CHICAGO — Tobacco companies are driving innovation with tactical shifts, from automated age verification to advancing the nicotine pouch movement, to stay competitive.
Whether organizational or technological, at least three companies—ImageWorks Displays, Juul Labs and Kretek International—have recently announced new offerings or enhancements to their business.
For San Francisco-based Juul Labs, it’s a point-of-sale (POS) based age-verification program. Juul is implementing age-verification POS standards that exceed those in place for other tobacco products or for alcohol, the company said. Under Juul Labs’ new Retail Access Control Standards (RACS) program, every retail POS system immediately locks when a cashier scans a Juul product, and the register remains locked until a retailer electronically scans a valid, of-age government-issued ID to verify both the age and the ID's validity. RACS also imposes automatic limits on the amount of product a legal-age customer can purchase.
In terms of information security, the system will immediately eliminate scanned personal data following the transaction.
Through this technology, RACS directly combats two large drivers of underage access to vapor products at retail: failure to check and verify ID, and legal-age individuals buying bulk quantities of age-restricted products to resell to minors, the company said.
Moorpark, Calif.-based Kretek International, an importer, marketer and distributor of specialty tobacco products, announced the formation of a new company, Dryft Sciences, which will also have its headquarters in Moorpark. The new operating company will focus exclusively on Dryft nicotine pouches, the oral nicotine products that Kretek has distributed in the United States since July 2016. The newly formed Dryft Sciences will lead the national rollout of Dryft nicotine pouches by expanding production capacity, distribution and marketing efforts.
Kretek has named Jason Carignan as president of Dryft Sciences. Most recently Kretek’s chief marketing officer, Carignan joined the company in 2014. He is responsible for the strong growth behind Kretek’s many brands and subsidiaries, including Djarum, Ventura Cigar Co., Phillips and King, and Tobacco Media Group (TMG), Kretek officials said.
Also, ImageWorks Display, a Winston-Salem, N.C.-based maker of tobacco product displays, is introducing a new website that includes a new company logo. In addition to the new messaging and site, the company is unveiling its 1-foot display solution called Impact, which it is launching nationally.