Tobacco

Texas C-Store Buying Group Picks Up Taat

Tobacco- and nicotine-free cigarettes to expand to retailers in the Austin area
Taat on backbar
Photograph courtesy of Taat

LAS VEGAS and VANCOUVER, B.C. — The Greater Austin Merchants Cooperative Association (GAMA)—which represents about 35% of the convenience-store market in the Austin, Texas, area—will carry Taat Global Alternatives Inc. products.  

GAMA services more than 600 stores in central Texas, primarily in the Austin area, in addition to more than 1,200 other retail locations supported by the association. The company continues to build out the presence of Taat’s tobacco- and nicotine-free cigarettes throughout Texas, and now with three leading convenience retailers, the company said.

“With our GAMA partnership, we will have the scale to fully launch Taat in the Austin, Texas, market,” Taat CEO Michael Saxon said. “Groups such as GAMA diligently identify opportunities for their members to improve store profitability, which will be a major selling point of Taat as a product with significantly higher profit margins for retailers compared to what they earn selling tobacco cigarettes. Texas is an important market for the company, and we look forward to working with GAMA as part of our expansion plans.”

Wholesale buying cooperatives like GAMA provide the platform to penetrate hundreds of independent retailers, Taat said. Taat merchandisers will work with GAMA to execute at retailer stores by educating retailers, staff and adult smokers about its product.

“We are all about providing innovative products to our member retailers, alongside legacy mainstays such as tobacco, soda and confection,” GAMA Vice President Ernie Limon said. “Although certain segments within convenience virtually never change, category-creating products such as Taat provide a win for adult smokers who can benefit from a low-cost and nicotine-free option, as well as a win for retailers who make significantly more on each sale of this non-tobacco product.”

GAMA was founded in 1999 and represents about 35% of the c-store market in the Austin, Texas, area, the company said, with more than $1 billion in combined revenues annually.

Taat, Las Vegas and Vancouver, B.C., comes in Original, Smooth and Menthol varieties. Its base material is Beyond Tobacco, a proprietary blend that undergoes a patent-pending refinement technique causing it to smell and taste like tobacco, according to the company.

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