22nd Century Group (Nasdaq: XXII) Partners With Eagle Rock Distributing Company to Place VLN® in Thousands of Retail Locations Across Colorado
- Partnership Will Bring Reduced Nicotine Content Cigarettes to New Regional and National Chains and Independent Accounts Statewide
- Eagle Rock Is a Wholesaler for Anheuser-Busch With Deep Expertise In the Colorado Retail Market
BUFFALO, N.Y., Sept. 20, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- 22nd Century Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: XXII), a leading agricultural biotechnology company dedicated to improving health with reduced nicotine tobacco, hemp/cannabis, and hops advanced plant technologies, today announced that starting in September the Company will initiate placement for VLN® reduced nicotine cigarettes in thousands of accounts across Colorado with Eagle Rock Distributing Company, a wholesale partner of Anheuser-Busch. The partnerships will bring 22nd Century’s proprietary VLN® brand premium tobacco cigarettes to new, regional and national chains, and independent accounts statewide. VLN® smokes, smells, and tastes like a cigarette but contains approximately 95% less nicotine than conventional cigarettes, a level shown to be non-addictive. As noted on the packaging, VLN® is the only cigarette in the world purposefully designed to “Help You Smoke Less.”
In addition to 22nd Century’s retail partnerships with Circle K, one of the largest convenience chains in North America, and Smoker Friendly®, a leading pioneer in the cigarette and tobacco store category, with more than 800 independently owned and operated retail stores, 22nd Century’s diverse channel of partners will enable the Company to expand its sales reach throughout the state of Colorado. Eagle Rock services almost any location alcoholic beverages are sold, including drug stores such as Walgreens, grocery stores such as Safeway, convenience store chains such as Circle K and 7-Eleven, independent retail stores, military points of sale, and duty free and travel retail. The decision to launch in Colorado follows the exceptional pilot results in Chicago, keeping with 22nd Century’s plans to have distribution and retail partnerships in place to support the expanding availability of VLN® to adult smokers across the country. The Chicago pilot demonstrated that in-store outreach was highly effective, and once adult smokers had tried VLN®, the vast majority were quick to recommend VLN® to other adult smokers.
“We’re thrilled to partner with Eagle Rock as we open VLN® sales across Colorado. In addition to our existing retail partnerships from our Chicago pilot, we now have access to nearly 7,000 prospective new locations through Eagle Rocks’ network, to include both on premise and off premise locations,” said John J. Miller, president of 22nd Century’s Tobacco Business. “We’ll be working together with Eagle Rock’s talented team of close to 500 employees to get the message out about how VLN® can ‘help you smoke less’. Eagle Rock’s team will also handle all sales, service, and promotional activities for our VLN® brand.”
“We are excited to partner with 22nd Century Group to market VLN® across the State of Colorado. We want Colorado to be the first State to have a combustible cigarette brand that meets the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Biden Administration’s proposed nicotine cap broadly available to adult smokers across the state to truly help them smoke less,” said Michael Economos, President of Eagle Rock Distributing Company. “We have had similar ‘nonalcoholic’ adult beverage offerings for decades, and we are way overdue for adult cigarette smokers to have an analogous option.”
With over 90 years of history, Eagle Rock Distributing Company is a leading beverage distributor of premium alcoholic beverages servicing license retailers across Georgia and Colorado. Eagle Rock distributes brands from the likes of Anheuser-Busch, Yuengling, New Belgium, Monday Night Brewing, Essentia, Nestle, Barrell Bourbon, Scotto Cellars and most recently the Sazerac Company of Brands, to name a few and is a wholesale partner of Anheuser-Busch.
About 22nd Century Group, Inc.
22nd Century Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: XXII) is a leading agricultural biotechnology company focused on tobacco harm reduction, reduced nicotine tobacco and improving health and wellness through plant science. With dozens of patents allowing it to control nicotine biosynthesis in the tobacco plant, the Company has developed proprietary reduced nicotine content (RNC) tobacco plants and cigarettes, which have become the cornerstone of the FDA’s Comprehensive Plan to address the widespread death and disease caused by smoking. The Company received the first and only FDA MRTP authorization of a combustible cigarette in December 2021. In tobacco, hemp/cannabis, and hop plants, 22nd Century uses modern plant breeding technologies, including genetic engineering, gene-editing, and molecular breeding to deliver solutions for the life science and consumer products industries by creating new, proprietary plants with optimized alkaloid and flavonoid profiles as well as improved yields and valuable agronomic traits.
Learn more about VLN® at tryvln.com.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
Except for historical information, all of the statements, expectations, and assumptions contained in this press release are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements typically contain terms such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “consider,” “continue,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “explore,” “foresee,” “goal,” “guidance,” “intend,” “likely,” “may,” “plan,” “potential,” “predict,” “preliminary,” “probable,” “project,” “promising,” “seek,” “should,” “will,” “would,” and similar expressions. Actual results might differ materially from those explicit or implicit in forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially are set forth in “Risk Factors” in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K filed on March 1, 2022, and in the Company’s Quarterly Report filed on August 9, 2022. All information provided in this release is as of the date hereof, and the Company assumes no obligation to and does not intend to update these forward-looking statements, except as required by law.
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Released September 20, 2022