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    Reynolds American Focuses on OTP

    New Grizzly item released, new packaging unveiled and lessons continue to flow from dissolvable products' test.

    By Mehgan Belanger

    NEW YORK -- In its continued mission of providing to retailers a "total tobacco" approach, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and American Snuff Co., the largest operating companies of Reynolds American Inc., are focusing on their other tobacco products (OTP) offering with the launch of a new moist smokeless tobacco product, new packaging and more, company executives recently told CSNews Online.

    In the first quarter 2010, Reynolds American's American Snuff Co., formerly known as Conwood Corp., launched Grizzly 1900 long cut, a natural moist smokeless tobacco (MST) product that features more dark fired tobacco, providing a more robust tobacco flavor, according to company officials. The premium-tasting product is value-priced and available nationally. It is aimed at adult MST consumers looking for a product with a bolder, more traditional tobacco taste, officials said.

    The "1900" is a nod toward the founding year of American Snuff Co. The original factory is also portrayed on the package.

    Meanwhile, all Grizzly and Kodiak brand MST saw a packaging update in the first quarter to embossed metal lids. The new lids were rolled out for the Grizzly brand in February and the Kodiak brand in March, officials noted, adding the packaging is a cue towards to products' premium quality.

    And R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. (RJRT) is "pleased" with the progress of its Camel Snus -- a smokeless, spitless tobacco product available nationwide, according to company officials, who noted Camel Snus currently represents 90 percent of the snus market in the U.S. And for the first quarter of 2010, Camel Snus had a 0.2 share of market on a cigarette-equivalent basis, according to the company's first quarter earnings report.

    In addition, RJRT continues to gain learnings from its pilot of its dissolvable line of products in three U.S. test markets. The Camel Sticks, Strips and Orbs are currently available in Columbus, Ohio, Indianapolis and Portland, Ore.

    Moving forward, RJRT will be "deliberate" in its expansion, similar to what the company did when testing its Camel Snus product, officials told CSNews Online. The company will gain learnings and feedback from both adult tobacco consumers and retailers, as well as continue to educate adult tobacco consumers and increase awareness by working with its retail partners.

    The emphasis RJRT is putting on its alternative tobacco products aligns with its mission to be what officials call a "total tobacco company," and help keep the tobacco category a viable one for convenience retailers, officials said.

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    By Mehgan Belanger
    • About Mehgan Belanger

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