Raleigh, N.C. – The consumer products division of U.S. Tobacco Cooperative Inc. (USTC), Premier Manufacturing of Chesterfield, M.O., has won a 2017 Convenience Store News Best New Product Award in the Tobacco – Cigarettes category for Gold Crest cigarettes.

Judging was supervised by Past Times Marketing, a New York-based consumer research and product testing firm. Contest entries were rated and judged by a panel of consumers and awarded points by consumers based on the criteria of taste, value, convenience, healthfulness, ingredients, preparation requirements, appearance and packaging.

“We are extremely pleased with this award for Gold Crest and Premier Manufacturing. This award reflects the new look and experience adult consumers have with Gold Crest cigarettes” said USTC Vice President of Consumer Products Russ Mancuso.

Gold Crest is one of four brands that Premier Manufacturing acquired from King Maker Marketing in the fall of 2016. During that time, the tobacco blend was improved, manufacturing moved to a USTC-owned facility in North Carolina and all of the styles underwent an extensive repackaging process.

Convenience Store News will be announcing the winners on its website in October and publishing their report of the 2017 winners in the November issue.

For more information on U.S. Tobacco Cooperative Inc., visit www.usleaf.com. For Premier Manufacturing, visit www.GoPremier.com.