TAAT Lifestyle & Wellness (TAAT Lifestyle & Wellness Stock Quote, Chart, News, Analysts, Financials CSE:TAAT) on Monday announced that it has completed shipment of thousands of sample packs to legal-aged smokers in 38 states. That’s just the start of TAAT’s move to take a bite out of the huge US tobacco market, the company says.
Vancouver and Las Vegas-based TAAT has seen its share price bounce around since debuting last June but the stock is up plenty overall, finishing 2020 up a monstrous 363 per cent. It’s been a big splash for TAAT which had its first week of sales just last month in the Ohio market, saying the early response has been positive.
Now, TAAT has responded to thousands of requests for samples, shipping packs of its Beyond Tobacco products along with promotional face masks with the TAAT logo and an insert encouraging recipients to share their experiences with the new product through social media.
“In addition to building awareness through firsthand trials of the product with sample packs of TAAT, we also opted to include a face mask bearing the TAAT logo with all shipments, which we anticipate could drive further visibility of our brand name,” said TAAT CEO Setti Coscarella in a press release on January 22.
“We are also very impressed with the first TAAT mural created earlier this month, and believe the placement of these murals in markets where TAAT is sold can be an effective promotional method as we continue our entry into the US$814 billion global tobacco industry,” Coscarella said.
TAAT obtained commercial-scale production capacity this past September for its Beyond Tobacco cigarettes which the company hopes will find a place somewhere between the tobacco and vape markets, aiming to bring to customers the experience of smoking without the addictive traits of nicotine.
Coscarella, brought on by TAAT as CEO this past July, is a former lead strategist at tobacco giant Philip Morris where he worked on their Reduced-Risk Products category, bringing a number of cigarette alternatives to markets worldwide. He says Beyond Tobacco, TAAT’s proprietary formulation of plant materials which aims to look, smell, taste and smoke like tobacco, attracts customers looking for the feel of smoking but without the nicotine, something that vaping can’t provide, according to Coscarella.
“Having led numerous focus groups for PMI, I have spoken to thousands of legal-aged smokers who have a general consensus that smoking can be just as much about the physical and perceptible sensations as it is about consuming nicotine,” said Coscarella, in an interview with Cantech Letter.
“Countless iterations of ‘nicotine in alternative formats’ have been brought to market, though the lion’s share of the tobacco market still consists of tobacco cigarettes to this day. Thus, we chose to focus on the format that legal-aged smokers seem to love, as opposed to nicotine which was hardly compelling in the alternative formats anyway,” Coscarella said.
TAAT went public through a reverse takeover by Molori Energy in April of last year, after which the company completed a number of funding rounds including a $6.75-million private placement in October with a group of investors including Debbie Chang of Horizons Ventures.
After test runs in Nevada, California, Georgia and Texas, TAAT ended up launching in Ohio after receiving its first order from an Ohio-based distributor in October.
Coscarella said Ohio’s large population and high smoking rate were factors in picking the state as the company’s first foray.
“While we do intend to carry out some marketing activities when we launch in Ohio, we now know TAAT is capable of getting steady sell-through with no marketing at all. As such, I am very excited to see what effect marketing can have as we introduce TAAT to current smokers of legal age in Ohio as part of our push to gain market share in the tobacco industry,” Coscarella said.
TAAT announced last week its Menthol variety was the first to sell out during the early weeks of availability in Ohio stores, with retailers having placed reorders for the product.
“Our objective with TAAT is to offer legal-aged smokers a better alternative to tobacco cigarettes by aligning our tobacco-free and nicotine-free products with what they are already enjoying, which includes menthol flavouring in TAAT Menthol to closely emulate the experience of smoking a menthol cigarette,” Coscarella said in a January 12 press release.
Along with Coscarella, TAAT brought on as Chief Revenue Officer Tim Corkum, also from Philip Morris, where he served as a Director of Reduced Risk Products with the company’s Caribbean affiliates and in business development with Philip Morris’ Canadian affiliates.
For its TryTAAT campaign, TAAT said about half of all sample requests were for TAAT Original, with TAAT Menthol requests coming in a little ahead of TAAT Smooth.
Disclaimer: TAAT is an annual sponsor of Cantech Letter