PT H.M. Sampoerna, the Indonesian world's largest tobacco company, has begin launch clove flavored cigarettes or the Marlboro mix 9 brand name.
The subsidiary of Altria Group Inc. will start selling filtered Marlboro Mix 9 from July 9, its first new brand in 18 years, said the people, who declined to be identified before an announcement next week. Clove-flavored cigarettes, known as kretek, dominate sales in the Southeast Asian nation, the world's fifth-largest tobacco market.
The launch may help Indonesia's largest producer of tobacco products win a larger share of the estimated $10 billion market for kretek cigarettes by attracting customers of PT Gudang Garam, owned by the family of Indonesia's richest man, and the Djarum Group. Sampoerna's sales growth has been cut by tax increases.
"It's a fantastic and excellent strategy," said Rezza Zulkasi, an analyst with PT First State Investments Indonesia in Jakarta, which manages 1.5 trillion rupiah ($167 million) in assets. "People want to have the international brand, but also want the local taste."
Sampoerna will start selling the kretek Marlboro in Java and Bali, the people said. Leo Burnett, a unit of Publicis Groupe SA, the world's fourth-biggest advertising firm, will help market the product. The ad agency created the "Marlboro man" advertisement campaign in 1955.
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