GREENSBORO, N.C. -- ITG Brands expanded its Winston brand of non-menthol cigarettes in what the industry has dubbed its “gold” category—typically referring to cigarettes with a milder flavor profile—in the release of its Winston Select line, company officials announced.
Available this month with the backing of “buy-down” discounts and 50-cents-off-a-pack promotions, the product in a king box has a white-filter tip and a flavor profile that’s considered milder than the “bolder” taste of a Winston Red.
“The [Select] name speaks of our selection of choice tobacco that brings flavor, character and quality together in one select blend,” said Leonard Jones, vice president of marketing for ITG, Greensboro, N.C.
In blind taste tests, Winston Select performed “exceptionally well with adult smokers who cited the [cigarette’s] overall satisfaction, smoothness and character of taste,” the company said.
While ITG already has a product in the gold segment, the Winston Select launch represents an expansion into that area of milder alternatives. The product also comes from an established line within ITG’s portfolio, so it has already met requirements set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), an official with ITG told CSP Daily News.
Elaborating on its planned promotional support, the company said it will offer the same buy-downs as other brands in the Winston family, as well as specially marked 50-cents-off-a-pack promotions in April and June. Point-of-sale (POS) support includes posters and signage, as well as counter mats with several having the tagline, “Meet the New Gold Standard.”
Winston Select also joins the rest of the Winston-branded engagement programs, including campaigns using direct mail, digital and print advertising. Members of the trade and adult consumers are also encouraged to visit Winstoncigarettes.com.
The Winston brand family continues to gain market share since it became the flagship brand of ITG in June 2015, the company said.
ITG Brands LLC is the third-largest tobacco company in the United States and offers a broad portfolio of cigarette, cigar and electronic cigarette brands, including Winston, Kool, Salem, Maverick and USA Gold cigarettes; Dutch Masters, Backwoods and Phillies cigars; and blu electronic cigarettes.