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Philip Morris

the Consumer Testing of Merit Cigarettes

Date: 1975
Length: 10 pages
2063822009-2063822018
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Type
MRRT, MARKET RESEARCH REPORT
CHAR, CHART, GRAPH, TABLE, MAPS
Site
N379
Area
MULLIGAN,KATHY/CARLSTADT
Named Person
Achenbaum, A.A.
Surgeon General
Litigation
Thom/Produced
Author (Organization)
PM, Philip Morris
Master ID
2063822002/2130

Related Documents:
Named Organization
Canter Achenbaum
Ftc, Federal Trade Commission
Maxwell Associates
Maxwell Report
Wheat 1st
American Inst of Consumer Opinion
Date Loaded
22 Sep 2000
Brand
Merit
Alpine
Belair
Camel
Carlton
Doral
Kent
Kool
L&M
Lark
Lucky Strike
Marlboro
Montclair
Multifilter
Newport
Old Gold
Pall Mall
Parliament
Raleigh
Salem
Tareyton
True
Vantage
Viceroy
Winston
UCSF Legacy ID
rnn52d00

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• 0 i TI-IE 'CONSIJMER TESTING OF MERIT CIGARETTES. A Report by Philip Morris Incorporated based on consumer research conducted by the American Institute of Consumer Opinion and audited by Canter, Achenbaum, Heekin Inc.
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0 THE MERIT STORY 0 Until now, cigarette manufacturers tried to make a good-tasting, low tar cigarette by designing special filters that would somehow filter.out "tar" but not taste. The results were only partially successful, because the'low tar cigarettes that were developed were generally low in taste and consumer acceptance. While this was going on, Philip Morris scientists learned how to isolate and identify individual smoke components by pioneering in the fields of gas chromatography and mass spectrometry. Using these combined techniques, key flavor ingredients were identified and reformulated to introduce •• extraordinary flavor into cigarettes without the usual increase in "tar" This new discovery is called `Enriched Flavor'n" and it was fundamental in = developing the MERIT cigarette. . At only 9 mg. "tar" per cigarette, MERIT is lower than 98 0 of all cigarettes sold today-both menthol and non-menthol. Yet the tests described in this booklet show that MERIT Regular was perceived by a majority of regular filter smokers to have more taste than the leading low tar brands tested, even those delivering up to 60% more "tar;" and that MERIT Menthol was judged by menthol filter smokers to have as much or more taste than the leading low tar menthol brands, even those delivering up to 60 o more "tar:" Warning The Sureeun Gen=_ral Has DeterrrJned That•Cieerene Smokin9 Is Dangerous toYour Yealth. I • rSiap N1nr::, h,n~q..rmvJ 107 ; r15 Ri~,ht Re~ned I
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BACKGROUND TO THE TESTS Philip Morris Incorporated, like most other manufacturers of consumer - products, conducts an extensive testing program before marketing a new product. When the 'Enriched Flavor' process was developed, preliminary testing indicated that MERIT had a much better taste than that normally associated with a cigarette so low in "tar." Philip Morris set out to verify these preliminary results with the most extensivetonsumer testing program it has ever undertaken, to ascertain whether MERIT would be perceived. by a large number of smokers of all types of cigarettes as having as much or more taste than cigarettes delivering significantly more "tar:" To ensure the objectivity of the research, Philip Morris retained the independent marketing counseling firm of Canter, Achenbaum, Heekin _ Inc. Mr. Alvin A. Achenbaum, a well-known authority in the marketing research field, assisted in developing and interpreting the tests in strict accordance with accepted scientific research principles and practices. ~ The opinion of the research program by Mr. Achenbaum's firm can be found at the end of this booklet. The purpose of this booklet is to describe the tests, and their results, in detail. The following sections list the brands.tested against MERIT explain how and why they were chosen, detail how the tests were conducted and give the test results against each of the brands. 0
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The median "tar" delivery of the cigarette brands sold in the United States today is approximately 17 to 18 mg. per cigarette. (Actually, "tar" refers to the dry particulate matter in cigarette smoke and has nothing to do with the common meaning of the urord tar.) Non-filter cigarettes have the highest "tar'r content, often delivering in the high 20's or even over 30 mg. per cigarette. The low tar segment of the cigarette industry is generally considered rto consist of brands that deliver 15 mg., or less, of `rtar" per cigarette. This is approximately the lower third of the more than 140 varieties of cigarettes available to the American public. The five best-selling regular and the five best-selling menthol cigarettes in the low tar category (all of which, like MERIT, are king size) deliver between 1I and 15 mg. of "tar" per cigarette; or between 20 o and 60 0 more "tar" than MERIT In the aggregate, they accounted for approximately 69% of all low tar non-menthol cigarettes and 75% of all low tar menthol cigarettes sold in the United States during the first six months of 1975? Low Tar Non-Menthols Tested t Non-Menthol Brands _ "Tai' Delivery' Sales Jan: lune 1975 (BtllionsR ° of Low Tar Non-Menthol . Cigarette Sales Vantage 12 mg. 4.35 22°.. Parliament King 15 mg. 3.39 16T. Truc 85 11 mg. 2.49 11°.. Marlboro Li hts 12 mg 2.43 11 0 g Dotal . 15mg. 1.87 9~ Totals - 15.03 69 n Low Tar Menthols Tested Menthol Brands "Tar" Dcliven• Sales Jan: lune 1975 (Billinnsi °~ of Low Tar Menthol Cit;arenc Salcr, Belair ' 15 mg. 3.07 29% Kool Milds 13 mg. 1.69 16 -. True 85 12 mg. 1.23 11 '" DOral 13 mg. 1.15 11 m Vantage II mg. 0.85 8 1 Totals - 7.99 75 "' Approximately half a dozen of the over 140 available cigarette varieties deliver less "tar" than MERIT; but none is a market leader, and only one, Carlton Regular, which delivers 4 mg. of "tar" per cigarette, has any appreciable market share (slightly smaller than Doral Regular)? ' Rta demrd from the Federal Trade Commcction reEnre tssued in Apnl 1975 This repon cnnuined the most cunent FTC daa nn "tar" and mcmnc deLverss a.ailable ar ahr nme :hex esa ~•xrc cnnduned 17x su6,equent FTC Aepen sxued tn Nn, emt•er 1975 shous tFat none of the ~rands tesred a€ain t>tEn!T chanped l+s' mere than 1 mg -:u- rer cgascne. and none urre !cLLCr than 11 ,:,~. er h,Ehe than 16 mg, N ~ W EN~7 N ~ eaies data atc taken tom the Firet and 4cond Qaaner 1975 Mau••d! Rcperts pubiuhcc by Maxvel! .'vc~.arns. a O of Wheat. Fint Securities Inc. µ' 'Alt-iouch ;he MERlT :e.y u,e,e eenductud aE::at'`ande h,r^.er in to ascstam _,e effea of 't-ncud Ravor"' in tr..proa;ng the taste 14 . C nc n¢-.rene. a sir..i!ar tasm test uas lartr conduc:ed Ie:'acen h:.RIT and Grlton ior tne sa0e of complete:rass i ne ro,i!u ate ut oct later in thv b_rklet. N 4
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The tests were conducted by the American Institute of Consumer niort, an inc3ependent private testing organization. Philip Morris supplied the cigarettes and constructed the test questionnaires and methodology, with the assistance of Mr. Achenbaum. In each of the tests, ~ three packs of MERIT and three packs of the other brand «•ere mailed to a panel of 500 smokers (an aggregate of 5000 smokers) who had previously indicated that their regular brand was a king size filter cigarette -menthol in the case of the menthol tests and non-menthol in the non-menthol'tests. Each panel of 500 was constructed in such a way as to be representative of all consumers smoking the appropriate (regular or menthol) type of king ~ size cigarette with respect to sex, current brand, and geographic area, with the exception that no cigarettes were mailed to Alaska, Hawaii, an8 the twelve states where mail testing of this rype is restricted by law. In each test, MERIT cigarettes and the other brand were packaged in plain white paper packs identified only by code letters and numbers. To avoid bias due to code identification, one half of the MERIT cigarettes were identified with one code (e.g., T-79), and tested against the other', brands identified with a second code (e.g., F-26). The other half of the panelists received the two brands with the code identifications reversed. In addition, one half of the panelists in each test were instructed to srr_ioke MERIT first and the other half to smoke MERIT second. The cigarettes were "masked" so that the brand name could not be identified except in several cases where, because the name extended so far down the cigarette rod, it could not be masked without possibly affecting the smoking characteristics of the cigarette. In order to ensure that no bias resulted when panelists could identify one brand, one of the cigarettes was tested against MERIT both "masked" and identified. The results showed that this did not make a difference. All panelists were instructed not to smoke any other cigarettes during the test period- Also, to ensure that each panelist was able.to recall his or her initial opinion of the cigarettes, a questionnaire was sent with the cigarettes on which to note reactions to each of the test cigarettes as the panelist completed smoking each of the sets. Beginning about ten days after the samples were mailed, the American . Institute of Consumer Opinion attempted to telephone each person on ! the panel in order to conduct a detailed interview to establish preferences benveen the test cigarettes. Of the 5000 smokers to whom cigarettes were mailed in these tests, 1430 either had no chance to participate in the test (e.g., never received cigarettes, moved, etc.) or were not qualified to be included in the results by virtue of having switched to a brand outside of MERIT's target segment (e.g., switched to a non-filtered or 100 mm 46 cigarette). Interl•iews «•ere completed with 2972 of the remaining 3570 qualified smokers for a participation rate of S3 0. This is higher than that normally obtained in similar surveys. 5
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0 The brands regularly smoked by the 2972 panelists were almost in direct proportion to the shares of market these brands have in the marketplace, as indicated below: Comparison of Panelists' Brands and Sales of King size Non-menthol Filter Cigarette Brands Brand and Type Panelists' Regular Brand of Cigarettes January-June 1975 Sales' Base: Total in Non-Menthol Tests (1633) Marlboro 80/85 27.3 27.8 ~ Winston 80/85 23.4 26.7 Kent King 7.5 7.2 Viceroy King 5.2 4.7 T:ucrytnn Filter King 4.0 4.4 Vantage 5.1 3.8 Raleigh King 3.6 3.4 L&M King 3.1 3.3 Parliament King 3.0 2.7 Camel Filter 1.9 2.3 True King 1.$ 2.0 Marlboro Lights 2.5 1.9 Lark King 2.2 1.5 Doral 2.0 1.5 Old Gold Filter King 1.9 1.5 Carlcon 1.5 1.3 Winston Lights 1.9 1.2 Multifilter L0 0.8 Lucky Tens - 0 5 Raleigh Milds 0.2 . 0:3 Pall Mall Mild 0.5 0.3 Viceroy Milds 0.1 0.3 All Others 0.2 0.6 Comparison of Panelists' Brands and Sales of King size Menthol Filter Cigarette Brands Panelists' Regular Brand of Cigarettes January-June 1975 Sales' Base: Total in Menthol Tests (13391 Kool/Kool Milds 43.0 46.5 Salem 32.6 . 32.9 Belair 7.4 5.9 Nervpon 4.6 4.7 True 3.7 2.4 Doral 2.4 2.2 Alpine 2.2 1.3 \'r~ntage 2.1 1.6 Mzrlboro Green 0.9 1.1 Carlton 1.0 0.8 Monrclair Muhifih.er 0.1 0.2 All Others 4) Among the panelists, 89 0 of the regular smokers and 8I o of the menthol smokers reported that they have tried at least one low tar brand at one time or another. 'Salvs data ar eaken (rn:n the Fn. and Second Qaaner, 197: "ax-ell Repnns pvF!shed bv Aiax..xl! A,.ccutes.a a dis^.vnn nl' R~eur Fvst =ecurmes Inc S:nec thete refr:u prm, .ic ccmbtnec sro dan fa: Carl[en Retu!ar and ~Senehd.:!:e vies brr.:Ln~~n..a esan:md on the bans n(Si =rreular mu 2C°• menthol. 6
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RESULTS OF THE MERIT TESTS s A. Comparative Taste Levels After it was established that they had smoked both MERIT and the other brand, the participating panelists were asked: "Did you notice any difference in taste between the (Code) cigarettes you tried first and the cigarettes coded you tried second?"' , If the panelists responded "Yes" to this question, they were then asked: "Which cigarette has the most taste, the one you smoked first coded , or the one you tried second coded ?" The table below summarizes the results obtained. MERIT Regular vs. Total Other Brand Other Low Tar Smokers MERIT Has Has Most No Non-Menrhofs In Test ' Most Taste Taste Difference \'antage (328) 51'.+' 35% 14% Parliament King (344) 53 %' 32% 15% True 85 (3251 57 e, ' 35 ~ 8 r Marlboro Lights (309) 541. 31:a 15 % Doral (326) 54 0 ' 32'„ 14 % Total (1632) 54V 33 0 13% MERIT Menthol vs. Other Low'iar Menthols &lair (252) 46 '* . 46 n 8:a Kool Mflds (276) 42, 43:e 15 9,, True 85 (3021 52 0 42 a 6' Doral (255) 51%' 34. 15q Vantage (2531 58`n' 30% 12, Total .. 113381 50'.` 39% 11% 'Denotes preferences for MERIT that are statistically significant at the 95° confidence level. 51n vach tat nnc half nf rhe r anehsts tried MERIT hm and rhr nrFrr brand xcond. ,chJe thc nrmaimnk half trled thr onc. ucarcne {tm :md MERIT rrond. , 46
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0 B. Taste Preference The participating panelists were then asked: "Which cigarette's taste did you like better -that of the cigarette coded or the one coded ~ The table below summarizes the results obtained. MERIT Regular t•s. Total Other Low Tar Smokers Prefer MERIT's Prefer Other No Preference/ ., Von-Mcnthols In Test Tnste Brand's Taste No DitFirencc Vantage 1328) 4QR` 34°0 17% Parliament King (344) 52 M 32'b 16 _~ True 85 (325) 69`0' 2D'„ Il'~ MarlboroLights ' (3091 49°0 34';, 170 Doral (326) 53 0' 3l ~ 16, Tenl 11632) 54=' 30% 15% MERIT Menthol vs. . ' . Othbr Low Tar Menthols Belair (252) 49 ~ 40' 11 ~ Kool Milds (276 41% 42 0 17 ; True 85 (3p2) 6'r a' 24 0 0 Donl (255) 49:.• l4° li". Vantage (2531 $4 1' 32". 14'0 Total (13381 52"D 34°,. I1^ *Denotes preferences for MERIT that are statistically significant at the 95o confidence level. 'In e2ch test conducmd. one half of the pandisa med,MERIT firsr and the other 6rand:econd. u-hile tle rema)mng half ined the other agarrtte first vnd NaR second, r ti
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0 C. Overall Cigarette Preference The participating panelists were also asked: "Which of the test cigarettes did you like better-the (Code) cigarettes you tried first, or the cigarettes.coded . you : tTied second?"' The table below summarizes the results obtained. MERIT Re ular N-a. Other Low Ttr Total Smokcrs Prefer Prefer No \on-\tenthols In Test MERIT Other Brand Preference \antage 0281 55 n' 36% 9°0 Plrliamcnt King (345) . 56°' 35% 9°0 True 8i (325) 701V '2`T. I'm MnrlbnroLiRhts ('3091 5l`~' 38% 11% Doral (3261 58 %' 36 r 6% Total 116331 58:0 332 9< MERIT \knthol ~•s. . . OtherLotc Tar Menthols . . Belair (253) 50`T 43`:. "r ~ Kcoll.filds 1276) 47" 47°. . 6+. True 85 (302) 7M` 25, 5 "~ Doral (2551 55` ~. 38~:. 7'~ Vantage (253) 5i'~ 3i - 6 ~ Total (1339) 38"b 6 n - *Denoces,preferences for MERIT that are statistically significant at the 95% confidence level. - 'ln e.tch mst nne hal(of the panelim, tned a¢RIT flra and the rnher brand recond..chdr the rcmxirnnRhalf nird the ncher ei}arene tint and }tERr(.reond. N ~ W ~ N N ~ ' O 9
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• 0 D. Subsequent Test As indicated in Footnote #3, MERIT was subsequently tested against non-menthol Carlton, the largest selling brand lower in "tar" than MERIT The table below summarizes the results obtained.in the test'` , Total Smokers In Test " MERIT Has Most Taste Cariton Has Most Taste No Difference (316) 8Z°:; 12 "n 6':. Prefer Prefer MER1T's Carltods No Preference/ Taste Taste No Differencc (316) 78:.• 10:, 1I';, Prefer Prefer No . MERIT Carlton Preference (316) 79 a` 13 " 8`S. "Denotes preferences for MERIT that are statistically significant at the 95 % confidence level. YTlx methodolog9 md questions asked k<re the same as in the ocher ten tats. 10

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