Japan Tobacco releases 13 new brands

| June 9, 2005 | 0 Comments
Japan Tobacco releases 13 new brands

Japan Tobacco introduced 13 new brands Thursday, the largest launch in its history.

These bring to 31 the number of new brands JT has introduced in the past two years. Among the new products are peach, strawberry, and lemon-grass flavored cigarettes.

The new brands are coming out at a time when the company is looking to raise its market share following the end of a licensing agreement with Philip Morris International which had allowed JT to exclusively make and sell the Marlboro brand in Japan.

Before the end of that agreement in April JT, which is 50 percent owned by the Japanese government, had a market share of 73 percent; currently, its market share is around 66 percent.

According to one analyst, launching so many brands at once is a cost-effective way of increasing the company’s market share.

Japan is the third largest tobacco market in the world, behind only China and the United States. The number of smokers in Japan, however, is steadily declining due to health concerns and anti-smoking regulations.

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