The 1972 Maxwell Report
As usual, we bring readers a summary of the Maxwell Report on the U. S. cigarette market - with acknowledgements to John C. Maxwell Jr., Oppenheimer &Company of New York, Barron's magazine, and Tobacco Reporter whose versions of the Maxwell tables we reproduce. Space limitations prevent us from giving the whole of the content of the report, though we do include the major tables. One item of interest referred to by Maxwell was a review of the new brand introductions in the United States in the 1962 to 1970 period. Of these, a high proportion is no longer on the market. The survivors include True, with a 1. 5% 1972 market share, Lark and Virginia Slims (each with a 1. 2%), Doral (1. 1%), Vantage (1%), and Silva Thins (0. 9%). Most of the failures never got beyond test market.
For a summary of the situation we quote James Maxwell:
"Several notable changes took place in the tobacco industry this year. Only Philip Morris and Brown & Williamson outpaced the 3. 1% increase in industry consumption. As we predicted, Brown & Williamson (up 5. 6%) moved into third position in the industry, led by the good results of Kool, which now leads Salem as the number one mentholated brand. At current rates, Kool may shortly bypass Pall Mall for the number three position. Philip Morris' results were best, up 13.7%, led by sales of Marlboro, which increased by an outstanding 18. 0%. Benson and Hedges l00's went by Winston 100 to lead the 100 millimeter division. Industry-wide, 100mm now account for over 21% of the total and we would expect them to garner 30% by the end of the decade. We think American Brands, which has been losing ground, is moderating its de- cline and a turn might come within the next year or so. Part of this improvement may be laid to the rate of decline of the non-filter area which appears to be abating, i. e. 1969 was down 11.3%; 1970 down 10. %; 1971 down 8.8%, and 1972 is estimated to be down by 6. 5%. Reynolds' Vantage cigarette seems to be one of the most promising of the newer cigarette brands.
Lorillard's unit sales for the year were flat because of the downturn in Kent which was adversely affected by the introduction this year of several new low tar and nicotine cigarettes such as Marlboro Lights, Kool Milds, etc. However, in light of this competition True did well, moving up some 5%.
Liggett & Myers continues the largest promotional program in the industry's history which wholesale has been running between $4 and $10 per case (12, 000 units). This is the first time, at least in recent industry history, that such discounts have been given on "established" products, although some companies have discounted new introductions by as much as $7-$8 for short periods of time. In addition the company has been giving discounts of up to $0.20 per cartonretail: Because some industry participants sug ;est that the company's inventory picture at retail exceeds one month's supply rather than the normal 5-7 days, it will be difficult to surpass last year's fourth quarter where "loading" was unusually high; therefore we are projecting lower unit consumption for the year."