Tobacco Asia

Volume 20, Number 2

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32 tobaccoasia / Issue 2, 2016 May / June) Mount Tai (Confucian Slim Cigarettes) of China Tobacco Shandong Industrial Co., Ltd. volume expected to reach between 3.5 million cases (175 billion cigarettes) and 4 million cases (200 billion cigarettes). This means that in the next five years, beginning in January 2016, the market sales of slim cigarettes in China will increase by 600,000-700,000 cases (30-45 billion cigarettes) annually from the 2015 level of 700,000 cases. Although sharp growth in sales volume is a clear indicator that slim cigarettes are becoming a mainstream in China, the tobacco industry needs to develop a number of slim cigarette specifica- tions with the potential to create big competitive brands, in order to realize sustainable develop- ment, including the serial slim cigarette products of the Jinling 12 Beauties brand manufactured by Nanjing Cigarette Factory in China's Jiangsu Prov- ince. It is still unclear whether Jinling 12 Beauties will be able to operate as a relatively independent series of products, becoming a complete line of slim cigarettes and living up to their innovative potential. General Application of Crushball Technology The growing sophistication of technology and the resulting reduction of costs will enable cigarettes with flavor capsules to be universally accepted and popularized within a relatively short period. At a time when the concept of crushball technol- ogy was becoming popular in parts of the world, Chinese cigarette brands swiftly followed suit and make localized improvement to the technology in merely one or two years, which shows the increas- ing capacity for innovation and responsiveness of Chinese cigarette brands, and which also contrib- uted to greatly enriching the variety of brands. At the 2016 national tobacco work conference held in Beijing in January, cigarette products using crushball technology were all the rage. Speaking at the meeting, director general Ling Chengxing of the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration (STMA) – the regulator of China's tobacco indus- try – instructed the tobacco industry to adhere to the policy of supporting product innovation and remember the importance of technological inno- vation when adding flavor capsules into cigarettes, promote upgraded and updated cigarette products, and predicted a possible shift from the application of the crushball technology on a small scale in the initial stage to large-scale generous application of the technology in future. Presently, following the use of crushball tech- nology in traditional standard-sized cigarettes, new forms of additional flavor capsules in slim ciga- rettes and short cigarettes, production of cigarettes with twin flavor capsules, etc. have become highly effective. In particular, continued enrichment of categories of flavorings and essences makes the concept of crushball more vivid and diversified, and the application in cigarette production is gradually evolving from a hypothetical concept to a new comprehensive experience for the sense of smell and enjoyment. Today, many cigarette brands have taken up the technology in their new product develop- ment. In the second half of 2015, China Tobacco Shandong Industrial (CTSI) started research of crushball technology in an effort to build Shan- dong Province into a "national-level crushball re- search, development, and application base", and set itself as a successful example of establishing a new categories of Chinese cigarettes and applying new technology. Within such a context, a new slim cigarette product containing a flavor capsule with the tea aroma, known as the Mount Tai (Confucian slim cigarettes), emerges just in time. Therefore, CTSI became the first Chinese manufacturer to in- dependently develop a new slim cigarette product with a new tea aroma, which perfectly integrates this aroma with the flavor of tobacco. Diversity of Aromas The emergence of the crushball technology has led to the opening of a veritable "Pandora's box" of enriching and customizing types of aromas in cigarette production. As a result, the many types of aromas that were unimaginable or that simply could not be made in the past can be freely ex- perimented with and manufacturers will be able to produce them easily. This technology has ef- fectively unleashed a lot of enthusiasm of tobacco manufacturers for developing new types of aro- mas for their big cigarette brands. In comparison with the many types of aromas that were conceptualized in the past, new types of aromas developed today are more perceptual and concrete, with consumers able to easily feel and experience them in a direct way. Today, the fruity and flowery flavors developed in the past are still

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