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KT International adopts a personalised approach to expansion in Asia

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Bulgarian tobacco company KT International (KTI) is adapting its top international brands to meet the needs of the Asian market.

KT International, which has an annual stick capacity of 20 billion in 13 pack formats, launched a new front-opening shell pack for its Corset brand at this year’s TFWA Asia Pacific Exhibition & Conference in Singapore.

The new pack, for the brand which targets female smokers, was complemented by changes to the Falcon line which introduced an innovative filtration system. The filter is said to offer a refined smoking experience by amplifying taste and reducing harshness.

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KT International Global Marketing Director Stuart Buchanan said: “Innovation has always been a priority for KTI. We are a contemporary company with a history of tradition and an attitude to do things differently.”

Buchanan said the brand has noted “exceptional growth”, +40% year-on-year, in Europe over recent years. Asia has not been a core focus until now.

“2017/2018 will see us maintaining focus on Europe, but also expanding our footprint with a specific focus on Asia where we believe our proven track record of offering better consumer value through quality and innovation will help us achieve similar success,” Buchanan said.

“Our King brand has proven itself by offering quality at an affordable price and we believe this philosophy will help in building a solid base in Asia where consumers seek the right balance between quality and price.

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“Corset is already well established across Europe and we have brought our latest innovation to Asia. The Corset shell pack is a world first and we believe this iconic brand, combined with a unique format, will add consumer value to female consumers seeking something unique in a more premium positioning.”

The Corset shell pack: Targeting female consumers looking for “something unique”

Buchanan continued: “We believe that the importance of the Asian consumer is such, that we should develop Falcon in a direction that meets the specific needs of Asia. This includes pack format, filtration technology, blend taste profile and pack design.

“We also believe that the trade and travel retail environment will respond positively to our flexibility of meeting consumer and customer needs. Value, quality, innovation and flexibility have enabled our success to date in competing with the multi nationals and we believe that this personalised customer and consumer-driven philosophy is something intrinsic to Asia as a continent.”

KT International’s Falcon range is being redeveloped to meet the needs of the Asian market

(Source: Moodie Davitt Report)

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