Gallaher drops Mayfair brand

Tobacco company Gallaher has pulled its Mayfair hand-rolling tobacco brand from the market after less than a year.

The brand was hailed by the company as a potential market leader when it launched in April last year. It was the first time a UK cigarette brand has been pushed into the lower-priced roll-your-own market, which has remained a popular alternative as cigarette prices have risen over recent years.

Industry sources say the failed launch highlights how difficult it is to launch a new brand in a market where advertising has been banned.

Gallaher plans to bounce back from the withdrawal of Mayfair by launching another brand next month. The company will extend its Samson brand with a range called Samson Bright, a lighter-flavoured tobacco that will come in honey-coloured packaging.

Sources close to Gallaher say the company will position the brand at the value-for-money end of the market, following the failure of the higher-priced Mayfair.

Gallaher is a major competitor in the hand-rolling tobacco market, with its Amber Leaf and Old Holborn brands, although Imperial Tobacco is market leader with brands such as Drum and Golden Virginia.

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