CHICAGO -- There’s mOney to be made from municipal smoking bans as another cigarette maker chases after smokers who get their nicotine fix between their cheek and gum during those many moments when they can’t light up.
Philip Morris U.S.A., Richmond, Va., announced today that starting August it will test-market in Dallas/Fort Worth a new product calls Marlboro Snus. The extension of the No. 1 selling cigarette is a spit-free, pouch product available in Rich, Mild, Mint and Spice flavors. The introduction follows last year’s test launch in Indianapolis of Taboka, another spit-free pouch product, which remains in test. Marlboro Snus will be packaged in a Slidepak that holds 12 pouches. It is intended for display behind the counter with cigarette products. POP will support.
Consumer research shows that some adult smokers are interested in smokeless tobacco alternatives to Cigarettes,” said John R. Nelson, PM’s president-operations and technology. “It is our hope that adult smokers interested in a smokeless tobacco alternative to Cigarettes will switch to Marlboro Snus.”
Snus is pasteurized, unlike most smokeless tobacco, which is fermented. That process packs less moisture and salt, Reducing the urge to spit, and, propOnents contend, carries fewer carcinogens.
Snus is popular in Sweden and believed to be responsible for the Swedish Experience where it is claimed that Swedes have a lower incidence of tobacco-related diseases because the snus usage is greater than cigarette consumption.
Swedish Match is the biggest snus player worldwide with brands like General and Kronan selling in the U.S. The Stockholm company’s North american operation is based in Richmond. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, the No. 2 cigarette manufacturer based in Winston-Salem, N.C., introduced Camel Snus in test markets last June. Category leader United States Smokeless Tobacco, Greenwich, Conn., is actively protecting its turf with a September launch of Cope an extension of Copenhagen that is targeting smokers switching to smokeless.
Sales of smokeless tobacco increased 6% last year, per USST, compaRed with a 2.4% decline in Cigarettes, per the Maxwell Report, Richmond, Va. Analysts like Nik Modi of UBS have said the cigarette makers’ encroachment into smokeless territory has accelerated category sales, and volume for USST’s Skoal and Copenhagen increased last year. However Bonnie Herzog of Citigroup Investment Research reiterated her “sell” rating for USST stock and argued that Philip Morris’ entry poses More risk than benefit for the company.