Tag Archives: Tobacco

Ahead of the Curve: Smokers making the Switch

Looking for areas to expand in your tobacco category? How about going to pipe and large cigars, a product class that has grown nearly 60% since 2009?

Criss Cross Pipe Tobacco

Criss Cross Pipe Tobacco, Item # 360100

The reason for the switch, as noted by the online periodical Convenience Store News, is simple. The pipe tobacco and large cigars are taxed at a considerably lower rate, at least for now! If you have yet to embrace the Roll-Your-Own craze, the sales and marketing team at Allen Brothers Wholesale Distribution would strongly recommend looking into this category to help minimize the effects of lost cigarette sales.

Whether an Allen Brother’s customer or not, feel free to reach out to us for information on how to branch out into the Roll-Your-Own and Electronic Cigarette Category today!


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Graphic Tobacco Labels Ruled Unconstitutional… For Now

We were waiting… and waiting… and waiting some more. All included in the tobacco industry were on their toes in anticipation of the follow-up from last Wednesday’s announcement that the mandate on placing graphic warning labels on tobacco products by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was unconstitutional. The proposed placement for the graphic labels was to be on the top half of the front and back of cigarette packages and 20% of print advertisements.

Graphic Warning Labels on Cigarettes

U.S. District Judge Richard Leon rules graphic warning labels unconstitutional.

There’s no question that tobacco has been, and will continue to be, a major target of government interest, but the ruling by U.S. District Judge Richard Leon in support of tobacco companies’ First Amendment rights was indeed a milestone. Essentially, Leon determined that Congress failed to consider the implications that these new labels would have on numerous tobacco companies (Lorillard Inc., R.J. Reynolds unit, Commonwealth Brands Inc., Liggett Group LLC and Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co.) rights to freedom of expression.

But you didn’t think it would be that easy, did you? Today, the other shoe dropped, as we found out from our friends at Convenience Store News that the FDA has appealed Judge Leon’s ruling and will continue to fight for inclusion of graphic warning labels on cigarettes. This is NO surprise and was heavily anticipated.

It’s difficult to anticipate where we go from here. There’s one thing that’s certain, however, and that is that this topic will remain in the headlines for a long time to come, including in presidential election speeches, healthcare debates, and constitutional protests. Buckle up folks, it’s going to be a bumpy ride!


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Top Performers: January 2012

January 2012 Best Selling Items

January 2012 Best Sellers!

One of the staples of the Allen Brothers Wholesale Distribution online newsletter is the “Top Performers” articles, analyzing new product performance and other trends in the convenience store industry. Whether you’re starting a retail business, maintaining it, or expanding, choosing which new or top-performing products to bring in is a critical component of the sustainability of your operations. The items listed below are ones that, based on sales results from the previous month, should be considered for placement in your stores to increase rings at your register. As we all know in this business, cycling in new items in a timely fashion as well as keeping hot-selling products on the shelves are key to your success! To enjoy success in selling new items takes work on your part as a store owner as well. You need to be knowledgeable on the product and to believe in its value, then pass that message on to your customers.

Variety Pack of Dolly Madison

Today’s posting is the sixth edition of “Top Performers” to date, and the Marketing and Buying Department’s ranking is placed in no particular order. The items listed are done so based on unit sales from the previous month, which in this case is December, 2011. If you’re not currently carrying these products, don’t feel like it’s too late. If they’re working in other stores that we’re servicing, they can and should work for you! The sales, customer service, and marketing team would be more than happy to take some time and work with you in designing a product selection that will maximize your profitability. That’s what we’re here for. Additionally, we’d be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding product performance, selling points, and suggested retail prices.

1.) Milk Chocolate Peeps
– Item # 456347

2.) Rainbow Peep Pops
– Item # 456365

3.) Folger’s Classic Roast Coffee
– Item # 814050

4.) Zitner Eggs (Great Seasonal Items, not too late!!)
– Butter Creme (#999110), Butter Krak (#999100), Cocoanut Creme (#999171) and Peanut Butter (#999170)

5.) The Dolly Madison Line of Sweets and Pastries

6.) Mentos UP2U Gum
– Strawberry & Spearmint (#408430), Day Mint & Mintnight Mint (#408451), and Sweet Mint & Bubble Fresh (#408432)

7.) Zig Zag Cigarillos
– Grape (#207409), Mango (#207449), Regular (#207429), and Strawberry (#207439)

8.) Planters Big Bag Peanuts
– 5-Alarm Chili Dry Roasted (#411545), Pistachio Mix (#487262), and Buffalo Wing Peanuts (#401412)

9.) Prairie City Big & Fudgie Brownie
– Item # 943220

10.) Crystal 12 Ounce Hot Wing Sauce
– Item # 811005

11.) Lindor Truffles 240 Count Changemaker – Item # 403519


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AB Alert: Implementation of Graphic Warning Labels on Cigarettes Blocked by Federal Judge

Graphic Images Halted on Cigarette Packs and Ads

Big news coming out of Washington, D.C. today, where U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon granted a request by five tobacco companies seeking to postpone the September 22nd, 2012, deadline for implementation of graphic warning labels on cigarettes packages, cartons, and advertisements. Special thanks to the fine people at AWMA & CSP Daily News for publicizing the story!

While the long term implications of today’s legislation are still undetermined, here’s what we currently know. Judge Leon’s ruling lays out a preliminary injunction barring the implementation of these graphic labels. This is certainly no guarantee that these labels won’t still be enforced, but it’s an indication that the tobacco companies listed below may win their claim that the warnings violate freedom of speech, a right guaranteed by our First Amendment.

In case you are unaware of what Judge Leon is reversing, we’ll quickly review. This past June the FDA unveiled a marketing campaign designed to repel potential tobacco-buying customers with graphic colored images of a diseased lung, a disfigured mouth, a weeping woman, and a smoker exhaling through a tracheotomy hole, to name a few. These images were to be positioned to dominate a half of the front and back of each carton, and 20 percent of most ads.

The five tobacco companies who fought the initial ruling are listed below:
1.) Lorrilard
2.) R.J Reynolds Tobacco Co.
3.) Commonwealth Brands Inc.
4.) Liggett Group LLC
5.) Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co.

Allen Brothers will continue to follow this story and keep you informed of any updates.


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Top Performers for July 2011

Today’s posting is part of a monthly guide on the top new-selling items, based on their previous month’s performance. The team at Allen Brothers acknowledges that the amount of new products constantly bombarding the market can feel overwhelming. We receive information on hundreds of new products every week, and it can be difficult to spot the diamond in the rough. To help you analyze the performance of new items, Allen Brothers has introduced “Top Performers”.

Top Performer: Hershey's Milk Chocolate Air Delight (Item#: 424075)

Today’s posting is just the second edition of Top Performers to date, and the Marketing and Buying Department’s ranking is placed in no particular order. When you’re done checking out the rankings, please take part in the “New Product Intro” poll below. It’s helpful to the team at Allen Brothers and also other convenience store owners. The items listed are done so based on unit sales from the previous month, which in this case is July 2011. If you’re not currently carrying these products, don’t worry! The team at Allen Brothers Wholesale Distribution would be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding product performance, selling points, and suggested retail prices.

The rankings are listed in no particular order:
Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Air Delight Bar (Item #: 424075)
Sheets Cinnamon Rush Energy Strips (Item # 500314)
Nu-1’s Disposable Electronic Cigarettes – Menthol (Item # 500213)
Nu-1’s Disposable Electronic Cigarettes – Regular (Item#: 500207)
Man-Up Now Male Enhancement (Item #: 530210)
Slim Jim Dare – Jalapeno (Item #: 414054)
White Owl Green Sweet Blunts (Item#: 201487)
Odwalla Chocolate Protein Monster (Item #: 913457)
GoodWest Iced Coffee Program

Happy Selling!


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Cigarette Manufacturers Raise Prices

New Round of Cigarette Price Hikes

Cigarette manufacturers industry-wide are raising prices once again . Lorillard Tobacco Company led the charge in price increases, followed shortly, by Phillip Morris, Natural American Spirit, and R.J. Reynolds. Visit the website of Winston-Salem Journal for more information.

Changes in price are effective immediately. Be sure to consult your invoice for updated pricing, and adjust your pricing accordingly.


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