With more than 70 franchised storefronts in the U.K., Pakistan, and the U.S., Artisan has entered into a distribution agreement for Beyond Tobacco™ cigarettes, which are to be carried in select Artisan retail locations and online stores. Founded in 2013, Artisan has built an online and brick-and-mortar presence across three continents carrying a carefully-selected assortment of premium vaping merchandise. In addition to its franchised retail stores, Artisan also operates online stores in each of the countries in which it does business. Artisan and the Company are both confident that Beyond Tobacco™ cigarettes can perform well among existing vaping product offerings in Artisan stores.
LAS VEGAS and VANCOUVER, AUGUST 28, 2020 – TAAT LIFESTYLE & WELLNESS LTD. (CSE: TAAT) (OTC: TOBAF) (FRANKFURT: 2TP2) (the “Company” or “Taat”) is pleased to announce that on August 28, 2020 it has executed a one-year renewable comprehensive distribution agreement with Artisan Vapor Franchise LLC (“Artisan”) in which Artisan is to carry Beyond Tobacco™ cigarettes in their “Original” and “Menthol” varieties. With more than 70 franchised storefronts in the United Kingdom, Pakistan, and the United States, Artisan is a rapidly growing player in the retailing space for the smoking alternative known as “vaping”. Carrying numerous different brands of vaporizer liquid (also known as “e-juice” or “vape juice”), nicotine salt liquid, and a wide selection of vaping equipment, Artisan has curated a robust lineup of offerings to cater to clientele in different markets with varying tastes and levels of experience with vaping. Under this distribution agreement, Beyond Tobacco™ cigarettes can be carried in any of Artisan’s eligible1 franchised or online stores in the United Kingdom, Pakistan, and the United States.
The Company has developed Beyond Tobacco™, a tobacco-free and nicotine-free alternative to traditional tobacco cigarettes in a combustible “stick” format which Taat expects will appeal to smokers who aspire to leave nicotine behind. According to a 2018 study by the CDC, more than half of smokers in the United States (55.1%) had attempted to quit in the past year, though only 7.5% successfully quit smoking in that timeframe2. While various smoking cessation products that contain nicotine are available on the market (e.g., gums, lozenges, patches), many users of such products go back to smoking cigarettes, suggesting an inclination towards attributes besides nicotine. Beyond Tobacco™ cigarettes are designed to closely emulate the sensory experience of smoking a regular tobacco cigarette, which the Company has sought to achieve with attention to details that include a proprietary blend of tobacco flavouring for taste and aroma, an enhanced volume of smoke exhaled by the user, and cigarette-style packaging. In addition to creating a comparable user experience that is expected to be familiar for cigarette smokers, Beyond Tobacco™ cigarettes contain cannabidiol (“CBD”, a non-psychoactive derivative of hemp) which has been shown to mitigate tobacco withdrawals and reduce tobacco dependency. Taat anticipates that between the intuitive smoking experience of Beyond Tobacco™ cigarettes and the proven benefits of CBD for tobacco smokers, the Company can play a role in overcoming the global tobacco epidemic.
Artisan was founded in Texas in 2013, quickly expanding its retail store presence through franchised locations across the United States and later into the United Kingdom and Pakistan, with separate online shops for each of these countries. The customer experience in Artisan’s stores is distinguished by a unique “bar” format (pictured below), which enables smooth one-on-one interactions between customers and associates. In the United States, Artisan’s stores are located in Texas, Indiana, Illinois, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Vermont. In the United Kingdom, Artisan’s stores are located in London (Cricklewood) as well as in the West Midlands (Oldbury and Walsall).
More information about Artisan can be found on its website at http://artisanvaporcompany.com
Interior of an Artisan retail store in Texas
The Company’s distribution agreement with Artisan for Beyond Tobacco™ cigarettes complements existing distribution agreements with World Wide Vape Distribution (announced in a July 7, 2020 press release) and West Coast Vape Supply, Inc. (announced in a July 24, 2020 press release). With this third distribution agreement in less than two months, Taat has increased its potential reach in the United States and added new international channels through which Beyond Tobacco™ cigarettes can be sold both at retail and online.
“We see great potential in Beyond Tobacco™ cigarettes as an alternative to traditional cigarettes”, said Umair Kaimkhani, Chief Executive Officer of Artisan. “Our business is built around creating appealing and exciting alternatives to smoking regular tobacco, and vaping has proven extremely popular in recent years which has enabled us to build a market presence of more than 70 stores in three continents. Of course, many current tobacco smokers cannot get ‘into’ vaping because of how different it feels compared to the cigarettes they’re trying to quit. By offering Beyond Tobacco™ cigarettes through our eligible retail and online stores, we hope to bridge that gap by providing an experientially similar alternative. We plan to leverage our international multi-channel reach to avail Beyond Tobacco™ cigarettes to our customers as an early-stage retailer of this unique concept.”
“Having the opportunity to sell a product internationally even before its launch is tremendous, and I am excited to be working with Artisan as a distribution partner for Beyond Tobacco™ cigarettes”, said Setti Coscarella, CEO of Taat. “Vaping stores are an attractive early-stage retail channel for Beyond Tobacco™ cigarettes because from what I have seen in the industry, vaping store customers tend to have a curiosity about possible alternatives to tobacco cigarettes. We anticipate that the novel idea of a combustible product without tobacco or nicotine could be attractive to current smokers, especially in a high-interaction retail environment such as Artisan’s stores. This does not only lend itself well to selling the product itself, it is also an excellent opportunity to gather feedback that we can apply to our long-term strategies. With Artisan’s reach outside of the U.S., insights from their franchisors and customers about how Beyond Tobacco™ is received in international markets can be extremely valuable to us in our journey working towards building market share around the globe. We look forward to working with Mr. Kaimkhani and his team as we get closer to the planned Q4 2020 launch of Beyond Tobacco™ cigarettes.”
Footnotes and Sources:
1 – Because the legal status of combustible hemp can vary between jurisdictions, Artisan can only carry Beyond Tobacco™ cigarettes in its franchised or online stores located in jurisdictions that permit the sale of combustible hemp, which is a prerequisite for eligibility.
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.
Taat Herb Co., the flagship brand of Taat Lifestyle & Wellness Ltd., is an early-stage life sciences company based in Las Vegas, Nevada innovating nicotine-free and tobacco-free alternatives to traditional cigarettes. With a unique proprietary blend of all-natural ingredients and meticulous engineering of the user experience, Taat Beyond Tobacco™ cigarettes are designed to emulate every aspect of legacy tobacco products with no significant difference to the user. Taat Beyond Tobacco™ cigarettes provide benefits that include mitigation of tobacco withdrawals, and reduction of tobacco dependency. With an expert-led go-to-market strategy, the Company’s objective is to position itself in the US $814 billion (2018)1 global tobacco industry to capitalize on the growing worldwide demand for better-for-you alternatives to traditional cigarettes.
For more information, please visit https://taatusa.com.
Statement Regarding Effects of CBD on Smoking Cessation
The Beckley/Exeter research program (University of Exeter) carried out a pilot study that found after several weeks following cannabidiol (“CBD”) treatment, CBD helped tobacco smokers to reduce the amount of cigarettes smoked by as much as 40%. A follow-on study is planned, which will include a brain imaging component to examine the brain activity patterns underlying the probable therapeutic effects of CBD.
Forward Looking Statements
This news release contains “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation. Often, but not always, forward-looking information and information can be identified by the use of words such as “plans”, “expects” or “does not expect”, “is expected”, “estimates”, “intends”, “anticipates” or “does not anticipate”, or “believes”, or variations of such words and phrases or state that certain actions, events or results “may”, “could”, “would”, “might” or “will” be taken, occur, or be achieved. Forward-looking information in this news release includes statements regarding the potential launch of Taat hemp cigarettes, in addition to the following: Potential availability of Beyond Tobacco™ cigarettes in Artisan’s eligible retail and online stores in connection with Artisan’s distribution agreement with Taat. The forward-looking information reflects management’s current expectations based on information currently available and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that may cause outcomes to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking information. Although the Company believes that the assumptions and factors used in preparing the forward-looking information are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on such information and no assurance can be given that such events will occur in the disclosed timeframes or at all. Factors that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from current expectations include: (i) adverse market conditions; (ii) changes to the growth and size of the tobacco and CBD markets; and (iii) other factors beyond the control of the Company. The Company operates in a rapidly evolving environment. New risk factors emerge from time to time, and it is impossible for the Company’s management to predict all risk factors, nor can the Company assess the impact of all factors on Company’s business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results to differ from those contained in any forward-looking information. The forward-looking information included in this news release are made as of the date of this news release and the Company expressly disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking information whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by applicable law.
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