PEER Next is the latest launch of Leocorno Enterprises, a company formed by Anant Jangwal in 2016 that offers consumer brands including PEER Drinks – a brand of premium low and zero calorie tonic water. PEER Next has introduced activated charcoal filters that are a harm reduction alternative to conventional cardboard filters or roaches. In addition, the brand retails and wholesales RAW (Brown & Black) and Elements papers and BiC pocket lighters.
Activated carbon filters, or ACFs as they are also called, are widely known to be effective in filtering pollutants in both gaseous as well as liquid form. This makes them useful in a variety of industrial and non-industrial applications. ACFs work on the concept of absorption and are used extensively in air purifiers, water treatment plants, air conditioners, odour control devices etc. “Active carbon filters have been in use for over 1,000 years, but it is only recently that this technology has been incorporated into smoking filter tips, which help in reducing tar and in making the drags smoother. The ceramic caps on either sides balance the heat during inhale”, says Anant Jangwal, Founder & CEO of PEER Next.
The team at PEER Next has been working on studying this market and in fine-tuning the product and its packaging for a while. After multiple focus groups and benchmarking to international standards, the company was finally able to create a product that met its expectations after 12 months of due diligence. While the outer packing is Indian, the activated charcoal is from a UK based supplier since 1965. The product is at par with its German competitors in terms of quality, but at a price point that is 25% lower. This is made possible because of a focus on volume sales rather than value sales, and because of the availability of cost effective packing material in India vs in the West. The users of these carbon filters are extremely loyal and there is a high degree of repeat purchase. However, the high price point becomes a limiting factor when it comes to achieving scale. In order for this category to become mainstream, the products need to sell at a lower price sweet-spot, which PEER Next believes it has accomplished.
The brand is available online on its website www.peer-next.com, along with Amazon and other online aggregators. Offline, the products are already available in 30+ outlets in Delhi NCR, and will be available in Jaipur, Dehradun, Goa, Bangalore and Mumbai in the next 6-9 months. The active carbon filters come in two variants – packs of 15 (preferred by 1st time users) and packs of 56 (preferred by repeat users). In addition to the domestic market, the brand will also focus on the export market where active carbon smoking filters are widely popular. Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Netherlands will be the initial focus countries for exports.
In select stores where PEER Next is present, the brand has already captured 50% of the sales in this category. However, the aim is not just to become the leading brand of filter tips, but to have maximum people switch from cardboard roaches to carbon filters. “Our leading competition in active carbon filters is not Purize or Actitube, but it is cardboard roaches. PEER Next’s mission is to become the largest supplier of active carbon filters, papers, lighters and other accessories, with a focus on next-gen technology products”, claims Anant.