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August 5, 2010 - With menthol coming under fire from federal regulators, Lorillard Inc. yesterday announced its plan to launch a non-menthol variety of its flagship Newport brand in November 2010. Lorillard said that it believes it will further strengthen its competitive position and its Newport brand family with the national introduction of Newport Non-Menthol.
Newport, Lorillard's menthol-flavored premium cigarette, is the second-largest brand in the industry and is the top-selling menthol brand.
January 10,2009 - Newport, gives Lorillard 94% of its revenue, 92% of its volumes, 34% share of all menthol cigarette sales in the US, as well as an overall domestic tobacco market share of 10%. The only other cigarette in Lorillard's stable (Kent, Satin, True, Max, Old Gold)that shows growth is the price/value (discount) brand Maverick. (Lorillard was spun off from conglomerate Loews in June, 2008.)
Newport Non-Menthol will be a premium product with broad competitive consumer appeal that delivers the high quality tobacco taste that adult smokers have grown to expect from Newport, the company said. "We are excited to leverage Newport, one of the most recognized names in the cigarette industry," said Martin Orlowsky, chairman, president and chief executive officer. "With the introduction of Newport Non-Menthol, Lorillard will be afforded greater opportunity to compete in the largest segment of the U.S. cigarette market, as the non-menthol category represents approximately 70% of total industry volume."
The rollout comes as the U.S. Food & Drug Administration's (FDA) Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee (TPSAC) is examining the health effect of menthol cigarettes on minors and certain ethnic groups. The committee must make recommendations to the FDA in March, 2011. (FDA CTP SAC - 2nd Meeting - July 15, 16, 2010 plus..)
** Non-menthol Newports in Full Flavor and Lights were sold in United States during the mid to late 1990s, possibly as late as 2002; however they have since been discontinued. The packs were identical in design to standard menthol Newports except the turquoise-colored area was red on the Full Flavors and mustard-yellow on the Lights. Newport Slim 120s (introduced 1998), Newport "Stripes", and Newport "M-Blend" were other varieties that have also been discontinued. (Newport Cigarettes Online Shop)
In February 2010 More - Lorillard will launch new moist smokeless product in not-too-distant future... When Marty Orlowsky was questioned at the q2 2010 earnings webcast he responded: We’re still continuing on a path of having, of being in a position to compete in that category. I don’t have anything specific to add at this point, but we still continue to have the interest. (Highlights - Lorillard q2 2010 earnings report)
Lorillard's SNUS entry Triumph was discontinued in February 2010.
Lorillard at a glance.
Reference: Lorillard Launching Newport Non-Menthol
Tobacco company extending flagship cigarette line, Convenience Store/Petroleum (CSP) Daily News, 8/5/2010.