Imperial plans Drum cigarettes

Drum, the world’s leading rolling tobacco brand owned by Imperial Tobacco, has been extended into factory-made cigarettes which could eventually be launched in the UK.

Cigarettes under the Drum name have just been launched in Holland, where the brand has about 30 per cent of the roll-your-own tobacco market by volume, which itself accounts for nearly 50 per cent of the total tobacco market.

Graham Blashill, managing director of Imperial Tobacco UK, says: “There is a possibility that Drum cigarettes could come to the UK.”

The Netherlands tobacco market is considered to be atypical because of the high demand for hand -rolling tobacco. But there is a belief that the market will follow the rest of Europe, where cigarettes are much more popular than roll-your-own.

In Holland Drum cigarettes are priced at a similar level to premium brands, such as Marlboro, at just under 2.

Imperial is planning to introduce the Drum brand name in the UK from May 1, following the purchase of the Douwe Egberts Van Nelle’s tobacco business in April last year.

Drum tobacco was marketed under the Duma brand name in the UK, because rival Gallaher owned rights to the Drum trademark. The rights have now been sold to Imperial following the resolution of a trademark dispute (MW January 1).

Labels are being stuck on existing packets of Duma to inform consumers that the name of the product will change.

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