Mr. Setti Coscarella reports
CROSSMARK BEGINS INITIAL ROLLOUT OF TAAT TO WHOLESALE AND RETAIL ACCOUNTS
Last week, national consumer packaged goods (CPG) sales agency Crossmark Inc. began its early-stage initiatives to bring TAAT Lifestyle & Wellness Ltd.'s TAAT to new points of sale, starting in Ohio to build upon the company's existing retail presence in that market. In a press release dated
Feb. 2, 2021, the company announced its engagement with Crossmark, an omnichannel agency for products in the CPG category based in Texas with more than 25,000 employees. Crossmark, which directly services over 100,000 convenience stores across the United States, has proven successful in bringing a wide range of CPG products to mainstream retail channels, including an e-cigarette product that achieved dominant market share in that subset of the tobacco category. This commencement of Crossmark's initiatives coincides with the Feb. 17, 2021, launch of the TAAT e-commerce portal, which made TAAT original, smooth and menthol available to the majority of current smokers aged 21 and over in the United States.
Last week, Crossmark began introducing all three varieties of TAAT to its accounts in Ohio, including wholesalers and distributors of CPG and tobacco products, key retail accounts, and individual stores with whom Crossmark representatives have established business relationships. In Q2 2021, Crossmark will service over 7,000 convenience stores in Ohio. The key account manager for TAAT in Ohio, who has more than a decade of experience in sales for a major global tobacco firm, has been leading sales training with Crossmark representatives to ensure that TAAT is positioned optimally among incumbent tobacco category offerings with an objective of capturing the attention and interest of current smokers aged 21 and over and potentially persuading them to choose TAAT at the point of sale instead of their typical tobacco cigarette product. Through a combination of rollouts led by Crossmark, continued in-house efforts conducted by TAAT staff, and digital advertising campaigns designed to direct smokers aged 21 and over to the TAAT on-line store, the company anticipates that these initiatives could collectively contribute to achieving greater market penetration for TAAT in the $814-billion (U.S.) global tobacco industry.
In addition to introducing products such as TAAT to potential new accounts and providing strategies to efficiently sell the product at retail, the company has also engaged Crossmark to oversee the order to cash (O2C) process on its behalf. At a high level, O2C typically involves processing purchase orders and conveying the orders to wholesalers or distribution centres for fulfilment. Although such functions could be carried out internally by the company, large-scale CPG firms often outsource O2C to third party firms such as Crossmark to obviate the need to perform these functions themselves, which can become complex with products sold in multiple jurisdictions through several different wholesalers with numerous shipping points.
TAAT chief executive officer Setti Coscarella commented: "These are exciting times for the company as we enter the final month of Q1 2021. Now that our product line has had the opportunity to be tested by smokers aged 21 plus across Ohio with consistently positive reception, we can start to roll TAAT out more aggressively with the knowledge that we have a solid product formulation and commercialization playbook. Last week, Crossmark got to work with introducing TAAT to its impressive portfolio of accounts in Ohio and more than three quarters of retailers have stated an interest in carrying TAAT in their stores. Crossmark's efforts will run concurrently with our continued in-house sales efforts and promotions for the TAAT on-line store. We are excited to see the impact Crossmark will have on the overall performance of TAAT as we continue our push to capture additional market share in the $814-billion (U.S.) global tobacco industry."
To provide clarity with regard to the role of a sales agency such as Crossmark as a service provider to a CPG firm such as TAAT, the company has produced a video in which its chief executive officer, Mr. Coscarella, describes the dynamics between the two firms.
Last week, Crossmark began rolling out TAAT to new accounts in Ohio, including wholesalers, distributors, key retail accounts and individual stores. Please access SEDAR or the
section of the company's website for a version of this press release containing all published media.
TAAT Lifestyle & Wellness also announces that it has engaged Bay Street Communications to provide investor relations services for the company. In connection with the engagement, the company has entered into an investor relations services agreement with Bay Street Communications, pursuant to which it will primarily be tasked with providing the following services: development of a strategic investor relations plan, creation of digital media (including a new investor relations website, updated presentations and social media content), outreach to analysts/financial media/investors and managing inbound inquiries from investors.
The services agreement has a six-month minimum term with a per-month payment value of $7,000.
About TAAT Lifestyle & Wellness Ltd.
TAAT has developed TAAT, which is a tobacco-free and nicotine-free alternative to traditional cigarettes offered in original, smooth and menthol varieties. TAAT's base material is Beyond Tobacco, a proprietary blend which undergoes a patent-pending refinement technique causing its scent and taste to resemble tobacco. Under executive leadership with big tobacco pedigree, TAAT was launched first in the United States in Q4 2020 as the company seeks to position itself in the $814-billion global tobacco industry.
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