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Sunday, Oct 1, 2023

Veriteque Awarded Walmart Open Call Deal


Veriteque, Inc. is poised to bring its powerful narcotics field tests used by police to homes across the country.

The San Diego-based company was one of 49 business from California awarded a deal with Walmart during the retail giant’s ninth annual Open Call event, where businesses with products made in the U.S. pitch for a chance to be sold on Walmart or Sam’s Club shelves or websites.

Doug McMillon
President & CEO
Walmart Inc.

“Investing in U.S. manufacturing is not only the right thing to do for the country’s long-term economic health, it’s the right thing to do for customers today who are dealing with historic inflation,” said Doug McMillon, president and CEO of Walmart Inc. “We’re excited that more and more great products at strong price points are being produced in the U.S.”

Veriteque’s commercial line of at-home test kits for cannabis and fentanyl under the consumer product brand name Verifique will soon be found on Walmart’s website and possibly on shelves next year.

“They only picked products they felt had legs in retail and were realistic. Things that make the retail cut are the hardest ones to get in,” said Veriteque CEO Bobby Betros. “We were one of the lucky ones that got selected to have a special meeting with the category manager of the retail store business.”

Bobby Betros
Veriteque, Inc.
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If that meeting goes well, Verifique test kits could be available to shoppers after Walmart’s next retail launch window for home diagnostics in 2023.


A New Color Chemistry

Verifique retail home test kits are a brand-new initiative for Veriteque.

The company initially launched in 2019 to bring its new color chemistry kits, sold under the brand name SwabTek, to “high-volume consumers” in government agencies like police departments, airports, Border Patrol and school districts, Betros said.

Veriteque’s new color chemistry replaces more hazardous liquid chemical-based kits with a powder treated with a special chemical reactive ink that reacts with certain substances to change colors. The kits include the powder ink printed on cards with a swab to collect samples and can test residues on surfaces in addition to bulk samples, Betros said.

In addition to narcotics tests, Veriteque also developed SwabTek tests for explosives and firearms.

The SwabTek technology was designed to be used by airports, schools, law enforcement and corrections and gained immediate traction in those markets when the company launched in 2019 – until the pandemic hit and “the schools shut down, the airports shut down and they let all the criminals out of jail and defunded the police for year,” Betros said.

With the markets for its product dried up, Veriteque spent the next few months helping provide masks and other PPE to first responders and law enforcement customers.

“For us, it was at least a way to keep engaged with the customer set, keep them active during the pandemic,” Betros said. “A lot of those relationships have carried forward now that the world is reopening.”


Government Agencies to Consumers

Before the pandemic slowed things down for Veriteque, SwabTek’s use by police and especially schools “uncovered a huge demand in the general public among parents and concerned citizens about being able to detect drugs,” Betros said, adding that the demand was fueled by the increasing difficulty of visually detecting cannabis.

“Colorado was the first state to legalize cannabis and schools didn’t have a way to test vape pens and gummies and other cannabis products students were bringing to school,” Betros said, adding that SwabTek was the “only product that could.”

SwabTek’s use by schools led to a feature segment on the “Rossen Reports” news program and parents who saw the show started reaching out to Veriteque to inquire about testing suspicious items they found in their kids’ possession.

“If you’re a parent and you’re in that situation where you find something and you don’t know what it is, the last thing you want to do is the only thing you could do today which is call the cops to identify it,” Betros said.

The response by parents and their obvious demand for a home test kit led Veriteque to create the company’s consumer brand Verifique – home kits with the same technology as SwabTek used by police but packaged for consumers. Verifique’s first two products, a cannabis test and a fentanyl test, were launched in October of last year.


Founded: 2019
CEO: Bobby Betros
Employees: 10
Headquarters: San Diego, Miramar
Business: Manufacturer of test kits for hazardous substances.
Website: www.verifique.net and www.swabtek.com
Notable: Veriteque’s color chemistry uses safe powders and inks instead of harmful chemicals like sulfuric acid.


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