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Home » News » Equities » TAAT to launch its Beyond Tobacco in Puerto Rico, expands in Texas

TAAT Global Alternatives (CSE:TAAT/OTCQX:TOBAF), the maker of Beyond Tobacco, is in the process of launching in 300 new stores, firming up its footprint in Texas and in Puerto Rico. The company’s nicotine-free and tobacco-free alternative to normal cigarettes will become available to buy in 180 stores in Houston, Texas, the fourth-largest city in the US, and in another 120 stores in Puerto Rico.

The company said that earlier this week, a pallet shipment of TAAT arrived at the warehouse of a distributor who has guaranteed the placement of the company’s products in at least 180 Houston stores. Texas has a cigarette use incidence rate of 14.7%. and TAAT’s presence in this state is relatively small compared with its total footprint in the US. As such, the company is eager to build a presence in one of the country’s largest urban centres to complement its comparatively high store counts in the metro areas of cities such as Chicago, Illinois and Columbus, Ohio.

The launch of TAAT in Houston is planned to coincide with the company’s multistate billboard advertising campaign announced in December which includes billboard placements in Houston, Detroit, Atlanta, and several other U.S. cities.

Puerto Rico launch follows test distribution

In Puerto Rico, TAAT was initially placed with a local distributor in Cayey on a “test” basis and now a new local distributor has placed a large purchase order which is expected to land in there by April. The company anticipates its tobacco-free cigarettes could perform especially well in Puerto Rico given that they could be sold much cheaper than traditional ones. Puerto Rico has one of the nation’s highest taxes on tobacco cigarettes, costing $5.10 per pack.

This is the second year that TAAT is being sold at retail in the US. The company is in the process of integrating its marketing programmes with its nationwide store placements to include billboards located near Nevada locations of a US gas station chain and an incentive strategy for chain retailers to convert TAAT sample recipients into first-time purchasers of a full pack.

TAAT has aggressively pursued store placements in new as well as existing US markets to bolster overall availability of the company’s products and to push sell-through and reorder rates.

Chief executive officer Setti Coscarella said, “Now that we have generated momentum for TAAT at the consumer level, it has become significantly easier to convert wholesalers and retailers to begin carrying our products. With proven reorder rates and verified placements in high-profile gas and convenience chains across the United States, we have established valuable credibility as a serious player in the tobacco industry.”

Larger scale commercialisation of TAAT products

Earlier this month TAAT said it plans to convert certain aspects of its supply chain into wholly-owned internal business units, which aligns with the practices of current leaders in the global tobacco industry. As part of this strategy the company has recently entered into an agreement to buy HLND Holdings, the parent of a convenience and tobacco wholesaler in Ohio. HLND currently owns a network of more than 5000 convenience stores through direct and indirect relationships, including a network of regional sub-distributors.


This article is not investment advice. Investors should do their own research or consult a professional advisor.

Vanya Dragomanovic

Vanya Dragomanovich

Vanya is an award-winning financial journalist who has worked in both television and newswires. She spent over 10 years at Dow Jones covering commodity markets, including metals, coffee, cocoa and oil. She also reported from the floor of the London Metals Exchange, and appeared on CNBC to discuss international metals markets. Since then she has written for several leading financial publications, including serving as commodities editor for FTSE Global Markets.

Vanya continues to cover international commodities markets globally, specialising in particular on metals and alternative energy. She is also the author of a book on CFD trading.

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