ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Four of the leading manufacturers of age-restricted products have announced their support of TruAgeTM, the new digital solution that enhances current age-verification systems and protects user privacy.
TruAge, developed by NACS, the global trade association that represents the convenience and fuel retailing industry, and Conexxus, its standards-setting partner, makes the traditional carding experience more convenient and accurate.
The largest U.S. tobacco company, Altria Group Distribution Company; the two largest U.S. brewers, Anheuser-Busch and Molson Coors Beverage Company; and the country’s leading e-cigarette manufacturer, Juul Labs Inc., have all announced their support of TruAge. Altria and Juul announced their commitments during the NACS Show, which took place Oct. 5-8 in Chicago.
TruAge also is supported by more than 130 retail companies that represent 22,000-plus convenience store locations in the United States, plus four industry point-of-sale (POS) providers.
The convenience retailing industry conducts 165 million transactions a day and 50 million of them involve an age-restricted product.
“Ninety percent of U.S. consumers say they support a nationwide standard for age-verification, and this growing list of brands committed to TruAge support what our customers tell us,” said NACS President and CEO Henry Armour.
The innovative age-verification system makes it easier and more accurate to verify a customer’s age when purchasing age-restricted products, and at the same time makes identity theft difficult. One-time-use tokens are used to share only the most important elements to confirm the purchaser is of legal age, which also protects the user’s privacy.
“Encouraging people to enjoy our products responsibly is at the cornerstone of our business,” said Jim Hughes, vice president of convenience for Molson Coors. “We are excited to be an early supporter of this technology that we believe will help reduce underage access to our products and can be expanded across all our major markets.”
“As an industry leader, Anheuser-Busch is committed to fostering a culture of smart drinking behaviors; we go the extra mile to ensure our consumers enjoy our products in a responsible way, that includes preventing underage access and consumption,” said Colleen Lucas, vice president of Better World at Anheuser-Busch. “We are excited to be working alongside NACS and other partners to expand access to innovative age-verification solutions to ensure every sale of our products is conducted responsibly.”
“We are excited to join this important initiative because TruAge deepens our trade partners’ support of underage prevention and helps establish retail as the most trusted place to responsibly sell tobacco products,” said Scott Myers, president and chief executive officer of Altria Group Distribution Company.
“Over the past few years, we have worked closely with our retailer partners across the United States to implement enhanced access controls for the sale of JUUL products, automatically requiring electronic ID scanning to verify the purchaser is at least 21 years of age and limiting the amount of product sold to reduce social sourcing. We are eager to support TruAge and the extension of technologically-based, age-verification solutions across all vapor and other age-restricted products to combat underage use and support a more responsible marketplace,” said Parker Kasmer, vice president of regulatory engagement for Juul Labs.
For the past 50 years, NACS has led efforts to restrict youth access to age-restricted products, from launching training programs and videos to cofounding the We Card program. We Card is supporting NACS in its effort to bring TruAge to market.
“TruAge can accelerate the three biggest demands that consumers are asking of retailers: Give me a fast, frictionless experience, provide more last-mile delivery options beyond the storefront and protect my privacy,” said Conexxus Executive Director Gray Taylor.
TruAge is free to retailers, consumers and POS providers, and its relevant intellectual property will be placed in the public domain—removing significant barriers to adoption. Learn more about the TruAge program and opportunities to participate at convenience.org/TruAge.