Japan’s ‘best-selling cigarettes’ have a new name

By Charlotte Turner |

Japan Tobacco Inc. have decided to rebrand Mild Seven cigarettes under the new name Mevius with plans to become the number one global premium brand.


It was in April of this year that Japan Tobacco International (JTI) announced that it was restyling its Mild Seven packaging.


At the time David Francis, General Manager Worldwide Duty Free Vice President at JTI, said, “Mild Seven has continuously set the pace in packaging design since its debut in Japan in 1977.


“JTI is pleased to bring the next generation pack to the travel retail market, as we take confident new steps to upgrade the image of one of our core brands.”



According to JTI, Mild Seven has been the best selling brand in Japan since 1978, a year after it was launched.


[Left: JTI announced the new design of Mild Seven packaging in April of this year to appear in store as of June 2012]


As the brand evolves the company plans to roll out the new globally unified design in November 2012 while retaining the Mild Seven name. The launch of the Mevius brand name will follow in February 2013.


Internationally, Mild Seven enjoys consumer popularity in markets including Taiwan, Korea, Malaysia and Russia. From April-June of this year shipment volume of Mild Seven cigarettes increased 1.5% “mainly driven by Taiwan as a consequence of last year’s trade inventory adjustments” said the brand.


In general, shipment of Global Flagship Brands (GFB) – Winston, Camel, Mild Seven, Benson & Hedges, Silk Cut, LD, Sobranie and Glamour – volume grew 7.2% to 130.8 billion cigarettes, driven by Russia, Spain, Italy and Turkey.



The new brand name, which JTI hopes will propel the company’s success, retains the M and S from Mild Seven, signifying a “sense of evolution and the bond between the brand and its consumers, with the addition of E and V, and I and U, respectively.


The new design retains Mild Seven’s icon and blue color. “The upward curve visualises the brand’s commitment to continuously evolve with consumers,” says the brand.


“At the same time, the package has a special texture treatment that enhances tactile sophistication, reflecting its premium positioning.”


The company plans geographic expansion after completing introductions of the new brand in existing international markets over the next 12 months.



Mitsuomi Koizumi, President and Chief Executive Officer of JT, said: “The JT Group targets sustainable profit growth in the mid to long term, based on the ‘4S’ management principle of satisfying and fulfilling our responsibilities towards consumers, shareholders, employees and wider society.”


[Right: The new name and branding of the Mevius brand]


“Tobacco is our core business and profit growth engine. By prioritising investment in this business for quality top line growth and stronger business sustainability, we are targeting our tobacco business to grow EBITDA by mid to high single digits per year over the medium to long term.


“To achieve this, we plan to further strengthen the equity of our brands by focusing on our core brands, grow or maintain share in existing key markets, broaden the geographical base and develop emerging product categories.”


“Against this backdrop, Mevius is moving forward with a new name across the world, a unified global design and an expanded product portfolio in order to command a greater international presence by enhancing brand equity, aiming to become the number one global premium brand.”


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