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Friday, March 9, 2012

And the No. 1 New Cigarette Is …

For the second consecutive year, the same cigarette brand has been named best new product by convenience store and tobacco shop operators.

Marlboro special blend
Marlboro Special Blend
Philip Morris USA's Marlboro Special Blend scored top honors, based on the 2nd annual NATO-CSP Tobacco Survey, which asked voters what was their most significant new cigarette product of the past 12 months (calendar year 2011).
With more than 100 respondents, Marlboro Special Blend finished with more than 19% of the vote, equally popular in both tobacco outlets and c-stores. The cigarette finished first last year, scoring even higher with nearly 28% of the total vote. [the surveys may feature different respondents.]
Lorillard's investment into the non-menthol arena continues to pay off. The company's Newport Non-Menthol finished second in the overall tally, scoring nearly 16% in the c-stores channel. In t-shops, Newport Non-Menthol was less popular, landing fourth with nearly 9% voting share. The performance in tobacco stores, however, is markedly better than last year when it finished with a 2% score, possibly because of its arrival, which occurred in late 2010.
UBS tobacco analyst Nik Modi is not surprised by the continued strong performance by Marlboro Special Blend and Newport Non-Menthol.
"Both Marlboro Special Blends and Newport Non Menthol are line extensions of well know premium brands at a good price point--given introductory pricing on Newport Non Menthol and buy downs on Special Blends," Modi told Tobacco E-News . "This speaks to the consumers' desire for premium brands at a good value."
PM USA, the cigarette arm of Altria, touted the success of its Special Blend family of products. "In 2010," said spokesperson Ken Garcia, "Marlboro gained 0.8 share points behind an attractive introductory offer on Marlboro Special Blend, achieving a record 42.6% retail share for Marlboro for the year."

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