Reynolds now declines to specify where its 5,200 U.S. workers are located, but in 2012 it reported that roughly 2,100 were in the Winston-Salem area.Farmers could fend off tobacco produced in countries where the labor was cheaper Like many other tobacco-related panies, it has seen its workforce drop substantially, from about 15,000 tobacco manufacturing workers in 1987 in the Winston-Salem area.The chance to reverse that erosion isn’t lost on Reynolds executives.It has developed an e-cigarette that, unlike nearly all its rivals, is made in the United States.”One of the things that I municate to my team is that if we’re successful, we see jobs happening here,” Cordisco said. “We’re bringing jobs back to this pany, and that’s what’s exciting.”
She declined to give employment numbers but said that RJR Vapor Co. has created jobs in several states, some within the pany, some with suppliers. In Kansas, it makes the cartridges. In its Tobaccoville manufacturing plex near Winston-Salem, it does the final packaging.For now, the number of employees working for e-cigarette panies is relatively small because the industry is small, said Herzog, the analyst.
“Just to put it in perspective, retail sales of e-cigarettes were $1.8 billion in the U.S. last year, estimated, and that pares to an $85 billion bustible cigarette market,” she said. “But I certainly expect that consumption of e-cigs will pass consumption of bustible cigarettes in the next 10 years, and as that trajectory continues, absolutely you’re going to see panies get larger and hire more employees.”
For now, most e-cigarette panies, including Lorillard’s Blu, have their devices made in China, though Blu gets its liquid from a pany in Wisconsin.Herzog believes that it’s likely others will follow Reynolds’ path and move the manufacturing to the United States, where they can better control quality. Federal regulations, which are widely expected to e soon from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, may include standards that would push more panies to make e-cigarettes in the U.S., she said.The potential upside to e-cigarettes also may include farmers.
For much of tobacco’s history in North Carolina, the state’s climate and soil were natural advantages that helped them produce a product of high quality and good taste.
Farmers could fend off tobacco produced in countries where the labor was cheaper, or the climate so hot year round that two crops were possible.But one potential petitive advantage North Carolina farmers have for any e-cigarette es from good luck: Avoca, a large botanical extraction pany, is located in Bertie County near Edenton, not far from many of the state’s top tobacco-producing counties.
There, it mainly has been extracting a fixative from a type of sage that helps scents last longer in perfumes and things such as laundry products. Farmers are now growing thousands of acres of the purple-flowered clary sage in the area.
Last fall, Richmond, Va.-based Universal Leaf, the top vendor of leaf tobacco in the world, and Avoca announced a joint venture called AmeriNic that’s already extracting nicotine from tobacco and is planning to begin mercial sales this year, pany leaders said in an emailed response to questions.
The partners believe it to be the only operation in the country that extracts and purifies nicotine, an addictive stimulant in tobacco and a crucial ingredient in most e-cigarette “juice.”Farmers are watching the venture closely.
“We think there is an opportunity, and we want to be the ones to fill that need,” said Graham Boyd, executive vice president of the Tobacco Growers Association of North Carolina.
In its response to questions, Universal Leaf declined to say where it plans to get its tobacco for extraction but said that its efforts to breed plants specifically for nicotine production were being done here, at least in part.”At this time, we are evaluating various sourcing options,” the pany said. “Given our long history of purchasing quality tobaccos in North Carolina, we have included farms in the state as part of our R&D effort.”
Dr. Loren Fisher, an associate professor of crop science and extension tobacco specialist at NCSU, said one advantage that North Carolina has in trying to reap some benefit from e-cigarettes is its centuries of hard-won knowledge about breeding and growing tobacco. He thinks it will be relatively easy to develop plants that are efficient little green factories for producing large amounts of nicotine, as opposed to the current goals of taste and the quality of the leaves.
Now, as the Cult of Sporting Kansas City grows, soccer jerseys are nearly everywhere – at bars, concerts, bus stops and grocery stores across the metro.Last year, according to John Moncke, Sporting Kansas City’s vice president of stadium and brand revenue, the No. 1 MLS team in merchandise sales was Seattle, and it has 45,000 people coming to each match. Sporting KC, which averaged 19,709 fans a game, was a close No. 2.Compare that to 2010, when Kansas City was in last place among all MLS teams (and even the general MLS brand) in merchandise sales.Sporting Park, which opened in 2012 and has become one of the best stadiums in all of American soccer, was packed last year with sellouts at all 34 MLS games.The surge in sales and popularity can mostly be attributed to the team’s success on the field.The Cult of Sporting Kansas City has been growing since the team’s rebranding in 2011, culminating in the team winning the MLS Cup at Sporting Park in December.
A key component of KC’s success off the field has been the transition away from dealing in just sports apparel and toward what Moncke, who was a buyer of men’s fashion before joining the club, calls a fashion and lifestyle brand.”We wanted to treat this club as a fashion company,” he said. “We focused on fit, fabric and the right trends. I think that is what’s helped the club outperform some of the bigger-sized markets in the league.”This starts with the most consistent and important piece of fashion the team sells: the jerseys.Buying a jersey for any sport is a big emotional investment. You are marking yourself to those around you as a fan of that team. It’s a fairly large financial investment, too.Soccer jerseys aren’t cheap and, following much of the fashion world, are constantly changing. This year, an authentic MLS jersey (designed by Adidas, which has an exclusive contract with MLS) will run you about $130 without any lettering on the back. Adidas changes the design every two years, so if you want to stay current, it’ll cost you to keep up.A jersey that can be worn on and off the field adds versatility to that investment.”When you look at our three kits, they are all very different from each other, but together they look like a collection,” Moncke says.A kit is a fancy soccer term for the entire uniform. The team has three uniforms, a primary, secondary and third. Generally, the primary kit is for home games, the secondary for away games and the third if the opponent’s uniform is too similar to the primary and secondary.
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