After receiving approval from the FDA in June of this year, Lorillard is poised to launch its new cigarette product in October: Newport Non-Menthol Gold.
The tobacco retail word is buzzing with opinions regarding the success of its market debut. “We believe Newport Gold will drive incremental long term volume and share for [the company],” shares Bonnie Herzog, Managing Director of Beverage, Tobacco and Convenience Store Research for Wells Fargo Securities LLC.
According to the CSPNET news article, Lorillard’s current product mix heavily depends on its menthol-flavored brands. CSPNET reports that Newport Gold is not set to be a “game changer,” however it will serve as “a good complement to Lorillard’s existing platform, mitigating the company’s exposure to menthol.” CSPNET indicates that marketing for the Newport Non-Menthol Gold product launch will include: direct mail coupons, national print media, point-of-sale (POS) ads and store-level education. Be on the look out for Newport Non-Menthol Gold POS ads in your community.
With the FDA currently collecting information to inform potential regulatory options for menthol cigarettes, it is possible that Lorillard strategically sought to diversify its revenue streams by releasing a product that would decrease its dependency on its popular menthol product lines.
For more information on menthol, check out the National African American Tobacco Prevention Network’s article, “What’s the Deal with Menthol?” which provides a compilation of evidence regarding the impact of menthol cigarettes on public health. In addition, review the Tobacco Control Legal Consortium’s Citizen Petition Highlights which not only discusses the impact of menthol but also formally urges the FDA to exercise its regulatory power over menthol cigarettes.