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Alternative tobacco manufacturer TAAT Global Alternatives (CSE:TAAT / OTCQX:TOBAF / FRA:2TP) has announced that its nicotine-free and tobacco-free flagship product TAAT is now being carried in more than 1,000 retail stores across the United States, with cumulative sales in the US of more than 600,000 packs, equivalent to more than 12 million sticks.

The milestone has been reached just 10 months after TAAT first launched in the United States in December 2020 in Ohio. In August this year, the company announced that it had added distribution for TAAT in seven new US states in just two months, shortly after announcing on 6 August that its distribution network had reached about 500 points of sale across the country. Less than two months later, this figure doubled with a confirmed total of more than 1,000 TAAT retailers.

Alongside the expansion across the United States, the company has also been planning launches in overseas markets, including the United Kingdom, Ireland and Australia. This week saw the first shipment dispatched to the UK, which is expected to arrive by the end of the month. TAAT is also hoping to benefit from Philip Morris International’s decision to withdraw from the tobacco cigarette category in the UK, announced in late July 2021.

TAAT Global Alternatives higher revenues

The launch of TAAT in Puerto Rico should bring in higher revenues, as the local excise tax is the highest in the United States at $5.10 per pack. By comparison, the highest tobacco excise tax rate in the mainland US is the District of Columbia at $4.50 per pack, with the lowest rate being in Missouri at $0.17 per pack, and an overall average of $1.91 per pack.

Soon after TAAT shares began trading on the Canadian Stock Exchange in June 2020, a number of appointments were made that brought substantial experience of the cigarette industry and capital markets: in August of that year Setti Coscarella and Tim Corkum, both formerly of Philip Morris International, were appointed CEO and CRO respectively, and in October global tobacco industry M&A expert Michael Saxon and Kit Dietz, ‘Dean of the Industry’ in convenience wholesale, were added to the TAAT Advisory Board.

Coscarella said: “Our trade show exhibits have been a major catalyst for growth in the United States, as retail chain buyers and wholesalers who deal with tobacco products intuitively pick up on the value proposition of TAAT for smokers aged 21+. We have had incredible velocity over the past couple of months in terms of gaining new US store placements, and we could not be more excited for TAAT to begin hitting store shelves in the United Kingdom and Ireland as early as within the next couple of weeks, with our first shipment to London currently en route.”

TAAT is aiming to carve out a niche for itself in the $814 billion global tobacco industry. In an interview for InvestorBrandNetwork this month, Coscarella explained the attraction of TAAT: “Whether you’re smoking a cigarette, or whether you’ve got a vape or a ‘heat not burn’ or any of these other products, they’re entirely built on driving addiction. … With TAAT, what we’re able to do is replace tobacco and nicotine. What we use is a biomass that’s predominantly made out of hemp. … The CBD has the ability to satiate similar to how nicotine would satiate, without causing an addiction or feeding that addiction response. … We’re helping smokers by giving them the freedom to choose back. Our product satisfies like a cigarette, but it doesn’t create an addiction to nicotine.”

Listen: Podcast: with Joe Deighan, Founder and Director of Research, TAAT Global Alternatives

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Please note this article does not constitute investment advice. Investors are encouraged to do their own research beforehand or consult a professional advisor.

James Norris

James Norris

James is a highly experienced writer and editor, gained from more than 20 years in the financial services industry, in particular wealth management and asset management.

He initially worked as a financial journalist for a number of leading media brands, including the FT Group, Financial News, Euromoney and Incisive Media, covering most aspects of the asset management industry. More recently, James switched to work as an in-house content specialist for fund management and wealth management groups, including JP Morgan Asset Management, Quilter Cheviot Investment Management, AXA Investment Managers and Invesco Perpetual.

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