Excerpts from Newport Lights Performance Review, 1999
Aggressive competitive promotions, new product introductions, declining cigarette consumption, and Direct Account inventory reductions have combined to negatively impact Newport Lights share and volume performance (-16% vs YAG) from November 1998 - February 1999.
> Continued competitive promotions and Direct Account inventory reductions in March will further suppress Lights shipments in the near future.
. > Marlboro Menthol Lights share has grown significantly with particular strength in Suburban and Special Emphasis -accounts. Aggressive promotions and a new line extension have accelerated growth beyond historical rates.
> While Marlboro Ultra Lights introduction will probably cannibalize Marlboro Menthol Lights business but it will most likely expand their overall low tar share and volume business in the General Market segment.
> Kool Natural appears to have added incremental share and volume in the short run but according to field observations may not be sustainable.
> Salem's re-launch does not seem to have turned the brand around with the possible exception of Tier I.
> Doral, Basic, and GPC Menthol Lights combined have a 2.4% SOM and have not grown over the latest 12 month period. However, in the current pricing environment that could change.
The Lights Leveragability Study and NPOP test results indicate Newport Light product and image attributes appear to be barriers to accelerated growth among General Market smokers.
> Newport Lights is rated at parity with competitive lights brands, but NPOP and Leveragability Study results indicate menthol flavor is a problem.
> While Newport's image is appropriate for urban younger adult smokers, the Leveragability Study indicates it is not as appropriate for General Market non urban smokers.
NPOP test results indicate that the Newport Prototype is more appealing to competitive smokers than current Newport Lights.