PM USA Invests in R & D..

November 23, 2007 -Philip Morris USA discusses its new 450,000 square foot Center for Research and Technology. Sensory scientists will work with harm-reduction technicians, and marketing types will interact with engineers to quickly develop potential products that consumers will accept. David Sylvia, director of media affairs for PM USA said the tobacco manufacturer is currently field testing two new flavors of cigarettes, one called Marlboro Smooth and the other called Marlboro Virginia Blend. The latter comes from the “bright” flavor profile of Virginia tobacco. Sylvia said the new flavor lines fall into the company’s core-business category. A “spit-less” pilot of the new Marlboro Snus, a branded product using its tried-and-true moniker, is ongoing in the Dallas-Ft.Worth market, while along the same lines, its Taboka introduction continues testing in Indianapolis. It was also mentioned that another test, this one in Atlanta, that started last month involving a Marlboro-branded, moist-snuff tobacco (MST) product in original and wintergreen flavors. While Snus (pronounced “snoose”) and Taboka fall into a “new product, same consumer” category, he said the MST offer branches off into a “new product, new consumer” scenario. Though Sylvia would not elaborate on any current findings with regards to the ongoing tests, he did say that consumer awareness was a major barrier. “With a new product, people just don’t understand,” he said. “Getting them aware is a big challenge. Awareness and understanding is critical. ”Any testing in place to date will potentially accelerate as the new research center hits capacity."