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The Swiss cigarette market

Well over 200 brands or variants in a 16-billion-a-year market. Four major blend sectors, in addition to other lesser ones. Some big brands selling at the same price for twenty King Size in a soft cup pack as for Long Size in a hinge-lid box- Cartons, selling at a discount, accounting for about 40% of total volume.
Seven major competing manufacturers.
Three main language groups.
Progressive trends for US blend and lower-delivery cigarettes.
High awareness of the Smoking & Health question.
Restricted but still reasonably unshackled communications.
This, in essence, is the Swiss cigarette market.
During the economic boom of the 1960s, when there was a massive influx of foreign workers into Switzerland, total cigarette volume grew (in the 1962-72 period) at a rate of 7 percent a year. By 1972 sales volume had reached 18.8 billions. During the subsequent years sales declined to 15 billions, as economic stringencies exerted their effect and large numbers of foreign workers had to return home. The Swiss franc, traditionally a strong unit of currency, strengthened against currencies of neighboring lands, and this too had its effect by reducing tourist and 'border visit' sales.
The downward trend was reversed in 1980 as the economic situation improved, and the 1982 year's total volume re-ached 16 billions, and it is anticipated that this total will be fairly stable in the foreseeable future.
It is calculated that 1 in 4 of Swiss adults smoke cigarettes - nearly 29 percent of men, and rather more than 21 percent of women. The proportion is highest among the 20 to 34 year-olds, where the incidence of cigarette smoking is more than 1 in 3. French-speaking Swiss show a higher cigarette smoking incidence than their German-speaking compatriots (28% as against 22%).

Blend sectors

Apart from a limited sector of low-taxed and so low-priced cigarettes made from strong, black, locally-grown leaf, Swiss cigarettes fall into four major blend categories:
 
1. Maryland cigarettes
Maryland cigarettes (made predominantly with light air-cured leaf from that part of the USA) are unique to Switzerland where, despite a continuing decline, they remain the major blend sector.
The cigarettes have a very distinctive aroma and taste, and they burn evenly and well. They have the virtue (to the manufacturer) of exceptional 'filling power', and so require less tobacco to produce a well-filled and well-made cigarette. Low in sugar, the tobacco has the added characteristic of delivering less 'tar' and nicotine than typical US or Virginia blends.
The traditional Swiss Maryland product contains rather more than 50% of this leaf, blended with a diversity of other tobaccos - Oriental, flue-cured, Burley, domestic Swiss leaf and so on.
The downward trend of the Maryland's which had gone down to 46% by 1972 was reversed for a time by the departure of non-Maryland-smoking foreign workers and an upturn by the successful competitive low-delivery Maryland SELECT brand, and in 1976 the sector peaked at over 59% of total market. Since then the sector has again resumed its downward trend, with a 1982 share of 52. 5%. The decline is expected to continue.
 
2. US Blend (International)
This is the sector which exhibits the greatest current and potential growth. It includes the market leader, MARLBORO, as well as CAMEL, in addition to MURATTI (Philip Morris), GALLANT (Burrus) and KIM (BAT) which are seen to be positioned as 'American' in style or image. BAT's BARCLAY, introduced in October 1982, is winning a useful share of this sector.
 The sector was aggressively entered by Philip Morris in 1957, and by Reynolds in 1967, bringing it up from a nominal market share to 29% by 1972. After a dip down to 22% (due to the economic recession and the attendant departure of US brand-smoking foreign workers) the sector picked up and, aided by the success of both MARLBORO and CAMEL in Germany and 'mild' launches, climbed to a 1982 market share of over 31%.
 Looking ahead, this is clearly the growth sector, particularly in the 'mild' sub-sector.
 
3. German blend
 Many German brands are on sale in Switzerland. They are smoked by some Swiss (predominantly in the German-speaking and German-influenced areas), but they are generally bought by German 'borderers' and tourists who are attracted by Switzerland's lower cigarette prices.
 Clearly the effects of both Swiss and German price increases, and the exchange rate of the DM vis-a-vis the Swiss franc, have a direct bearing on this sector. At its peak, back in 1973, the German-blend sector reached more than a 10% share of total Swiss sales. However, the sector has slowly declined to its 1982 figure of something over 6%, and the outlook is considered stable - with some fluctuation.
 
4. English Virginia (UK International)
This sector of the market is small and virtually static. Only two brands of note are represented, these being DUNHILL and BENSON & HEDGES. DUNHILL is the major brand, outselling B&H by about 4 to 1.
 The companies Seven companies - five of them belonging to major international groups compete in the Swiss cigarette market. They are:
BAT
Suisse
Philip Morris (FTR)
Burrus
Rinsoz & Ormond
Laurens - Rothmans
R. J. Reynolds
Reemtsma

The company was first incorporated in Switzerland under the name of Bramtoco SA in 1920, business having previously been conducted through agents. Later in the same year the company's name was changed to British-American Tobacco Company Limited (Extension Suisse), and the present name replaced it in.
 The company's offices and factory in the Route des Acacias, Geneva, were opened in 1951.
For many years up to 1967, BAT held a fairly stable position with a market share of some 14-15%. The merger with Vautier Freres of Yverdon (another BAT interest, which manufactured cigars as well as the MAROCAINE cigarette brands) increased the share to close on 21% in 1968. The next few years were tough, and by 1972 the market share had reduced to some 18%; the result of a combination of factors - necessary brand rationalization, the growth of Philip Morris's MARLBORO, and the entries of both Reynolds and Reemtsma. The Vautier Yverdon factory ceased manufacture of cigarettes in 1974.
The 1973 German excise tax increase boosted the BAT market share to over 19%, which settled to a fairly steady level of 17 to 18%. The successful entry of BARCLAY in October 1982 improved the situation to over 18. 6% by the year-end and the current status is over 20%, with promise of further growth ahead.

PHILIP MORRIS (FTR)
 Philip Morris made an aggressive entry into the Swiss market in 1957 through the acquisition of FTR, a company embracing 7 local manufacturers. In 1964 they became market leaders, with over 24% of the market, and by 1973 their share had increased to over 31%. After a decline of 5% with the departure of the foreign workers, who tended to prefer MURATTI and MARLBORO, the Philip Morris growth picked up, and in 1982 they held a 34. 4% market share. Further growth is forecast. FTR also market the BRUNETTE (Maryland blend) family of brands.

BURRUS
Burrus is an old-established (1814) Swiss company which had traditionally been market leader until they were overhauled by Philip Morris in 1971. Their then market share of slightly more than 19% was to climb again putting them into the lead once more in the 1973-77 periods. This reflects to some extent the departure of the foreign workers, the Burrus strength being mainly m Maryland products. Their low-delivery Maryland, SELECT rocketed in sales following the publication of Switzerland's third (though first widely publicized) League Table in 1973. It also reflects the acquisition of Turmac brands and licensing rights in Switzerland, which included GALLANT and KENT - the latter having passed to BAT Suisse some time after the Moorgate transaction. Burrus share peaked at over 30% in 1976. Today, declining steadily, Burrus has a current market share of slightly over 26%. Weak in credible contenders in the growing US sector, Burrus appears set for further loss of market share.
 The major Burrus brands are SELECT (in four versions), PARISIENNE (5 versions) - all Maryland blend - and GALLANT (US type).
 
RIMSOZ & ORMOMD
 This company depends primarily upon the manufacture of such French Monopoly (SEITA) brands as GAULOISES (primarily 'Jaunes' in a yellow pack) and GITANES. At one time, prior to 1971, Rinsoz & Ormond enjoyed a 12% market share as a result of the popularity of GAULOISES. Since then there has been a steady decline to 7. 6% in 1982, and a continuing downward trend is forecast.

 LAURENS - ROTHMANS
 Rothmans interests in Switzerland were initially divided between Laurens and a company called Sullana, but these were merged in 1974. At this time the joint market share was a little under 9% (from a 1962 Laurens peak of over 11%). Since that date the decline has continued, and at the end of 1982 the market share had decreased to below 7%.
The decision to revert to two companies has been announced for 1983. This puts Sullana (with its DUNHILL, ROTHMANS and PETER STUYVESANT brands) at 4%, and Laurens (domestic brands such as STELLA and SL) at 2. 8%. Whilst Sullana's future appears reasonably stable, that of Laurens looks far from heal thy.

R. J. REYNOLDS
The Reynolds and CAMEL names are virtually synonymous on the Swiss market, where CAMEL and CAMEL MILD is both progressive.
The RJR entry was not through the acquisition of an existing Swiss company, but involved their own brands and manufacturing capacity. After a prolonged period of small sales, CAMEL began to progress, reflecting to a degree the success of CAMEL in neighboring Germany, and RJR now accounts for a larger-than-4% market share. WINSTON has been test-marketed in the German-speaking part of Switzerland, with signs of very moderate success. Reynolds are spending heavily on support, out of proportion to their market share.

REEMTSMA
Reemtsma is a German company, and its entry into Switzerland in 1967 reflected its interest in rub-off advantages of sales to German smokers rather than a direct interest in Swiss domestic sales.
Although Reemtsma have spent heavily on media advertising their low-delivery brand R6 in Switzerland, they remain dependent on the fluctuating factors which beset the whole German-blend sector. The Reemtsma brand WEST, which was launched in Germany with massive support (see "Marketing Sews" of June 1981) and which has more recently pioneered price-cutting there, has been introduced into Switzerland with little promotional support.
With a 1. 8% market share at the end of '82, Reemtsma appears to have very limited opportunity for growth in the market.
 
Cigarette lengths, packings and prices

 Long Size (80mm) cigarettes have for many years dominated the Swiss market, and account for more than 2 out of every 3 cigarettes sold. It is the popular length for nine of Switzerland's 'top ten' brands; it is the accepted length for all the established Maryland brands, as well as the preferred length for such major US blend cigarettes as MARLBORO, which are also available in King Size.
King Size (+84mm) represent about 15% of sales, and Regular Size (70mm) nearly 11%. This latter length is broadly confined to air-cured French-name brands such as the GAULOISES family. Other lengths account only for minor shares.
As far as packings are concerned, it is the soft cup which accounts for about two thirds of sales. It is the generally used pack style for all the Marylands, the French-name brands, and for the King Size versions of those other brands (mostly US blend) where Long Size versions are available in hinge-lid boxes.
The choice of pack style is an important consideration among many Swiss smokers. Clearly the soft cup is the norm. But there are those who deliberately choose the hard box for whatever reasons - protection etc. - and are perfectly willing to accept a shorter (80 as against 34mm) cigarette at the same price in order to get the pack style they prefer.
Taking market leader MARLBORO, for example, the Long Size version in the hard box outsells the King Size/soft cup version by more than 8 to 1. Yet with CAMEL FILTER it is the King Size/soft cup version which outsells the Long Size/hinge-1 id alternative by more than 3 to 1.
Within the Swiss market there is a wide spectrum of price categories, ranging from Sfr. 1.90 for the cheapest (domestic leaf) brands to over Sfr. 2.70 for high-prestige superlength cigarettes. More than half of total Swiss volume is in the Sfr. 2.10 price category, this including the great majority of the Maryland brands. Next in importance is the Sfr. 2. 40 category, including MARLBORO King and Long Size as well as CAMEL and BAT' s BARCLAY, which embraces more than 23% of total volume. The only other price-slot of substance is that at Sfr. 2. 30 (15% of total) which includes MURATTI AMBASSADOR, GALLANT, SELECT SPECIAL MILD and some of the German brands such as BAT's KB and KRONE.
Switzerland has been fairly free from the plague of frequent price increases which have beset some markets. Over the past ten years there have been 4 increases: in July 1974 (+ 10 cents), in October 1978 (+ 20 cents), in October 1980 (+ 10 cents) and in May 1982 (+ 20 cents). As a proportion of income, cigarette prices have stayed low. Price sensitivity, while relevant among Swiss consumers, is not generally seen as a primary factor in brand choice.

1. MARLBORO (Philip Morris)
 The familiar Philip Morris US brand family. The biggest selling version is Long Size (80mm) in the hinge-lid box, first launched in 1957, and in 1982 accounting for an 11. 3% market share. Next in volume is MARLBORO GOLD (formerly LIGHTS) with a 1. 1% market share, followed by the King Size/soft cup full-flavour version (1%) and MARLBORO 100s (0. 9%). The Long Size and GOLD versions are both progressive.

2. SELECT (Burrus)
 Launched in 1968, SELECT was positioned as a low-delivery brand in the popular Maryland blend category. Growth was slow until 1973 when SELECT was rated second in the first much publicized League Table (after German-blend KRONE). Sales immediately rocketed, and in '74 SELECT achieved nearly 8% market share. Further versions with ever lower deliveries followed, but growth has been largely 'cannibalistic' within the SELECT family. The parent SELECT (7 mg. 'tar') is the dominant version followed by the 4 mg. variant, SELECT No. 2. Lowest deliveries in the family are from SELECT EXTRA LEGERE (1 mg. )
 
3. PARISIENNE (Burrus)
 This brand family dates from 1958, and became market leader in 1962 - a position it retained until 1976. There are 4 variants, but volume is overwhelmingly in the parent version, PARISIENNE SUPER. The family is still of substantial volume, but its trend is one of continuing slow decline. Three out of four PARISIENNE smokers are male, with a bias towards the over-35s.
 
4. MARY LONG (BAT Suisse)
 MARY LONG is the major brand of BAT Suisse, launched in 1952 as the country's first Long Size (as opposed to Regular Size) Maryland cigarette. With its white filter and tipping, it was promoted on a 'mildness' platform long before delivery ratings had come into use. It's yellow and red pack, and the distinctive girl's head emblem, are among the best-recognized symbols in Switzerland.
 MARY LONG appeals to smokers of both sexes, and is weakest in the younger (20-25) age group. MARY LONG EXTRA (5 mg. ) is a 1973 introduction as a milder alternative, though it has derived much of its sales (2. 2% 1982 market share) from the parent brand.
 MARY LONG No. 1 (1 mg.) was launched in mid-1981 as a still-milder extension, and MARY LONG DOUBLE-FILTER (5 mg) in 1980 as a 'medium mild'. EXTRA and No. 1 are in essentially white packs bearing the familiar girl's head device with a red-and-yellow curved 'V' graphic. DOUBLE FILTER is in a red-design pack.
 
5. MURATTI (Philip Morris)
 MURATTI AMBASSADOR was launched first in Switzerland in 1962, and became established as a US blend 'mild' product with a certain fashionable style. It was hit by the growth of SELECT, but the introduction of MURATTI 2000 coupled with MURATTI AMBASSADOR EXTRA MILD, stabilized the family's market position. More than 60% of MURATTI smokers are female, spread widely over the age spectrum.
 
6. BRUNETTE (Philip Morris)
 BRUNETTE was introduced in i960, and reached its peak of 7. 7% market share on the appeal of its dual-filter in 1975. BRUNETTE EXTRA and No. 3, both milder spin-offs, are the only line extensions.
BRUNETTE smokers are mainly men, spread fairly evenly among the age groups.

7. GAULOISES (Rinsoz & Ormond)
 In the Swiss context GAULOISES sales are largely of a yellow-pack version - GAULOISES JAUNES - which has a Maryland tobacco blend, distinctive from the familiar black French character of the other members of the family.
 This variant dates from 1952. Its present 3% market share is down from a 1975 peak of around 6. 5%. It is strongly male-biased in its profile, its image being of a strong, no-nonsense natural product. Whilst its smokers are concentrated in the 25-34 age groups, it is not appealing to younger adult smokers.
 
8. MAROCAINE (BAT Suisse)
 The MAROCAINE brand names dates from 1961, when it was produced by Vautier Freres which was integrated with BAT Suisse in 1967. The three family variants currently marketed are MAROCAINE SUPER, a Maryland filter product; MAROCAINE MILD, launched in 1976 (a medium mild spin off); and MAROCAINE EXTRA, another medium-mild extension (1980). Both are taking sales from the still-dominant parent, but MAROCAINE EXTRA is also gaining converts from MARLBORO and BRUNETTE. This version appeals to younger smokers (20-34), whereas the MAROCAINE SUPER parent is more firmly represented in the 25-49 age group.
 The brand has been associated with sport and the outdoors for many years, though MAROCAINE EXTRA has its own distinctive, younger-appeal campaign.
 
9. CAMEL (R. J. Reynolds)
 Introduced in 1967, CAMEL established itself at a steady 1. 2% market share, or thereabouts, until 1979 when its sales increased rapidly. This is particularly due to sales to German borderers and tourists, reflecting the growth of CAMEL in Germany. There are also PLAIN, DOUBLE FILTER, and MILD versions on the Swiss market.
 CAMEL's profile is predominantly male, with a strong bias to the 20-24 age group.
 
10. DUNHILL (Laurens-Rothmans)
 DUNHILL in International length was introduced into Switzerland in 1974, and SUPERIOR MILD in '78. The family dominates the very limited English Virginia sector, which tends to project a prestige, 'snob' image.
 
11. HB (BAT Suisse)
This well-known brand (BAT's German market leader) has a typical German blend, and sales to German borderers/tourists reflect this popularity. It is in fact the biggest-selling of the German-blend brands in Switzerland. BARCLAY (BAT Suisse) Brown & Williamson's BARCLAY was introduced into Switzerland in October 1982, the first of BAT's operating company markets to manufacture and launch the brand following its USA debut. The series of legal actions initiated by competitors through federal and cantonal courts has resulted in no constraints being applied on the 1 mg. 'tar' and 0. 2 mg nicotine claims on the pack.
Whilst the 1982 market share figures (used here for comparative purposes) show BARCLAY with an 0. 9% market share, an exceptional consumer response has brought BARCLAY to a current 3% plus share of market - a remarkable achievement.
1983

Drive Brands

The international brand in home market sales of USIB's in the USA and UKIB's in the UK (1996).

1996
Rank

1995
Rank

Billions

Owner

1993

1994

1995

1996

Change
95-96

1

1

Marlboro

P. Morris

349

398

422

458

+8.5%

2

2

Mild Seven

JTI

138

141

142

143

+0.5%

3

3

Winston

RJR

80

82

82

86

+5.2%

4

4

L&M

P. Morris

28

40

69

85

+23.0%

5

5

Camel

RJR

54

56

59

63

+7.2%

6

6

Bond Street

P. Morris

13

27

32

37

+13.4%

7

10

State Express 555

BAT

23

25

28

36

+28.7%

8

8

Salem

RJR

29

31

31

33

+4.4%

9

7

Philip Morris

P. Morris

26

28

32

32

+0.1%

10

9

Rothmans

Rothmans

32

29

29

30

+3.9%

11

12

West

Reemtsma

16

21

23

25

+9.2%

12

11

Merit

P. Morris

24

25

25

25

+0.9%

13

16

Dunhill

Rothmans

19

20

21

22

+6.9%

14

13

Peter Stuyvesant

Rothmans

24

23

23

22

-2.0%

15

15

Lucky Strike

BAT

15

18

21

22

+2.7%

16

17

Kent

BAT

18

20

21

22

+5.2%

17

18

Viceroy

BAT

19

20

20

21

+1.1%

18

19

Virginia Slims

P. Morris

15

18

19

20

+8.0%

19

20

Parliament

P. Morris

15

16

18

20

+13.4%

20

14

Hollywood

BAT

20

19

22

17

-20.9%

21

22

Chesterfield

P. Morris

13

17

15

16

+5.9%

22

21

Lark

P. Morris

20

18

17

16

-4.7%

23

23

Benson & Hedges

BAT

14

14

14

15

+53%

24

26

Golden American

Rothmans

10

11

13

14

+8.8%

25

25

John Player Gold

BAT

11

12

14

14

+0.5%

26

24

Pall Mall

BAT

8

8

14

13

-9.2%

27

27

Craven

Rothmans

11

9

10

9

-4.1%

28

29

Davidoff

Reemtsma

2

3

5

8

+37.7%

29

28

Gold Coast

RJR

6

8

7

6

-19.1%

30

30

Peter Stuyvesant

Reemtsma

5

5

5

5

-2.7%

31

31

Barclay

BAT

5

5

5

5

+0.1%

32

32

Cartier

Rothmans

2

2

2

2

-0.4%

33

33

Silk Cut

BAT

-

-

1

1

+5.4%

 

 

Total Drive Brands

 

1063

1166

1258

1339

+6.5%

 

 

Drive Brands as a % of World

 

20.2

21.8

23.2

24.4

 



Cigarette Brand Families by Pricing Segment

 

R.J. Reynolds

P. Morris

Lorillard

Ligget & Myers

B.A.T.

Full Price

Camel
Century
More
Now
Salem
Vantage
Winston

B&H
Commander
Marlboro
Merit
Parliament
Players
Saratoga
Virginia Slims

Kent
Max
Newport
Satin
Style
True

Chesterfield
Eve
L&M
Lark

Barclay
Belair
Capri
Carlton
H. Tareyton
Kool
Lucky Strike
Pall Mall
Raleigh
Silva Twins
Tareyton

Branded Savings

Doral
Magna
Sterling
Monarch
Best Value

Alpine
Basic
Bristol
Bucks
Cambridge

Maverick
Old Gold

Pyramid

American
Bull Durham
Misty
Montclair
Raleigh Extra
Richland
Viceroy
GPC

Private Label

Best Value (EDLP)
Cosl Cutter
Highway
Marker
Monarch (EDLP)
Pilot
Rainbow
Scotch Buy
Slim Price
Value Pride
Value & Qaulity
Vilu Time
Worth

All American
Best Buy
Eagle
F&L
Glidlock
Money
HoFrils
Premium Buy
Shield

 

Always Save
Black & Yellow
Bronson
Class A
Econo Buy
Plain Wrap
Price Breaker
Price Saver
Quality
Shurfine
Stars & Bans
Suntresh
Tourney
Western Family
Yours

Prime
Private Stock
Summit


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Cigarettes Brand

Bond Street

Camel

Chesterfield

Davidoff

Glamour

Kent

L&M (L and M)

LD Liggett-Ducat

Lucky Strike

Marlboro

More

Muratti

Pall Mall

Parliament

Salem

Sobranie

Virginia Slims

Winston

555

All Natural Native

Benson & Hedges

Black Devil

Business Club

Capri

Captain Black Little Cigars

Doral

Dreams

Du Maurier

Dunhill

Embassy

Gauloises

Gitanes

Herbal cigarettes

Honeyrose

John Player

Kool

Lark

Longbeach

Mild Seven

Nat Sherman

Natural American Spirit

Newport

Peter Jackson

Peter Stuyvesant

Player's

Players

Rothmans

Seneca

Silk Cut

The Companies | British American Tobacco

The Companies | Philip Morris

The Companies | Rothmans

Viceroy

Vogue

West

World cigarette market

World | Lights Cigarettes

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