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Game on! Sports drinks quench thirst for sales

Screen Shot 2019-06-18 at 11.21.43 AMYou don’t have to be a sports fanatic to realize that sports drinks can add major fizz to your convenience sales.

The sports drink market in convenience shows healthy sales of $91,119,758, according to Nielsen MarketTrack and is performing well in national C&G (excluding Newfoundland) compared to other channels at +2% (dollars vs. prior year) growth (National C&G, 52 Weeks Ending December 29, 2018).

Over 8% of the sports category dollar sales are from SKUs less than one year old, however those SKUs contributed four times more sales than the category grew ($7,553,100 in innovation sales vs. $1,773,197 in category growth; source: Nielsen MarketTrack, National C&G, 52 Weeks Ending December 29, 2018). 

“This shows that consumers are really looking for new and unique products and we are pumped to have some great innovation hitting the market,” says Jeff Fitch, commercial strategy director for Coca-Cola Ltd., makers of Powerade, which features a zero sugar, zero calorie hydrating beverage with electrolytes.

“In 2019, we are expanding our Powerade Zero lineup with a new flavour – Grape (710 mL).  We’re also introducing Powerade Twisted Blackberry to our roster of base drinks. This is a unique flavour offering not currently available within the category, and will be available in both 946 mL (single bottle) and a 6 x 591 mL. And lastly, we are injecting some excitement into the category through a limited-time offer for Powerade Ultra – a sports drinks with 25 per cent more electrolytes than base Powerade (available in two flavours: Blue Raspberry Cherry and White Cherry (710 mL).” 

Who’s drinking?

Sports drinks, perhaps not surprisingly, tend to appeal to a younger demographic. Fully 80% of consumers are under the age of 49 (Source: Environics Demographic Analytics, 2017 – Ipsos FIVE, L52W to Mar, 2018 vs YA):

Screen Shot 2019-06-18 at 11.21.30 AM


 Consumers are going for sports drinks over the key summer months of June through August (May 27-August 25), according to Nielsen MarketTrack, National C&G, 52 Weeks Ending December 29, 2018.


How can you appeal to sports drinks consumers?

The top three drivers of purchase decisions in C&G are the range of different types of products, the selection of new and interesting items, and the range of different prices and quality (ShopperPulse2018).

Here are a few tips from Coca-Cola Ltd.’s Jeff Fitch to help keep these drivers in mind:

  • Have the assortment consumers want – core SKUs as well as key innovation. Consumers are looking for new and exciting products.
  • Place prominently in the cooler. We recommend knee to eye level for easy identification, and using signage to highlight the sports category.
  • Display in prominent/high traffic areas in store. Not all parts of the store are visited in every trip, and placing products where consumers will see them most could increase interaction with the category.
  • Have the right package available and promoted at the right time of year for the right price. As an example, summer is a key hydration period, so having a large selection of both products and packages makes sense at this time of year so consumers can find exactly what they want – whether they’re going out for a solo bicycle ride or a picnic with a bunch of friends.
  • When cross-promoting or bundling, look for combinations that complement each other instead of substitutes. For instance, you could bundle sports drinks with sparkling water, vitamin water, sparkling soft drinks and teas.

Is lab-grown dairy the next food frontier

Screen Shot 2019-06-18 at 11.07.29 AMLab-grown meat is getting a lot of attention along with plant-based meat substitutes. Technology is driving the industry toward providing alternatives to conventionally-produced food products. Dairy proteins may be the next product produced in a lab, for use in fluid “milk” production and processed dairy products such as yogurt and cheese, to name a few.

Winston Churchill predicted the rise of synthetic foods in 1931.

“We shall escape the absurdity of growing a whole chicken in order to eat the breast or wing, by growing these parts separately under a suitable medium. Synthetic food will, of course, also be used in the future.”

While it took longer than 50 years, his prediction is coming true with meat proteins and now dairy proteins.

What is synthetic dairy?

Perfect Day Inc., a California-based start-up, has recreated the proteins found in conventional cow’s milk without the use of animals. The company developed a form of genetically modified microflora that produces both whey and casein through a fermentation process.

The approach can be loosely compared to the use of brewer’s yeast to produce alcohol. Yeast is used in controlled environments to create fermentation byproducts and the two processes simply employ different yeasts for a different purpose and output.

Perfect Day says their product is the exact same as the protein found in cow’s milk. Conventional milk is approximately 3.3% protein, of which 82% is casein and 18% is whey. The other main elements are water, fat and carbohydrates.

Perfect Day has the technology to remake the small fraction of milk that is protein, arguably the most important component to produce other foods. The company suggests its dairy protein is vegan and lactose-free, while providing the same high-quality nutrition as conventional dairy protein. This could have significant appeal for consumers.

Tough to mimic full-fat milks

Milk produced by dairy cattle is a versatile ingredient used in various products worldwide. More than 70% of milk sold from Canadian farms in 2019 is used for further processing, leaving the remainder to be consumed as fluid milk.

It may be difficult to produce full-fat milks that mimic the taste and texture of cow’s milk. Protein is just one component of fluid milk; milk fat is another, which would likely be the most difficult to mimic with plant-based alternatives. The structure of milk fat provides a specific taste and mouth feel when drinking milk, and this may be a tougher formulation challenge than creating proteins to be used in cheese or yogurt.

The early focus of Perfect Day’s communication was on fluid milk–the kind we drink–but the company has shifted its focus to processed products. Products such as yogurt and cheese are different than fluid milk, and may be more suitable for using lab-grown casein and whey. The synthetic proteins could be used to replace dairy milk ingredients or to complement them.

And, the potential use of animal-free dairy protein goes far beyond traditional dairy products such as cheese and yogurt. Hot dogs that contain milk powder and granola bars that contain modified milk ingredients are examples of the many foods that could use this alternative dairy protein.

The future

Many issues need to be resolved before these products arrive in our supermarkets. The economics of production have to work. Products need to be reformulated to incorporate the fermented proteins with other ingredients to replace the milk components.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency currently describes milk as being produced by an animal. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not yet made a policy statement on classifying synthetic milk proteins.

Milk in Canada is also subject to a supply management system that includes quota for production.

Will synthetic casein and whey be subject to the same system? The regulatory environment will require significant clarification, and any changes will be vigorously debated by various interests.

Some consumers will highly value the fact that animals are not required to produce these proteins, creating a vegan, lactose-free product. There will also be a perception that synthetic dairy proteins will have a smaller environmental footprint. Other consumers will likely have concerns the proteins are produced using a genetically modified yeast.

Despite these uncertainties, we will likely see synthetic dairy products on grocery shelves within a few years.

Written by Michael von Massow, associate professor, food economics, University of Guelph and Mitchell Gingerich, graduate research assistant, Department of Food, Agriculture and Resource Economics, University of Guelph.

Originally published at Canadian Grocer. 

Study: Younger generations show preference for cannabis over alcohol

cannabisConsumer preference has reached an intersection. A decreased stigma and greater access to legal cannabis products are shaping the way younger generations spend money, a new study from New Frontier Data, a data, analytics and business intelligence firm for the cannabis industry, shows.

“Young adults approaching legal drinking age represent new potential consumers for alcohol brands, but New Frontier Data’s research reveals a noticeable shift in younger generations’ preference of cannabis over alcohol,” noted Giadha Aguirre de Carcer, founder and CEO of New Frontier Data. “Whether such a shift is indicative of potential sustained behaviour over time or a short-term spur in consumption remains to be seen, and is something we are currently looking into, but in the meantime, it could materially impact the alcohol industry.”

Some of the key findings of Cannabis Consumer Series: Alcohol vs. Legal Cannabis Consumption in North America include:

  • 45% of those surveyed said they were likely to replace some of their drinking with cannabis in the future.
  • 65% said, given a choice, they prefer cannabis to alcohol.
  • 47% said their drinking had not changed in the past two years.
  • 31% said they now drink less than they used to, and 23% said they drink more.

Edibles, other pot products, will hit shelves after mid December: Ottawa

Canadians looking to buy cannabis-infused brownies or lotions will find a “limited selection” in legal stores in mid-December at the earliest, the federal government says, but industry players expect the full rollout of next-generation pot products to come in 2020 or later.

Health Canada on June 14 released its final regulations governing the new classes of cannabis-infused goods, including topicals and vaporizable concentrates, and indicated the rules will come into force on Oct. 17—exactly one year since the legalization of recreational pot in Canada.

However, the Ottawa-based agency noted that after the law takes effect, federal cannabis licence holders must provide 60 days notice to the agency of their intent to sell new products.

That means that they will hit legal retailers’ shelves no earlier than mid-December.

“As with any new regulatory framework, federally licensed processors will need time to become familiar with and prepare to comply with the new rules and to produce new products,” Health Canada said in a statement.

“Provincially or territorially authorized distributors and retailers will also need time to purchase and obtain the new products and make them available for sale.”

The final regulations, which will be formally published in the Canada Gazette on June 26, have been highly anticipated by pot industry players as well as a flurry of food and beverage companies that have announced plans to cash in on the anticipated demand.

For example, Toronto-based Greenhouse Juice Co. said it plans to develop beverages infused with cannabidiol, or CBD, helped by an investment by Canopy Growth Corp.’s venture capital arm. Quebec-based Hexo Corp. has also partnered with alcohol giant Molson Coors to form a joint venture called Truss to make and sell cannabis-infused, non-alcoholic beverages.

A recent report by Deloitte estimated the Canadian market for these pot products is worth about $2.7 billion annually, with edibles contributing more than half of that amount. That’s on top of the roughly $6-billion estimated domestic market the consultancy had already estimated for recreational and medical cannabis.

The major rollout of this next wave of pot products will likely happen further into 2020, said Jefferies analyst Ryan Tomkins in a note to clients before the government announcement.

“We are likely to only see the first products launched late into December… with regulators likely to review numerous details of proposals including testing, manufacturing and packaging procedures as well as product data and ingredient specifications.”

Ottawa-based cannabis lawyer Trina Fraser expects a “handful” of these new cannabis products from the bigger industry players to hit the market in December, with more in 2020. She notes that there is a broader licensing backlog, and companies will need to get amendments approved before being able to produce these goods.

“There will be lots more new products coming onto the market in 2021, mostly due to regulatory delays,” she said.

Health Canada in February wrapped its public consultation on the draft rules for these additional cannabis products, and the final version is largely in line with what the agency had proposed.

Edible cannabis, whether food or beverage, will have a cap of 10 milligrams of tetrahydrocannabinol _ the high-inducing compound known as THC _ per package. Cannabis extracts for inhalation or topicals, such as pot-infused lotions, will have a cap of 1,000 milligrams of THC per package.

These products cannot contain nicotine, caffeine or alcohol. As well, no elements on these products would associate them with alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, or vaping products. All packaging must be plain and child resistant, and must not be appealing to young people.

Whether an edible cannabis product is reasonably considered to be appealing to kids would depend on various factors including its shape, colour, flavour, scent and how it is packaged, a government official said on a media briefing on Friday.

The determination of whether a product does violate the guideline will be made on a case-by-case basis, the official said.

The intent is the “protection of our kids,” Organized Crime Reduction Minister Bill Blair said last week.

“Gummy bears, for example, or things that represent cartoon characters… is clearly aimed, at a younger market or a younger audience – our children,” he told reporters. “And we are very much putting restrictions in place to ensure that does not happen.”

Omar Khan, a vice-president with Hill and Knowlton Strategies who advises several clients in the cannabis industry, said there were few surprises in the final regulations.

Health Canada continues to take a cautious approach which focuses on harm reduction, he added.

However, “there needs to be room for legal brands to develop consumer loyalty if the illicit market is to be eliminated,” Khan said. “This is something government needs to consider as the Cannabis Act regulations come up for review in a couple of years.”

Hill Street Beverage Co.’s chief executive Terry Donnelly had hoped that the final regulations would not require separate manufacturing facilities for cannabis-infused goods, but he was pleased to see the final regulations will now allow for the sale of multi-pack drinks.

A six-pack of cannabis-infused beverages would be permissible, for example, as long as the overall package has no more than 10 milligrams of THC.

This change is “allowing us to create products that kind of mirror what people are used to buying,” said Donnelly, who is also co-founder of the Cannabis Beverage Producers Alliance.

Hill Street, which plans to launch a line of cannabis-infused, non-alcoholic beverages, may have some products ready by December but is aiming for next spring, he said.

Greg Engel, the chief executive of licensed producer Organigram, said he had hoped each individual container in a multi-pack could have five or 10 milligrams of THC each, as is available in other markets such as Colorado.

Still, the regulations were in line with what he expected, he said. The licensed producer expects to have vaporizable products ready by December, and pot-infused chocolates by then or early next year, he said.

Engel expects a staggered rollout of Cannabis 2.0 products, which are more challenging to produce at scale than the initial classes of cannabis that hit the market on legalization day last October.

“The reality is that these forms are going to come to market in a more measured fashion.”


Tyson enters plant based meat market

The fast-growing market for meat alternatives has a surprising new player: Tyson Foods.

Screen Shot 2019-06-13 at 2.31.15 PMTyson, one of the world’s largest meat producers, will begin selling nuggets made from pea protein at grocery stores this summer. A blended burger made from beef and pea protein will follow this fall. Both will be sold under a new brand, Raised and Rooted, which will continue to develop plant-based and blended products for both groceries and restaurants.

Tyson is responding to a growing global trend toward plant-based eating, fueled by health and environmental concerns. U.S. sales of meat substitutes are expected to jump 78% to $2.5 billion between 2018 and 2023, according to Euromonitor. Global sales could reach $23 billion in that same timeframe.

Startups like Beyond Meat, which makes burgers and sausages from pea protein, and Impossible Foods, which has a soy-based formula, have also raised consumers’ interest with products that mimic meat so closely in taste and texture that they’re being sold at Burger King.

But the entry of Springdale, Arkansas-based Tyson could upend the alternative protein market because of its sheer size and distribution capacity. Tyson Foods reported $40 billion in sales in its 2018 fiscal year; Beyond Meat, which held its IPO last month, forecasts $210 million in sales this year. Tyson has 50 facilities just for processing chicken; Impossible Foods has one factory in Silicon Valley.

Tyson has been watching the alternative protein market for a while. Its investment arm, Tyson Ventures, acquired a 5% stake in Beyond Meat in 2016. It sold that stake before Beyond Meat’s IPO, but it continues to hold investments in other startups, including Memphis Meats and Future Meat Technologies _ which grow meat from cells _ and mushroom-based protein startup MycoTechnology.

“These things work together and help us have a broad view of what the world of food looks like,” said Justin Whitmore, who leads Tyson’s alternative protein business.

Whitmore said the company noticed a significant upswing in the number of consumers who eat meat but want alternative sources of protein. About a year ago, Tyson’s chefs and consumer specialists began developing its own alternative protein products. The nuggets it came up with look like fried chicken, but they’re made with pea protein, egg whites, flaxseed and bamboo fiber and other ingredients.

“It became apparent we had the capability not only to compete but to lead in this space,” Whitmore said.

Whitmore said Tyson will develop more Raised and Rooted products and also spread plant-based alternatives through its other brands. For example, Tyson’s existing Aidells brand is getting sausage and meatballs that contain 50-60% chicken and 40-50% plants like chickpeas, quinoa and lentils.

The products will be sold at grocery stores and restaurants, but Tyson isn’t yet saying which ones. One Tyson customer, McDonald’s, has yet to say whether it will add a plant-based burger to its U.S. menu. It sells one made by Nestle in Germany.

Nestle is among the companies that could challenge Tyson. Last week, the Swiss food giant said it plans to launch its Sweet Earth brand Awesome Burger in the U.S. this fall. And earlier this week, Maryland-based chicken company Perdue Farms said it will soon start selling nuggets, tenders and patties made from a blend of chicken and vegetables.

Canada’s Maple Leaf Foods also sells plant-based alternatives under its Lightlife brand, which it acquired in 2017.

But Whitmore didn’t express concern about competitors, saying Tyson’s speed, scale and distribution expertise (as well as its 84-year history) puts it ahead of companies who have been in the plant-based market for longer.

Whitmore said groceries will be able to decide where to put Tyson’s plant-based products. Beyond Meat has seen success partly because its burgers are sold in the meat aisle and not in the freezer section with traditional bean- or corn-based veggie patties.

Tyson is also being careful to describe its products as “alternative proteins” and not “meat,” a label used by some plant-based companies that has riled the meat industry, including farmers in Quebec.

Whitmore said Tyson continues to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in its traditional meat business, and it’s confident consumers eating its plant-based products will keep eating its meats. He wouldn’t say what per cent of its sales Tyson expects to come from plant-based products in 2020.

Canada well positioned to benefit from non meat alternatives

Unknown-1The transition from animal meat to plant-based alternatives will unleash a new era of agricultural productivity and Canada is well-positioned to benefit, Beyond Meat founder Ethan Brown said last week.

The burger patties and sausages of the Californian company that are made from plant proteins have stormed the market, and even the stock market since the company’s listing last month on the Nasdaq composite.

Beyond Meat sells products made from peas, canola oil, mung beans and rice protein that contain no soy, gluten or genetically modified foods.

Brown took part in a discussion on “The Next Agri-Food Revolution” at the Montreal Conference of the International Economic Forum of the Americas.

In addition to the health benefits of his products, he believes that if water and farmland can be used to grow vegetables and other plant foods, the amount of food for human consumption will be exponential.

He pointed to a study indicating that a plant-based burger requires 99% less water and 93 per cent less arable land to produce, not to mention reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Canada can take advantage of this windfall, he said, citing the provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan, where farmland is vast.

There are so many possibilities with the food products used by Beyond Meat, including yellow peas and mustard seeds.

“You have the ability to grow them in abundance,” said Brown, whose father teaches at the Faculty of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences at McGill University.

In Canada, the A&W fast food chain offers a hamburger containing a Beyond Meat patty, which is now available in many grocery stores.

Not wanting to be left behind, Tim Hortons has begun testing three new Beyond Meat lunch sandwiches and could distribute them across Canada by the end of the summer.

Monster looks to alcohol for growth

UnknownMonster Beverage Corp., a leader in energy drinks, is considering an expansion into alcohol, according to The Wall Street Journal.

In addition to alcoholic beverages, Monster is keeping a close on the emerging cannabis beverage market and looking at hard seltzers, as well as nonalcoholic drinks

“We do have an appetite to look at alternative brands and to develop more beverages in the nonalcoholic … as well as the alcoholic market,” CEO Rodney Sacks told investors on June 6.

Coca-Cola owns an 18.5% stake in Monster and distributes the beverage. As a result, The Wall Street Journal reported alcoholic beverages could come first due to the temporary non-compete clause the company has with Coca-Cola.

Coca-Cola revives focus on java

coke imageAtlanta-based Coca-Cola thinks the public is finally ready for a mixture of coke and coffee, and plans to bring back a variation of its original 2006 Coca-Cola Blak product.

According to CNN, the company’s Blak coke product stopped selling in 2008 due to its lack of popularity. Nancy Quan, the company’s chief technical officer, told CNN she believes the product was unsuccessful due to bad timing.

“That was a trend before its time,” Quan told CNN Business. “I don’t think people were ready to have a coffee portfolio within the Coca-Cola brand.”

According to the article, the company has already started releasing Coca-Cola Plus Coffee or Coca-Cola With Coffee in international markets. The new product contains more real coffee than Blak did, giving the product more caffeine than the company’s regular coke drink. The product is already available in Australia, Italy, Spain, Thailand and Poland, among other countries. Coca-Cola is “pleased with the initial response,” according to a spokesperson. It plans to make the drink available in 25 international markets by the end of the year.
To read the CNN article, click here.

Originally published by Store Brands.

‘Beer insiders’ fuelling online criticism of Tory government tweets: Fedeli   

Beer “insiders” are fuelling online mockery of a social media blitz promoting the government’s bid to expand alcohol availability to corner stores, Ontario’s finance minister said Monday.

Vic Fedeli said the brewers who own The Beer Store are fighting to hang onto a near monopoly afforded them under a 10-year agreement with the previous Liberal government.

Screen Shot 2019-06-04 at 10.12.20 AM

Caroline Mulroney was one of several PCs who took part in a social media blitz that involved visiting convenience stores across the province to support government measures to change the rules around selling beer and wine.

The Progressive Conservatives have introduced legislation to scrap that deal, which could pass as soon as Thursday, and launched a social media campaign over the weekend.

“If there was any commentary on Twitter, it would have been from the beer insiders who will do anything and say anything to stop this contract from being opened,” Fedeli said.

Tory politicians, including Premier Doug Ford, posted similar messages promoting the legislation to rip up the contract with the brewers—Molson, Labatt and Sleeman—who are all foreign owned.

Fedeli said the multinationals that own The Beer Store are not acting in the best interests of the people of the province and that is why the government needs to act.

“Why is The Beer Store fighting so hard against the government putting more of their product in more stores?” he said. “It’s because they were given a sweetheart deal and they put profits ahead of people.”

Ford has repeatedly indicated he plans to broaden the sale of beer and wine to corner stores, saying the current system is a bad deal for consumers and businesses.

Scrapping the deal could trigger steep financial penalties but the government’s legislation contains provisions to nullify any such costs. The Beer Store, however, warns it will fight the legislation in court.

Company spokesman Bill Walker said the company was not behind the response to the government’s social media campaign, which drew reaction from a mix of celebrities, doctors, educators, business leaders and politicians.

“The sheer volume of responses to MPPs and the fact that there were people who generally aren’t sided with The Beer Store coming out against the government is enough to show the effort was organic and unprompted,” Walker said.

One Twitter user slammed Fedeli’s comments saying she wasn’t a Beer Store insider.

“I’m a parent who lost a child to a flu outbreak. I grew up near Walkerton. My kids go to public school. I’m appalled by your government’s wastefulness while gutting health care and education.”

Another Twitter user criticized the strategy behind the tweets.

“I’ve never, in decades of working in communications, seen a campaign #fail as bad as #fordnation #?OntarioPCParty & the stagedconvenience store schtick,” he wrote.

On Monday, Green party Leader Mike Schreiner attributed the negative reaction to Ontarians concerned about the costs of breaking the deal.

“The people of Ontario have spoken and said we want you to have priorities like health care, education, the climate crisis,” Schreiner said. “I guess, according to the premier, we have a beer crisis in Ontario.”

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said people are questioning the direction of the Tory government.

“It’s pretty clear they fell pretty flat with Ontarians whose priorities are about ending our hallway medicine problems and making sure our kids get the education that they need and deserve,” she said.

This isn’t the first co-ordinated social media campaign launched by the Tory government to face online mockery. Earlier this year, a series of similar messages posted by government politicians at gas pumps complaining of higher fuel prices due to the federal carbon tax came under fire.

Late Monday afternoon as legislators debated the legislation to break The Beer Store contract, NDP House Leader Gilles Bisson compared the government’s communications strategy on the issue to the methods of Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels.

The veteran NDP legislator apologized for his “insensitive and inappropriate” remarks a short time later.

“I regret any offense my flippant comment may have caused to the community of survivors from the dark history of the Second World War,” he said in a statement.

But Bisson’s reference to Goebbels isn’t the first time the Nazi propaganda minister has been mentioned during this session at Ontario’s legislature.

Debate records show that late last year Progressive Conservative politician Daryl Kramp compared the previous Liberal government’s communications strategy on the Green Energy Act to those used by Goebbels.

Kramp’s remarks were not discovered until Monday and he expressed regret in a statement posted online.

“Apparently I used the name Goebel in passing reference during a parliamentary comment,” he wrote on social media. “I regret any negative impression it may have had.”


Imperial Tobacco Canada launches retail campaign to curb youth vaping

In the furore around World No Tobacco Day last week, Jorge Araya, president of Imperial Tobacco Canada, reiterated the company’s commitment to offering what it calls “potentially reduced-risk products to adult consumers” and to help discourage problem youth vaping with a new educational campaign for retailers.

“Our position is very clear. Just as we believe that youth should not smoke, we agree that youth should not vape.  Despite our own youth prevention efforts and Health Canada’s recent education campaign, youth vaping is still occurring, and it must be addressed before it becomes as significant a problem as youth alcohol or cannabis consumption1,” Araya said in a statement.

To properly address youth vaping,the company said it is important to understand how and where Canadian youth are getting their products and to ensure that the laws already in place are enforced.

“We work closely with our retail partners to ensure they uphold the minimum age laws.  We ensure our on-line sales are age verified both when the order is placed and at the time of delivery,” said Araya. “And while we are confident that the vast majority of youth do not obtain these products directly through convenience retail locations, today we launched a new campaign in retail stores to further educate retailers and remind consumers that vaping products are not to be sold to youth.”

The company says that while their vaping products play a role in achieving the federal government’s objective of reducing the smoking rate to 5% by 2035, the federal and provincial governments must implement the right regulatory framework that balances various objectives.

“Despite the evolving attitudes towards vaping, it remains a controversial subject with serious hurdles to overcome. The most pressing is striking the right regulatory balance that ensures that youth do not have access to vaping products, and adult smokers have the necessary information if they want to switch,” said Araya.

Health Canada has acknowledged that vaping is a less harmful alternative to cigarettes. Imperial point to the UK, where Public Health England estimates that vaping products are at least 95% less harmful than traditional cigarettes, and “as a result of their progressive policies over 1.7 million smokers have quit smoking.”

“If we continue to put our combined efforts behind addressing youth vaping and implementing the right regulatory framework, we have a real opportunity to make a difference for society, governments, our company, and most importantly, adult smokers,” said Araya.