Commonwealth-Altadis Unveils Packaging Innovation

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Commonwealth-Altadis Unveils Packaging Innovation

By Samantha Negraval, Convenience Store News - 05/08/2014

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Commonwealth-Altadis Inc. is flexing its marketing muscle with new packaging innovation and a $100-million investment in one of its core cigarette brands.

During a webcast held Thursday, Commonwealth-Altadis CEO Kevin Freudenthal, Senior Vice President of Consumer Marketing Al Dejewski and Vice President of Trade Marketing Greg Moser introduced the new Glide Tec package for USA Gold and talked about the brand's strategy. With this new design, consumers can open the USA Gold cigarette pack one-handed, with just a slide of the thumb. The new packaging will be available in stores this summer.

"Not only are we introducing Glide Tec now in our core markets, but we're investing over $100 million to drive that awareness across the adult consumer landscape," said Dejewski. "This new brand position we've introduced -- made the American way -- is resonating with today's adult, value-seeking consumers."

During a question-and-answer session, Moser directly addressed the company's commitment to convenience store retailers.

"We understand those margin pressures," he said. "What I would say is [that] from a commitment perspective, we're definitely committed to the c-store channel. We understand the size of it and the importance of it to our business. … We're committed to building brands that will drive shoppers into their stores."

Other elements of Commonwealth-Altadis' strategy for marketing USA Gold are:

  • New full-color USA Gold packaging that helps the brand stand out at retail and communicates a contemporary brand essence and value.
  • A direct-market campaign to 1.75 million adult smokers, as well as an adult smoker engagement program that includes promotional materials such as extra cents off with multiple pack offers and connecting adult smokers to local activities. 
  • The brand's website,, is logging thousands of adult smoker visits with new and interactive messages about the brand, coupons and other online promotions.
  • USA Gold's Blaze New American Trails Sweepstakes is featuring five months of online sweepstakes and awarding nearly $100,000 in prizes.

Moser also spoke about Commonwealth-Altadis' customer engagement strategy, including an interactive listening series with its retailer customers to find out what they need to successfully sell Commonwealth-Altadis' brands. He acknowledged that Commonwealth-Altadis is not one of the biggest manufacturers in the U.S. market. "That's something we're embracing for the time being" in an effort to become a bigger player, he noted.

Commonwealth-Altadis is a division of Imperial Tobacco Group. Its cigarette brands include USA Gold, Sonoma and Montclair, while its machine-made cigar brands are Dutch Masters, Backwoods and Phillies.