at the moment, and we are sure we will not miss it, one of the best known, renowned and recognized brands. The award in The Flavorist Best of 2016 with the tasty “Toro” aroma is the proof. How hard was it and how did you get to this result?
Thank you for your consideration, I would say that the project Slowvape from which they derive products such as “Toro” started out first from the study of extraction systems, focusing on a cold extraction method, the search for the appropriate quality raw materials and a significant experimental phase . The plant designed and constructed by us works with a programmed PLC to make the extraction cycles as efficient as possible, after which we pass on a manic filtration that we feel essential to deliver the vapors of this type of products with a low degree of encrustation Of the coils. The acknowledgment received was a great satisfaction because we did not love and take advantage of aggressive advertising and marketing. We prefer to work more on customer services and product quality and trust in the word of mouth, a slower system that is getting more and more satisfaction. I forgot, thank you for having appreciated the “Toro”.
What do you think are the real strengths of your company?
I would mainly say innovation, productive flexibility, courtesy, promptness and extreme professional honesty. I think I can say the Know-How today. This from a more operational point of view, on the other hand, the company spirit is really of the highest standard. I would say we are a good team and especially the understanding with Emanuela and Danilo works.
The importance of enhancing, now more than ever, Made in Italy even in vain. What do you say about this?
I would say that we try, that is why we are doing this with commitment, with our little contribution to the Italian brag. We would like to see Italy in this field as in many other activities that have made it a reference in the world.
TPD … did you think we would have saved the question? What do you think and how was Blendfeel organized?
To tell the truth I thought was the first …
Last year, at Vapitaly 2016, we proposed the premiums of new packaging conforming to the provisions of European legislation. In the following months we have refined the methods of analysis of hot issues by developing a system that I believe is unique in its kind. An activity that we have partnered with with another Milan laboratory with whom we have been collaborating since 2014 for product analysis before the internal lab.
To date, we have notified all premixes we market that have been conforming to the TPD for months, and we are not fortunate enough to dispose of products for a long time. The question of what I think .. I would say it is a positive fact as it forces an assumption of responsibility that undoubtedly selects the operators and who really believes in this activity. I believe that at least in this paper does not guarantee the quality of products as it would like to believe and that it is structured without taking into account what is the product used to unleash it, whether it is systems or liquids. Lastly, it is a praise for bureaucracy, with all its negatives.
What do you expect from the upcoming and upcoming edition of Vapitaly?
We will dedicate our presence to B2B, just like Exvapo Napoli, Vapitaly is a holiday but also an opportunity for companies to meet with their Customers in person. We will give this professional cut as, although Blendfeel customers are already very knowledgeable about what we do, surely the opportunity to clarify our project but also to get valuable suggestions are an indispensable fact. Of course, we will not forget all the vapors that will pass for a greeting, but the contingent time makes us feel that it is a priority to allocate most of the energies to retailers.
We almost came to the end of our interview. Dry question: Do you make the names of some brands or producers (Italian and non-Italian) who appreciate a lot for the seriousness and quality of their work?
A short answer: no! Of course not for not wanting to cite companies or colleagues with whom we also have good personal relationships but I think it is better not to make names so you do not risk losing anyone. The Italian companies that work fine are there and you know it all.
Renzo have you already given your “I like” to the Facebook page of The Flavourist and invited all your friends to do so?
I did it some time ago. I stop there for invitations … I do not invite anyone to even like the pages I manage as Blendfeel.
You have the chance to name the next one interviewed by The Flavourist. Even with your help we will try to interview him. Who names?
I would say for an emotional and historical bond that has seen us grow like two guys in this work Aldo Mastrandrea who with his T-jacket has been a companion of so many fantastic experiences.
Thank you Renzo for your availability and see you in a few days at the Vapitaly show!