USSTC Launches Cope Moist Smokeless Tobacco

Designed to be more approachable

GREENWICH, Conn. -- U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Co. (USSTC), a subsidiary of UST Inc., will introduce a line of premium moist smokeless tobacco (MST) products designed to make the company's core brand, Copenhagen, more approachable for adult smokers.

Available at retail beginning September 17, the new Cope line will feature smooth, natural tobacco tastes in three long cut varieties: Smooth Hickory, Whiskey Blend Flavor and Straight.

The introduction of the Cope line comes at a time, the company said, when the moist smokeless tobacco [image-nocss] category is experiencing tremendous growth rates of more than 6% annually, making it one of the fastest-growing consumer packaged goods categories at retail.

Our research has shown that one of the most significant contributing factors to the extraordinary growth of the MST category has been adult smokers making the switch to smokeless tobacco, primarily Skoal, said Thano Chaltas, vice president of marketing. With the new premium Cope line of products, our core Copenhagen brand will now be able to play a larger role in adult smoker conversion and will help to sustain MST category growth going forward.

Charles Stafford, brand director, who is leading the initiative, said, Copenhagen has the strongest brand equity and loyalty in the MST category. Last year's successful launch of Copenhagen Long Cut Straight was proof that adult MST consumers have a strong desire for products that combine the unmistakable natural flavor experience of Copenhagen with smoother taste profiles. Our new Cope line will be entirely dedicated to that pursuit.

The name Cope, the longtime nickname of USSTC's Copenhagen brand, is emblematic of what the new line will represent to adult consumers: Copenhagen's history of quality in more relaxed, contemporary and approachable taste profiles.

New Cope Smooth Hickory, Cope Straight and Cope Whiskey Blend will come in code-dated plastic cans to ensure optimal freshness and shelf life. In keeping with Copenhagen tradition, all Cope products will have an embossed metal lid that incorporates a round disk of color unique to each taste profile.

The Cope launch will be supported by national advertising campaigns in adult-oriented magazines, adult sampling programs, direct mail, point-of-sale (POS) materials, 15-can prepacked promotional displays and an age-verified website, www.FreshCope.com.

With the launch of Cope, the traditional lineup of Copenhagen Snuff, Copenhagen Long Cut and Copenhagen Pouches will remain unchanged.

Greenwich, Conn.-based USSTC's primary brands are Copenhagen, Skoal, Red Seal and Husky. The company is the only smokeless tobacco manufacturer to sign the Smokeless Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement (STMSA). Under the STMSA, it voluntarily adopted an array of advertising and promotional restrictions and agreed to pay $100 million towards programs to reduce youth access to tobacco products and combat youth substance abuse.