Leocorno Enterprises Ventures into Activated Charcoal Filter Category in India

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Business Wire IndiaLeocorno Enterprises, a company since 2016 that offers FMCG products in India and abroad, and the owner of the brand PEER Drinks, has recently launched PEER Next – a brand that offers activated charcoal filter tips. These products tap into the benefits of active carbon that acts as a natural filter, and offer a harm reduced alternative to consumers as compared to conventional roaches. The products come in two skus of pack of 56 and pack of 15 active filters, priced as INR 750 and INR 225 respectively. In addition, the brand distributes Raw and Elements papers, BiC pocket lighters, and will soon be venturing into one-hitters and vegan storage pouches in the accessories segment. The brand also offers curated combo packs like Savvy Collector and Progressive Adopter that offer a bundle of authentic premium products.

Active carbon filters (ACFs) have a wide range of acceptability as they are capable of reducing the pollutants in both gaseous as well as liquid forms. They work on the concept of absorption and are used extensively in air purifiers, water treatment plants, air conditioners, odour control devices, alcohol purification, industrial applications such as in the metals industry etc. The carbon here is ‘activated’, meaning it is exposed to heat in oxygen-less tanks at temperatures going up to 700°C, and then re-exposed to heat of up to 1,150°C. This process substantially increases the number of pores and the total surface area which enables increased absorption capacity. Thus when smoke containing tar and other carcinogens and harmful substances pass through it, they get attached and absorbed into these tiny holes, thereby reducing the harm from the smoke as it comes out of the filter into a consumers’ lungs.

There is growing health consciousness and widespread acceptance of harm reduction as a strategy among modern day consumers. Adults want less harmful or safer versions of products, like safer cars with multiple airbags, less oily and non-friend food, organic and preservative free beverages and so on. The harm reduction concept also applies to smoking filters. Active carbon filters, unlike cardboard roaches (which technically do not filter anything but serve as a mere ‘handle’), reduce tar, balance heat, and enable smoother drags. They are also eco-friendly and bio degradable and thus less damaging than cellulose acetate (plastic) filters.

Active carbon filters or activated carbon filters are now being widely using in Western countries. The trend first picked up in Germany as the initial brands that made these filters were from Germany. The usage of the product in Germany has become mainstream and these filters are available in almost every convenience store in the country. The trend then picked up in other European countries like Italy, France, UK, and Netherlands etc., followed by USA. Awareness of these filters has now reached India is 2023. It is a matter of time before these filters become the norm in India as well. Founder and CEO of PEER Next, Anant Jangwal says, “While these products are widely popular in the West, we are now seeing them gaining traction in India as well. We hope to be the leading pioneer in this category, like how we have in other categories in the past.”

PEER Next products are found online on their own website, Amazon, and other online marketplaces. The brand is available in top offline stores in Delhi, Gurgaon, Goa and Dehradun, and will soon be entering Mumbai and Bangalore. “Our focus area has been Delhi NCR so far, and we have seen a good initial response from consumers with high repeat purchase rate. Our plan for next 3 quarters is to launch in two more cities and introduce 2-3 new products in the market in the premium segment, and in categories that are nascent with healthy growth potential,” says Anant. The brand faces competition from German competitors like Actutibe and Purize, but PEER Next’s competitive advantage also lies in offering at-par quality products while being 20-25% more price competitive, which they say is possible because the outer packing material in India is more cost-effective that in the West, and also because of a greater focus on scale and volume sales as opposed to value sales.