The Company has appointed Kit Dietz to its board of advisors. Mr. Dietz was named “Dean of the Industry” in 2017 by the Convenience Distribution Association for his national-level contributions to the distribution trade, as well as his performance as President and Chairman of convenience, food, and tobacco distribution firms in the northern United States. Dietz was also on the board of directors of Lorillard, maker of Newport menthols, prior to its acquisition by a subsidiary of British American Tobacco.
LAS VEGAS and VANCOUVER, OCTOBER 15, 2020 – TAAT LIFESTYLE & WELLNESS LTD. (CSE: TAAT) (OTCQB: TOBAF) (FRANKFURT: 2TP2) (the “Company” or “Taat”) is pleased to announce that it has appointed Kit Dietz, an award-winning convenience channel executive and consultant, tobacco industry expert, and a strategic advisor to consumer packaged goods (“CPG”) firms, to its board of advisors. Mr. Dietz has more than three decades of experience in the convenience wholesale industry, including top management roles with well-known convenience channel distributors in the northern United States. In the tobacco industry, Dietz also served on the board of directors of Newport cigarette maker Lorillard Inc. (“Lorillard”) leading up to its USD $27.4 billion acquisition in June 2015. More recently, Mr. Dietz became President of InfoRhythm Inc., a business data analytics firm for retail and wholesale businesses and their respective supply chains providing prescriptive data-driven insights to CPG companies, convenience distributors, and retailers. Based out of northern Ohio, Mr. Dietz presently advises CPG companies and top management of distribution firms using his extensive knowledge of the convenience channel at a granular level. The Company believes Mr. Dietz’s renowned expertise in the convenience and tobacco categories in the region of Taat’s launch market could be instrumental in building competitive advantages as Taat seeks to gain market share in the USD $814 billion global tobacco industry.
The Company has developed Beyond Tobacco™, the base material for its flagship product Taat. Containing no nicotine or tobacco, Taat is an alternative to tobacco cigarettes for current tobacco smokers of legal age who aspire to leave nicotine behind. Taat has meticulously engineered its product to mimic the sensory attributes of the experience of smoking a tobacco cigarette, including a familiar product format, an enhanced volume of smoke, and a scent and taste similar to actual tobacco attained through a patent-pending refinement technique. With 1.3 billion tobacco users worldwide1, Taat’s objective is to offer a novel alternative to tobacco cigarettes which allows current smokers to keep their ritual, while abandoning nicotine.
Executive roles held by Mr. Dietz in the convenience and grocery industries include:
Chairman of Tripifoods Inc.
“Full line” convenience category and tobacco distributor in Buffalo, NY.
President of Spartan Stores Inc. (Convenience Division)
Now known as SpartanNash, a Michigan-based food distributor and grocery retailer currently traded on NASDAQ and an S&P 600 component. Convenience subsidiaries under Mr. Dietz’s administration as the division’s President included L&L/Jiroch Company, J.F. Walker Company, Inc., and United Wholesale Grocery Co.
When Lorillard became publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange in 2008, Dietz was appointed to its board of directors. Mr. Dietz held this position over a seven-year period in which Lorillard’s market capitalization grew from USD $9 billion to USD $27.4 billion, upon its acquisition by Reynolds American Inc. (“RAI”), a subsidiary of British American Tobacco (“BAT”), in June 2015. Lorillard’s Newport brand of mentholated cigarettes (launched in 1957) is presently the best-selling mentholated cigarette brand in the United States, and is second only to Marlboro in overall cigarette brand popularity with 14% market share (2017)2. Mr. Dietz’s familiarity with the mentholated cigarette category could be of great value to the commercialization of Taat’s Menthol product variety.
In 2016, Dietz became President of InfoRhythm, a Pittsburgh-based data analytics firm for convenience channel and major consumer products companies, where he applied his extensive knowledge of such metrics to identify important data trends and patterns.
Kit Dietz (right) at the 2017 Convenience Distribution Association Industry Awards event with CDA Chairman Rob Sincavich (left) after Dietz was named “Dean of the Industry”
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In 2017, Mr. Dietz’s accomplishments in and contributions to the convenience distribution sector earned the votes of his peers for Dietz to be named Dean of the Industry at the Convenience Distribution Association’s (“CDA”) annual Industry Awards event. This award is granted to honour industry members whose contributions have supported and strengthened the distribution trade. In addition to his exemplary work at the industry level, Dietz has made contributions to the CDA itself, including the 1999 C/Scape study (assessing activity-based costs from distributor to consumer) and consulting for the Warehouse-Delivered Snacks Committee. Dietz’s industry colleagues shared their praises in a video clip published by the CDA in connection to the award, which can be accessed by clicking below.
Please click the image above or click here to view the CDA’s video honouring Kit Dietz after being named “Dean of the Industry” in 2017
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The Company intends to leverage Mr. Dietz’s robust knowledge of convenience distribution and the tobacco industry in the northern United States to optimize Taat’s mid-Q4 2020 launch in the state of Ohio and work towards creating competitive advantages. The Company’s executive management has arranged for Mr. Dietz to provide strategic advice regarding margins for Taat in its launch market, and to form best practices for scalability, meeting KPIs, and maintaining profitability in the course of Taat’s expansion into new markets. Mr. Dietz also intends to integrate “big data” capabilities and methodologies to capture insights about Taat’s performance, which can be used as a basis for making decisions that are conducive to creating wholesale distribution efficiencies.
Kit Dietz commented, “I am excited to join Taat’s advisory board, as they launch their innovative product here in Ohio where I have become very familiar with the convenience channel distribution landscape for tobacco category products. Those in the industry may recall my February 2016 presentation at the CDA’s Convenience Distribution Marketplace event where I presented InfoMetrics data showing how ‘other tobacco products’ or ‘OTP’ were rapidly gaining market share. While OTP items such as cigars and smokeless tobacco have certainly seen growth, I believe Taat and its Beyond Tobacco™ base material overcome a major challenge faced by tobacco smokers, which is that the smoking experience and nicotine intake are regarded as inseparable. As a smoker myself, having the option to keep the ritual while eliminating nicotine is an attractive and novel concept. I am honoured to provide my guidance to help Taat build sustainable and profitable market share in Ohio, as well as any other markets to which they may expand in the future.”
Taat CEO Setti Coscarella commented, “We are excited for Kit Dietz to join Taat as an advisor, just in time for our mid-Q4 2020 launch in Ohio. With an advisor such as Mr. Dietz who understands how convenience products such as tobacco are distributed in and near our launch market, I am confident that we will be able to benefit from his market-specific experience to establish the right margins, the right partnerships, and the right analytics models to make calculated and informed business decisions as we contemplate possible expansions into new markets.”
On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Company,
TAAT LIFESTYLE & WELLNESS LTD.
Setti Coscarella, CEO
For further information, please contact:
Taat Investor Relations
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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 experience of smoking, while discontinuing nicotine intake. Taat plans to launch Beyond Tobacco™ in mid-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.
For more information, please visit http://taatusa.com.
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 Beyond Tobacco™, in addition to the following: Potential outcomes from Kit Dietz’s appointment to the Company’s board of advisors. 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 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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