New Lead Markets for Camel Dissolvables

R.J. Reynolds begins testing Orbs, Strips and Sticks in Charlotte and in the Denver area.

Published in Tobacco E-News

By
Linda Abu-Shalback Zid, Senior Editor

Winston-Salem, N.C.--By the end of this week, tobacco consumers in Charlotte, N.C. and in the Denver, Colo. region could see some new additions to their available tobacco options.

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. spokesperson David Howard told Tobacco E-News that those are the two new lead markets for the company's Camel Orbs, Camel Strips and Camel Sticks--and that the products will be on shelves later this week or early next week.

The products previously had been tested in Columbus, Ohio; Indianapolis and Portland, Ore. over a two-year period that ended in December.

Howard [image-nocss] said that the company has been "very pleased" with the feedback it received from those markets. And based on learnings from those markets, the company has made some changes to the products. Among them, the products, all made of a finely milled tobacco, will now be in a mint variantfeaturing a "hint of mint."

Also based on consumer feedback, all three products will now be packaged 12 to a pack. Previously, strips were packaged in 20 packs, orbs came 15 to a pack and sticks came in packs of 10. Howard said that consumers wondered why there was similar pricing for different sized packages. "So based on that feedback, we just made the business decision that all three will have 12 of each."

There will also be a variety pack, which will feature five strips, four orbs and three sticks for when an "adult tobacco consumer doesn't know which style might best fit their interest."

Packaging has also changed, although Howard stresses that it continues to be child resistant. It's now larger and "looks more like packaging of other types of traditional tobacco products."

Howard said testing in new lead markets was a business decision to "gain additional feedback and new perspectives." While he declined to speculate on how long this round would last, he said primary factors for choosing Charlotte and the Denver area included awareness of the Camel brand among adult tobacco consumers and the makeup of adult tobacco consumers in the market--including percentages of smokers and smokeless consumers.

"Our desire to introduce dissolvable tobacco products really reflects our direction of offering a variety of different tobacco products to tobacco consumers," Howard said, adding that such variety is also helpful to Reynolds' wholesale and retail customers. "And we're helping to position that for now and the future."

He added, "We've gotten very good feedback from adult tobacco consumers, and we're certainly hopeful that these products can eventually be made available for adult tobacco consumers nationwide."

Winston-Salem, N.C.-based R.J. Reynolds is the second-largest U.S. tobacco company. The company's brands include five of the 10 best-selling U.S. cigarettes: Camel, Pall Mall, Winston, Doral and Kool. American Snuff (formerly Conwood Co.) is the nation's second-largest manufacturer of smokeless tobacco products. Its leading brands are Kodiak, Grizzly and Levi Garrett. Santa Fe manufactures Natural American Spirit cigarettes and other additive-free tobacco products, and manages and markets other super-premium brands. Niconovum markets nicotine replacement therapy products in Sweden and Denmark under the Zonnic brand name.