TAAT LIFESTYLE & WELLNESS LTD. (OTC: TOBAF) (CSE: TAAT) is pleased to announce that its processing facility in Las Vegas, NV has received a large shipment of base material for Beyond Tobacco™, which is to undergo the Company’s proprietary fourteen-step process after being trimmed and prepared for refinement, which is set to yield a net quantity of 3.2 tons of usable material. Subsequently, the finished Beyond Tobacco™ base material is to be transported to the Company’s manufacturing partner (the “Manufacturer”) for production of the first “distribution-ready” batch of Beyond Tobacco™. Under the terms of its agreement with the Company providing favourable pricing terms for producing Beyond Tobacco™, the Manufacturer’s name cannot be publicized. The Company estimates a lead time of approximately six weeks for this batch of base material to be refined in-house and transported to the Manufacturer, with the Beyond Tobacco™ product packaged in the industry-standard “pack and carton” format and stored shipment-ready on pallets in the Manufacturer’s warehouse.
The Company has developed Beyond Tobacco™ to offer a unique tobacco-free and nicotine-free combustible product with a tobacco flavour to help current tobacco smokers leave nicotine behind. Approximately 1.3 billion people worldwide are users of tobacco1, many of whom aspire to discontinue using nicotine. This is evidenced in part by 2018 data from the CDC, which stated that 55.1% of adult smokers had attempted to quit in the past year, though only 7.5% successfully quit smoking in that timeframe2. While several alternatives to smoking tobacco cigarettes currently exist on the market (e.g., gums, lozenges, vaping), such alternatives are frequently abandoned in favour of tobacco cigarettes, despite containing nicotine. To deliver the familiar sensory elements of smoking a cigarette, such as the taste and scent of tobacco and the “motor habits” of flicking ashes, Taat has sought to closely mimic the experience of smoking a tobacco cigarette as the central value proposition of Beyond Tobacco™. Using a patent-pending refinement technique, the base material of Beyond Tobacco™ gives off a flavour and aroma resembling tobacco when ignited, despite containing no actual tobacco. Under the administration of Taat’s recently appointed executive leaders who have held roles in strategy, sales, supply chain, and commercialization at a “Big Tobacco” firm before joining Taat, the Company is presently laying the groundwork to launch Beyond Tobacco™ in Q4 2020 in the United States.
In a September 18, 2020 press release, the Company announced that after the formulation of the Beyond Tobacco™ base material had been finalized, the first production-scale batch of refined material had been sent to the Manufacturer to produce commercial samples for prospective distributors and wholesalers, as well as strategic partners. To ensure the availability of an ample supply of the market-ready iteration of Beyond Tobacco™ at the time of its launch (set to occur in Q4 2020) the Company ordered a large quantity of base material which is expected to result in a net yield of approximately 3.2 tons after trimming and preparation. The shipment of raw material, pictured below in the Company’s Las Vegas, NV facility, is expected to be sufficient for production of at least 15,000 ten-pack cartons of Beyond Tobacco™. The Company predicts this initial batch of Beyond Tobacco™ for the retail market will be completely prepared and ready to ship no later than early November 2020. The Manufacturer will store the finished Beyond Tobacco™ product on shipment-ready pallets in its warehouse, with outbound shipments to be made to distributors, wholesalers, and retailers (or their respective distribution centres) as instructed by Taat.
A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/23ed8543-b620-498a-9c19-062a452e8b18
September 2020 shipment of Beyond Tobacco™ base material in the Company’s Las Vegas, NV processing facility. Approximately 3.2 tons of usable base material is expected to be derived from this shipment, which should allow for production of at least 15,000 ten-pack cartons of Beyond Tobacco™.
Additionally, the Company is pleased to announce it will soon release a revised design for the Beyond Tobacco™ pack, which is to be used for the product’s launch. Taat has retained a professional graphic artist who has created package designs and other brand assets for an international tobacco firm. As this graphic artist is familiar with the packaging standards of the tobacco industry, both in terms of creating compelling styles and complying with various legal guidelines for packaging, Taat’s management is highly satisfied with all concept designs provided to date. The final Beyond Tobacco™ pack design is to be transmitted to the Manufacturer for printing after receiving all required internal approvals, and the final pack design is to be revealed to the public shortly thereafter.
Taat CEO Setti Coscarella commented, “I always tell people to pay attention to what a company is doing, not just what it’s saying. Being in our early stages, we cannot always share what we are doing for the sake of preserving our competitive edge. However, as we move further along the timeline for launching Beyond Tobacco™ we are able to share more of what we are doing, which gives us the opportunity to demonstrate that our actions are indeed matching our words. Given how fast-paced our growth can be in this USD $814 billion global industry, building the supply chain for Beyond Tobacco™ is something we need to go about diligently to ensure that we are able to not only meet initial demand, but also scale upward to meet future demand of any foreseeable quantity. Having the product and formulation is just the first step. Executing a successful launch and profitably sustaining that success requires a robust network of raw material suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, and a sales force with boots on the ground. More importantly, it requires a reliable inventory of your product to avoid disappointing your customers with stockouts. It might sound like a good problem to have, since it reflects demand… but it’s exactly the problem Target had when they tried to launch in Canada and they frequently had empty shelves because of products being sold out. They’re not in Canada anymore, and that’s a big part of the reason why. Speed to market is absolutely important, but it should never come at the expense of doing it correctly for long-term growth and profitability. As such, this is something I am treating as a marathon, not a race. Now that we‘ve rounded up everything we need to get the ball rolling, we will be getting to work on refining the base material for Beyond Tobacco™, getting it to the manufacturer, and putting the Beyond Tobacco™ sticks into the newly designed packs that we can’t wait to unveil. Then, they’ll be on pallets in the Manufacturer’s warehouse, and ready to hit the road once the first wholesale orders come through to bring Beyond Tobacco™ one step closer to being ready for sale at retail. This process is expected to take no more than six weeks in total, which means the much-anticipated launch day of Beyond Tobacco™ is getting closer and closer.”
Correction: In the Company’s September 18, 2018 press release (“First Production-Scale Batch of Beyond Tobacco™ Material Completed, Shipped to Manufacturer to Make Commercial Samples”), it was incorrectly stated that the Manufacturer was capable of producing up to one million sticks per minute. Although such a rate of production is implausible and it is unlikely that any reader was misled as a result of this error, the Company hereby provides a good-faith correction that the correct rate of production for the Manufacturer is up to 2,000 sticks per minute.
On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Company,
TAAT LIFESTYLE & WELLNESS LTD.
Setti Coscarella, CEO
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About Taat Lifestyle & Wellness Ltd.
Having developed Beyond Tobacco™, which contains no tobacco or nicotine, Taat’s objective is to introduce an innovative, experience-driven alternative to tobacco cigarettes for tobacco smokers who aspire to leave nicotine behind. Beyond Tobacco™, which is to be offered in “Original” and “Menthol” varieties, is designed to closely emulate every aspect of smoking a traditional cigarette. From the cigarette-style packaging and stick format, to the proprietary flavouring blend which imparts the flavour and scent of tobacco, to the draw sensation, and the amount of smoke exhaled, Beyond Tobacco™ has been meticulously engineered to enable smokers to continue enjoying the ritual of smoking, while discontinuing nicotine intake. Taat plans to launch Beyond Tobacco™ in Q4 2020 and is seeking to position itself in the USD $814 billion (2018)1 global tobacco industry to capitalize on the growing worldwide demand for alternatives to traditional cigarettes.