Pinnacle Cigarette Brand to Be Sold in up to 1,700 U.S. Retail Locations in up to 27 States
Dramatically Increases CDMO Revenue and Business Unit Profitability Toward Cash Positive, in Line with Recent Expectations
Buffalo, New York--(Newsfile Corp. - April 18, 2023) - 22nd Century Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: XXII), a leading biotechnology company dedicated to improving health with reduced nicotine tobacco, hemp/cannabis and hops advanced plant technologies, today announced that it has commenced sales under a new manufacturing agreement to produce a private label premium cigarette brand, Pinnacle, for sale at one of the nation's top-10 gas station convenience store chains, comprising almost 1,700 stores in 27 states.
"We are excited to launch a new store-brand product with one of the largest convenience store chains in the country, and one of the highest volume cigarette points of sale per outlet square foot," stated John Miller, president of tobacco products at 22nd Century Group. "We believe that working with premier retailers on conventional products like Pinnacle offers value to current adult smokers as we aggressively expand our flagship product, FDA authorized VLN® reduced nicotine cigarettes designed specifically to help adult smokers to smoke less."
22nd Century Group provided the trademarked brand name and predicate tobacco blend for the new Pinnacle product, which is produced at its manufacturing operations in North Carolina. Pinnacle is approved in 22 states to date where the retail partner has stores, and available in approximately half of eligible stores to date as availability continues to expand.
Pinnacle leverages one of 22nd Century's national-scale distribution partnerships to coordinate state tax stamp compliance and distribution to the retail stores, demonstrating how these channels can facilitate distribution into hundreds or thousands of stores across multiple states in a short time frame.
Early Pinnacle sales have been robust, indicating consumer interest in switching brands. The Company expects sales growth driven by point-of-sale information, planned by the retail partner, to launch in the second quarter 2023 once initial stocking distributions are complete.
"Pinnacle represents a key opportunity to further scale our revenue and margins, advancing 22nd Century toward its goal of cash positive operations," said James A. Mish, chief executive officer. "The rollout of this new brand into such a large number of stores across more than two dozen states also demonstrates how we expect to benefit from expanded utilization of our new national scale distribution relationships for our VLN® products, supporting placement into a broader range of well-known retail points of sale for both our conventional cigarette products and our new VLN® 95% reduced nicotine content products designed specifically for adult smokers who want to smoke less."
22nd Century Group has Pinnacle applications pending in the remaining states where the customer has stores so as to support availability to all stores and all states within this chain's retail network.
About 22nd Century Group, Inc.
22nd Century Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: XXII) is a leading biotechnology company focused on utilizing advanced alkaloid plant technologies to improve health and wellness through tobacco harm reduction, reduced nicotine tobacco, hemp/cannabis and hops. 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 Modified Risk Tobacco Product (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 9, 2023, and in the Company's Quarterly Report filed on November 8, 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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22nd Century Group
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