John Player Special King Size
Japanese Qualitative Study
Specific Discussion Area
Evaluations of the product:
The product apparently gave a different impression from the package. Most respondents commented that the product was "mild" and did not have any "peculiarity" that the package tended to connote ?ˆ” a very contemporary type of cigarette which would suit "general smokers".
In other words, the product was said to have no particular characteristics in taste and aroma to differentiate it from others. Although a few respondents in every group tended to feel a kind of "peculiarity" or "aftertaste", such points were said to be relatively low in degree and most respondents mentioned that the product was "easy to smoke" and "suited for the Japanese smoker".
A few respondents mentioned that they had a kind of "deceived" feeling because they had anticipated a strong or a "peculiar" product from the package design. These respondents, however, agreed to that the product had an acceptable quality.
The majority of the respondents being smokers of Mild Seven, Seven Stars, Cabin (charcoal filter products), etc. who occasionally purchased Lark or Lark Milds (also charcoal filtered), the product, in short, appeared to have been evaluated similar to their regular brands and thus acceptable, overall.
Typical comments were as follows:
Smokers of Mild Seven, Seven Stars and Cabin
"It's mild. I imagine that it will sell well if the package design was altered."
"The taste is very different from the image I had from the package. It hasn't even got a kind of peculiar aroma that some imported cigarettes have."
"It's similar to Mild Seven or Cabin."
"It tastes good. I can even change from Cabin to this one."
The above comments were given by those who reacted particularly favorably to the product.
"It's really mild."
"It has no taste."
"There are some imported cigarettes I can't smoke a pack because of peculiar taste. This one has no such a problem..."
"I have a kind of feeling that t was deceived...."
"I have a feeling that the smoke doesn't come in smoothly..."
"It's a very plain cigarette."
"It tastes like Lark Milds I often smoke."
There were a few respondents who mentioned that the smoke did not penetrate the filters smoothly. Such a comment was made by some of those who noticed perforations on the filter.
Compared to male respondents, evaluations tended to vary among "mild", "strong" and "pungent". The followings were the comments made by female respondents:
"I guess most mild cigarettes have perforations."
"It's mild and the smoke doesn't stick to my throat."
"I felt the cigarette was mild because I was anticipating a strong product (from the package)."
"It's a bit pungent though it's not too sharp."
"It's perforated, but still a bit sharp."
"I feel like drinking milk after smoking it ?ˆ” it's peculiar."
"It's sharp on my tongue."
There were several male respondents, though h the minority, who felt a degree of pungency or sharpness. They commented:
"It has a slightly pungent aftertaste though I didn't feel it while smoking."
"It's a bit sharper than Cabin?ˆ¦ though I don't mind it so much."
"It's less smooth than Mild Seven and Seven Stars for a charcoal filter cigarette."