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NEW YORK -- Two major cigarette manufacturers -- R.J. Reynolds and Philip Morris -- are expanding their presence in the smokeless tobacco category. Published reports state that R.J. Reynolds is expanding its test of Camel Snus to five new markets, while Philip Morris announced the development of a Marlboro-branded smokeless snus product.
New test markets for Camel Snus include Raleigh, N.C.; Columbus, Ohio; Indianapolis; Kansas City, Mo.; and Orlando, Fla., the Winston-Salem Journal reported. Tests in Raleigh, N.C., will begin July 1, and include c-stores and other tobacco retail outlets stretching to the eastern part of Greensboro, R.J. Reynolds spokesman David Howard told the Journal.
"We've determined that Camel Snus is a viable product concept that we will now make available in several thousand retail outlets in the seven test markets," Rob Dunham, a vice president of new growth innovation, told the Journal. He added that Reynolds has not set a timetable for distributing and marketing Camel Snus nationally.
Camel Snus was previously tested in Austin, Texas, and Portland, Ore., for more than a year, the report stated.
Pronounced "snooze," the product is a small pouch of tobacco that is placed between the lip and gum. The tobacco inside is pasteurized instead of fermented, and contains less salt and moisture than moist snuff. The product also does not require the consumer to spit, according to the newspaper.
Meanwhile, Philip Morris, manufacturer of the Marlboro brand of cigarettes, is bringing its popular Marlboro brand to a snus smokeless product. The product will be test marketed in Dallas in August, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The company will likely position the brand as an alternative to cigarettes, while still maintaining the taste characteristics of the Marlboro brand, the report stated. "Flavor anytime," is one tagline currently under consideration, as well as: "Not cigs, not dip, new snus," according to the report.
A Marlboro-branded snus product is not the company's first ventures into smokeless products. Last year, Philip Morris began testing its first snus product, Taboka, which sells for $3.50, about the same price as a pack of Marlboros in the Indianapolis test market. Philip Morris positioned the product there as an alternative to cigarettes, the report stated.