SEOUL, Feb. 8 (Korea Bizwire) — Bolstered by its rising market share, British American Tobacco (BAT) Korea, is showcasing another marketing tactic: a compact cigarette pack at an ‘affordable’ price.
BAT Korea announced on February 6 that it would launch a limited edition called Dunhill Pocket Pack, a 14-cigarette pack for 3,000 won (US$ 2.75).
Although the pack is smaller — most packs have 20 cigarettes — the seemingly inexpensive price might be an appealing selling point in South Korea, where many smokers have decided to quit or cut back due to the government-led price hikes that came into effect at the beginning of the year.
The effectiveness of BAT Korea’s pricing tactics remain to be seen, but foreign cigarette brands have generally turned out to be major beneficiaries of South Korea’s cigarette price hike policy.
In fact, foreign cigarettes outsold KT&G Corp., South Korea’s dominant tobacco product manufacturer, for the first time in 29 years last month, according to market data gleaned from the nation’s two main convenience store chains’ cigarette sales for January.
Many foreign brands have reduced prices for their products, which has helped to win over local consumers. BAT marketed its Vogue brand at a low price of 3,500 won per pack, which is cheaper than the prices of most South Korean cigarettes, which currently sell for 4,500 won.
If BAT Korea’s bet on the ‘compact pack’ is successful, it is highly likely that their competitors will employ similar tactics, according to market watchers.
By Jerry M. Kim (email@example.com)