Imperial to roll out ‘youth’ Rizla in UK

Imperial Tobacco is to launch a premium-priced “youth” rolling paper called Rizla Silver next month. Rizla Silver will be the first major addition to the brand in over three years.

Already available in Europe, the papers will be thinner and narrower than the existing Rizla range. Rizla Silver is expected to appeal to younger rolling tobacco users, marking a departure from Rizla’s traditional red-, green- and blue-packaged papers.

One industry source says: “Imperial Tobacco wants to attract younger consumers, such as people who go to nightclubs, with Rizla Silver.”

The launch will be backed by a “heavy” advertising campaign, according to sources. Imperial Tobacco has said it will support the Rizla brand with a &£1m print and poster campaign this summer, using the strapline: “It’s what you make of it”.Rizla dominates the rolling papers market, with over two-thirds of sales, but its share has been eroded by increased competition over recent years from rival Zig-Zag.

Zig-Zag has introduced a number of innovations to its premium paper range, including a holographic pack designed to appeal to younger smokers. This has helped it steal market share in the traditionally staid papers market.

This month, 250,000 packets of Zig-Zag rolling papers will be given out free at the V music festivals, as part of a deal with Virgin Mobile. The packs will carry ads to support Virgin Mobile’s current campaign, which uses the strapline: “The Devil makes work for idle thumbs”.

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