“We knew that the world had dramatically changed in favor of these innovations in 2020, in light of COVID, and other situations. Both Dryft and Kretek accelerated the grand expansion of Dryft. Now we are excited to take that vision even further by augmenting the Velo portfolio of products and growing market share even greater for more consumers that are eager for alternatives to traditional tobacco,” commented Jason Carignan, current president of Dryft Sciences.
BAT is said to have been encouraged that Dryft’s Premarket Tobacco Product Application (PMTA) submissions had been accepted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for substantive review. The transaction was completed on Oct. 20, 2020, and was conditioned on the FDA’s acceptance of Dryft’s PMTA submission. Combined, Velo and Dryft represent around 10 percent of the U.S. market for tobacco leaf-free nicotine pouches. The exact terms of the deal have not been disclosed. According to Carignan, Kretek sees this acquisition as a continuation of its vision of bringing new and exciting specialty tobacco products to the market.
“Four years ago, Kretek launched Dryft as a product that was originally manufactured in Sweden. It later spun off Dryft Sciences as an independent company and we ramped up production of Dryft’s nicotine pouches in the United States. Today’s announcement is the culmination of those combined efforts and investments,” Carignan explains. “We’re proud of the tremendous momentum we’ve built with Dryft and are thrilled that our strong product portfolio will now serve to enhance the Velo brand. We remain confident that modern oral innovations like Dryft and Velo will continue to find an adult consumer base seeking alternatives to traditional products.”
Dryft’s products are manufactured at a third-party facility, which will continue for now under the Velo branded products. Most of Dryft Science’s existing employees will continue to work with the company during the transition period, which is estimated to last up to six months. Kretek currently does not forsee any major changes to its organizational structure at this time.
“Kretek International has over 35 years of experience identifying, developing and distributing innovative tobacco products, with Dryft being just one of the company’s recent endeavors over the last four or five years,” explains Sean Cassar, president of Kretek International. “With the acquisition of Dryft, Kretek International will continue to look for other new opportunities and markets to get involved in to further its mission and focus on bringing innovative and specialty tobacco products to the U.S.”
Editor’s Note: Tobacco Business magazine is published by Tobacco Media Group (TMG), a subsidiary of Kretek International.