Snus, Sticks, Orbs and Strips (Oh, My)

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco is planning to dive deeper into the smokeless category next year by nationally distributing Camel Snus and introducing in test markets dissolvable alternatives– Camel Sticks, Camel Orbs and Camel Strips.

The new products, grouped under the “Camel Dissolvables” banner, were on display at the NACS Show in Chicago. Company officials told CSDecisions the new line is smokeless and spit-free and made from finely milled tobacco and held together with food grade binders.

The products will launch in the first quarter in three test markets: Columbus, Ohio; Portland, Ore.; and Indianapolis.

A Camel Dissolvable Stick is placed between the upper lip and gum, where it dissolves after 10 minutes. Orbs are about the same, though they’re a pellet lasting about 15 minutes, while Strips dissolve after three minutes.

Advertising is still being developed, but a company rep told brandweek.com that print ads, direct marketing, sampling at bars and nightclubs and POP will support the program. The company’s domestic policy restricts it from advertising cigarettes in consumer publications, but the self-imposed ban doesn’t apply to other tobacco products and trade publications, brandweek.com reported.

RJR is hoping to find out which forms of Camel Dissolvables are the most popular by releasing it in test markets, as well as determining how demographics or usage steers product preference.

In addition to introducing the new dissolvable alternatives, RJR is expanding distribution for Camel Snus by offering retailers countertop and under-the=counter refrigerator units to keep the product cold. Camel Snus is currently the only snus brand sold in refrigerated units.

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