Richmond cigarettes in packaging overhaul

Imperial Tobacco is relaunching its Richmond brand to gain greater stand-out in the crowded low-cost cigarette market.

The new-look packs, which will hit the shelves next month, are designed to give the brand a more upmarket image. The redesign follows the revamp of its stablemate, Lambert & Butler (Marketing, 14 June). Imperial Tobacco was unavailable for comment on the redesign.

The Richmond brand was launched in the UK in 2000 and has regular, smooth, superkings and menthol variants. It is the second-biggest brand in the UK market, generating sales of about ú1.6bn a year.

The number of smokers in the UK has stabilised at about 25% of the population, according to Mintel. Those who still smoke are estimated to generate revenues of ú12.6bn in 2006, up 13% since 2001.

The ban on cigarette advertising has led manufacturers to place greater emphasis on design and placement in cigarette machines.