Competition for ultra low market

The UK’s two leading tobacco companies, Imperial Tobacco and Gallaher, have both given national launches to ultra low price cigarette brands that were originally only available on a restricted basis.

Imperial Tobacco has launched Windsor Blue, which was previously an own-brand produced by an Imperial Tobacco subsidiary for the Co-operative Group, while Gallaher has given a national launch to Sterling, which was originally launched as a multiples-only brand in 2001.

Sterling already has a 6.7% volume share in the multiple sector, equating to 2.2% nationally, and is the third fastest growing brand in the UK, according to Gallaher.

The brand packaging has been refreshed to strengthen its “premium look and feel”, and Gallaher trade communications manager Jeremy Blackburn said: “Sterling is already a success, and when products are launched into a market without advertising it is like having a head start. We know this brand is in demand and we know that retailers will benefit from stocking it.”
Imperial Tobacco said the Windsor Blue brand scored exceptionally highly in consumer tests.

Trade communications manager Iain Watkins added: “We continually analyse smokers’ preferences and over the last few years a cut-price sector has emerged but a gap clearly exists within the sector. New Windsor Blue offers high quality and amazing value for money.”

Both brands will be available in price marked packs.

Contact: Gallaher 0800 163503
Imperial Tobacco 0117 963 6636

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