GHQ NONFOODS FOR PROFIT
The top tobacco and tobacco-related manufacturers are honored
with the coveted Grocery Headquarters Trailblazer Award.
BY CRAIG LEVITT
NEW LEGISLATIVE RULES AND GUIDELINES for vaping product are on the way. When the smoke clears the landscape along Tobacco Road is sure to look different. For a manufacturer to survive and thrive they are going to have to be smarter and more innovative than
those around them.
With that in mind, Grocery Headquarters launched our Tobacco
Trailblazer Awards last year to recognize those in the industry that
have stood out. This year, we are proud to announce the second annual
Tobacco Trailblazer Award recipients. Like our other Trailblazer
awards, a panel of judges culled from the Grocery Headquarters retail
advisory board and Grocery Headquarters editors selected winners.
Without further ado…
With an unwavering pursuit of consumer satisfaction and a vision to be
the best, Fontem U.S. launched the blu e-cigarette brand, says Wayne
Jones, senior vice president sales operations at Fontem U.S., an innovative consumer goods company, based in Charlotte, N.C.
“We were located in a small office and just a few years later we literally
made it downtown,” says Jones. “To go from just a couple of people in
a tiny office to having blu available at retailers in the world’s four larg-
est e-vapor markets—U.S., UK, Italy, and France—is incredible to us.”
As the company’s reach has grown, so has its product line. blu prod-
ucts are now offered in a variety of flavors, which can be enjoyed in
rechargeable kits or as convenient disposables. The recently launched
blu PLUS+ line is currently the most popular at this time, says Jones.
“The best part is, we aren’t finished and there is still a lot of work
ahead,” he adds.
blu products were developed by smokers, for smokers, say company
officials, so they understand the things that consumers look for in a
vaping product. “Because blu is constantly in pursuit of the ultimate
satisfaction for smokers, we have teamed up with Hon Lik, the originator of the e-cig, to create the best products available,” says Jones.
The latest blu PLUS+ product line is designed to deliver just that. The
blu PLUS+ range offers a closed tank system, which Jones says has been
shown to deliver better flavor and draw than cartridges. While maintaining the convenience factor of being pre-filled, blu Tanks have been
re-designed to hold more e-liquid than the traditional cartridges and
re-engineered to use all of the liquid within the tank. Jones says doing
so has provided for enhanced delivery and more consistent, enjoyable
vapor production in a product that lasts longer.
“And we know we are headed in the right direction, validated by our
ongoing consumer research and steady engagement with blu customers,” he adds.
CB Distributors is the manufacturer of the 21st Century Smoke, Vapin
Plus, Majestyc CBD and Rapid Action product lines. In business since
1994, company officials understand that innovation, superior product
quality and exceptional service are instrumental to continued success.
CB’s 21st Century Smoke and Vapin Plus product lines offer alternatives to traditional tobacco products. “Both products allow for a convenient and enjoyable experience that is similar to smoking, but without
the ash, flame, tar and offensive smoke of traditional cigarettes,” says
Carlos Bengoa, president of the Beloit, Wis.-based company.
21st Century Smoke has been a leading and competitive electronic
cigarette since its inception in 2010. Offering flavors in regular and