Roll up, roll up! Marlboro launches RYO variant

Philip Morris Ltd (PML) this week announced it is launching a roll-you-own (RYO) variant of Marlboro, 90 years after the iconic cigarette brand was launched.

The world’s best-selling tobacco brand since 1972, Marlboro is also the UK’s biggest premium cigarette, with retail sales of over £833m a year.

The new Marlboro Gold Original RYO, which will begin shipping to wholesale today (September 1) is presented in a premium quality tactile pouch, triple layered for freshness. With an RRP of £4.40 for 12.5g, and £6.90 for 20g pouch formats, it comes with high quality gummed rolling papers (25 in the 12.5g pouch, 50 in the 20g). The tobacco blend is the same as that found in Marlboro Gold cigarettes, but has a higher (20.5%) moisture level in order to preserve freshness.

Marlboro Gold Original rolling tobacco is the first product to be fully sold, distributed and supported by PML. All PML’s ready made cigarettes (Marlboro and Chesterfield) will continue to be distributed by Imperial Tobacco through to the end of 2015.

PML UK and Ireland marketing director Zoe Smith commented: “This is the most exciting news from the Marlboro brand in many years and we will be fully supporting the launch of Marlboro Gold Original rolling tobacco nationally across all channels. The rolling tobacco market has grown in both volume and value to be worth almost £2bn a year [Nielsen MAT to April 2014], so this is an ideal time to launch Marlboro into the category. Last year almost half of all adult smokers stated a preference for RYO products and as Marlboro Gold Original is now available in a premium rolling tobacco format, consumers can enjoy the perfect blend of taste and price from the UK’s leading premium brand.

“Additionally, the new product will be fully supported by PML’s new national field force who are currently building sustainable retail partnerships through consistent brand engagement.”

Marlboro Gold Original RYO was pre-launched at some of the UK’s most high profile events and festivals to drive awareness and trial.  The launch support for the new product will also include an extensive trade media advertising campaign, and retail point of sale.  PML has also prepared a suite of marketing materials for wholesalers’ tobacco rooms, which will be rolled out over the next fortnight or so. It will also be running C amp;C trade days throughout the autumn, with Bestway and Dhamecha among the first to sign up.

UK and Ireland sales director Jerry Margolis said that there would be around 200 trade days in all, at 125 depots nationwide, but with a bias towards Marlboro Gold’s heartland of London, the South-East and the South-West.

PML added that in order to ensure availability everywhere, plenty of extra stocks were available at the factory and within the supply chain.

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