Philip Morris USA to Test New Marlboro Smokeless

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Philip Morris USA to Test New Marlboro Smokeless

RICHMOND, Va.-- Philip Morris USA will test market its new Marlboro Moist Smokeless Tobacco into the Atlanta market in October. Marlboro Moist Smokeless Tobacco will be offered in original and wintergreen flavors and will be available in long cut and fine cut varieties.

"Marlboro Moist Smokeless Tobacco represents premium quality and flavor and will be introduced at an attractive price for the adult moist smokeless tobacco consumer," said Michael E. Szymanczyk, chairman and CEO of Philip Morris USA. "This new offering builds on the premium tobacco experience that Marlboro represents."

While retailers ultimately determine the price of the product at retail, Philip Morris USA anticipates a retail price near $3 a can, midway between the highest-priced products and the lowest-priced products in the Atlanta market.

"Smokeless tobacco is the largest tobacco category behind cigarettes and has been growing for a number of years," said Szymanczyk. "Introducing Marlboro Moist Smokeless Tobacco is a natural fit for our growth strategy."

That strategy includes adding tobacco or tobacco-related products that are adjacent to its existing core business, cigarettes. CSNews Online reported in June the company would begin testing a Marlboro-branded snus smokeless tobacco product, this month in Dallas. Snus is a smokeless, spitless tobacco that comes in a pouch. Last year, Philip Morris began test selling its first snus product, Taboka, in the Indianapolis market.

Company spokesman Steve Callahan explained the new test is PM USA's first product targeted to the moist smokeless tobacco user, while the snus products are viewed as attractive alternatives for cigarette smokers.

PM USA's rival Reynolds American also is expanding its presence in the smokeless category. Last year, it purchased Conwood, maker of Kodiak and Grizzly moist smokeless tobacco, and this summer it expanded the test markets for its new Camel Snus product.