• July 24, 2024

Puff Bar CEOs Profiled

 Puff Bar CEOs Profiled
Photo: Puff Bar

The Wall Street Journal recently profiled Patrick Beltran and Nick Minas, co-CEOs of Puff Bar, a top-selling disposable e-cigarette brand in the United States.

Puff Bar entered the U.S. market in 2019. At the time, it was owned by Cool Clouds Distribution of California. Cool Clouds sold the Puff Bar to the brand’s Chinese manufacturer, DS Technology Licensing, in early 2020.

In February 2020, to curb youth vaping, the Food and Drug Administration implemented new restrictions excluding sweet and fruit flavors in reusable e-cigarettes such as those offered by Juul Labs. The restrictions did not apply to disposable devices such as Puff Bars.

In the summer of 2020, however, the FDA ordered Puff Bar products off the market. Critics said the brand was replacing Juul as the vape of choice among young people as Juul discontinued certain flavored products. In February 2021 Puff Bar resumed sales with redesigned product containing synthetic nicotine, which remains outside the FDA’s purview.

Minas and Beltran became executives of Puff Bar as CEO and CFO respectively in the spring of 2020, when the brand was taken over by two men and DS Technology as per company filings. The entrepreneurs owned and operated an online e-cigarette retailer called Eliquidstop.

In the Wall Street Journal article, Beltran described the Puff Bar ingredient change as “a forced innovation,” saying that the FDA gave the company no choice.

Puff Bar sales in retail stores tracked by Nielsen totaled $156 million for the year ended Sept. 25, according to Goldman Sachs, although it is unclear how many of those sales are counterfeit products. In a federal survey released in Sept., 26 percent of high-school vaporizers said they used Puff Bars. Among middle-school e-cigarette users, 30 percent reported that their generic brand was Puff Bars.