Tobacco-Free Smokeless Product Gaining Popularity in Montana

Former smokeless consumer develops alfalfa-based Holt Chew

Melissa Vonder Haar, Freelance Writer

WHITEHALL, Mont.-- Just two years in, Dave and Colleen Holt are already seeing great success with their Holt Alfalfa Chew business. The couple reports the tobacco-free product is being sold in 55 stores throughout Montana, as well as online.

"We get testimonials from people every day who say it saved their lives," Dave Holt recently told The Montana Standard.

With orders shipping out to players on the Boston Red Sox and military troops overseas, Holt Chew offers a tobacco-free alternative for smokeless consumers.

A consumer of smokeless tobacco himself, Dave Holt quit after being diagnosed with lymphoma in 2009 but found he missed the chew experience. To combat Dave's cravings, the Holts developed their tobacco-free chew out of locally grown alfalfa leaves, honey, peppermint and cayenne pepper, which gives it a little of the "burn" found in traditional smokeless tobacco chew.

In addition to offering a tobacco-free alternative, the Holts say their product boasts multiple health benefits. Dave describes alfalfa as the "father of all foods"--the herb has been used as an herbal medicine for more than 1,500 years and is rich with vitamins and minerals.

With such impressive benefits, Dave and Colleen have encouraged those who don't like to chew to use the product in tea, mixing half a teaspoon of Holt Alfalfa Chew and half a teaspoon of honey with boiling water.

Holt Chew sells for $5 a can.