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ITC launches new cigarette brand
Hindu Business Line - 15 Sep 2008

Tobacco major ITC Ltd said it has launched Wills Navy Cut Regular size filer cigarettes, priced at Rs 24 a pack of 10 sticks in select markets in north and west India

"The brand has been launched keeping in mind ITC's objective of delivering superior quality and value to, all its consumers," the company said in an e-mailed response to NewsWire18.

The new cigarettes, which have been launched in select retail markets such as Mumbai and Pune, could be rolled out nationally based on the response from these "test markets", ITC's distributors said. Analysts believe ITC's move to launch the new cigarette directly through retailers instead of the company’s distributor network could be a part of a strategy to de-emphasise Wills as a tobacco brand.

They believe ITC could be transforming Wills into a Iifestyle brand. Another reason could be the need to plug product gaps in the lower end of the price band. “A new launch by ITC in the Rs 24 bracket is good. It may be filling the gaps in that price range, especially after the volume loss from the non- filters segment," said Mr Anand Shah, analyst with Angel Broking.