C-Store Update - Black & Mild Cigarillos, RJR returns, wraps, Camel SNUS, etc..

December 9, 2009 -

Black & Mild Cigarillos - John Middleton Inc. begins selling Black & Mild Cigarillos.. Altria is the parent of John Middleton, Inc. the maker of Black and Mild (BM) cigars and now cigarillos.

In 2004, BM (launched in 1980) filled with pipe tobacco were the top selling cigar according to ACNielsen. These cigars come with a plastic or wood tip, a filter tip, untipped, and one version is actually about half the size of a regular BM called the “Fast Break.” Varieties include: Original, Mild, Apple, Wine, FT Filter Tip, Gold and Mild, Cherry, Cherry-Vanilla, Cream.

Black and Mild Cigars and Cigarillos..

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Federal health officials banned the sale of flavored cigarettes on Tuesday, September 22nd in its first major action since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was given authority to regulate tobacco. The FDA Commissioner, Dr. Margaret A. Hamburg, was quick to point out that these flavored cigarettes are a gateway for many children and young adults to become regular smokers.

At least one company, Kretek International (KI), the nation's top distributor of clove cigarettes (97 percent of U.S. market) is offering about the same cigarette as a cigarillo. So far the Black & Mild Cigarillos only come in a regular flavor but most likely more flavors will be introduced to compete with Dutch Masters, White Owls and others. (The ban on flavored cigarettes doesn't include cigars.)

R.J. Reynolds is allowing c-store owners to return cartons of Camel Signature Series and Camel 99s cigarettes for a credit of $15 per carton. Usually cigarettes cannot be returned for credit.

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Here's an image of a cart filled with packs of cigarettes selling for $1 a pack in a grocery store.

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In NC it seems like flavored tobacco wraps are disappearing. C-store owners are being told by distributors they don't have them.. Is this the end of wraps or will they be back with labeling that specifies a color instead of identifying the flavor.
The City of Boston. Massachusetts has banned the sale of flavored tobacco wraps.

Comments on how Camel SNUS is doing (more in next c-store update):

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Camel SNUS q3 2009 earnings report Susan Ivey, Chairman, President and CEO of Reynolds American: "Camel Snus, which was expanded nationally in the first quarter of this year, continues to gain awareness and trial. Its third-quarter market share was 0.3 percentage points on a cigarette equivalent basis, which assumes that a tin of Camel Snus is equal to a pack of cigarettes. I think the 3/10th incremental in terms of Camel Snus is significant for the brand. Now this year of course we have high-launch expenses. But over time the margins on Snus are significantly higher than those on cigarettes and therefore we believe that we are expanding the Camel franchise and over time enhancing its margins."

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A few other images:
R.J. Reynolds smokeless tobacco.. products..

R.J. Reynolds tobacco products..

Conwood products..(Conwood Company, LLC, is changing its name back to American Snuff Company, LLC effective January 1, 2010.) Conwood, the nation's second largest manufacturer of smokeless tobacco products, is an operating company of Reynolds American Inc.

Conwoods Products..

White Owl grape flavored cigars B1G1F - 75 cents each..
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Previous c-store news brief..