BRANDS OF CHOICE

Our tobacco portfolio is made up of a combination of successful international and local brands and we're building a compelling range of next generation products too.

We celebrate the enduring success of our iconic tobacco brands. At the same time, we are innovating to create alternative products, delivering increasingly satisfying experiences for consumers.

Our product stories

  • The 'next steppers'

    The 'next steppers'

    Our vape brand blu is squarely aimed at the ‘next stepper’ – more mature consumers who are making a broader lifestyle shift, like starting a family.  

  • Heated tobacco

    Heated tobacco

    Our commitment to forging a path for healthier moments of pleasure and relaxation is reflected in the rapid progress we are making in the heated tobacco category.

  • Modern oral nicotine

    Modern oral nicotine

    Modern oral nicotine has rapidly gained popularity in recent years in certain parts of the world as a tobacco-free alternative to smoking and traditional smokeless products.

  • A zero carbon factory

    A zero carbon factory

    Our snus brands are made at our modern factory in Sweden, the first in our global manufacturing portfolio to be designated as carbon neutral.

Our brands

  • Diana Hellings, Senior Project Manager, Combustible Product Concepts Realisation 

    JPS

    John Player Special launched in the UK in 1970 and, for more than 50 years, JPS has offered premium tobacco at an affordable price. The original and iconic black and gold livery adorned the race cars of motorsport world champions in the 1970s, but as times have changed, so have we.

    Expanding internationally through the 1990s and 2000s, JPS has established a significant cigarette and fine cut tobacco presence in 18 countries beyond the UK, chief among them Germany and Australia.

    The ‘Let The Players Play’ campaign celebrates the brand’s inclusive and ‘glass half full’ attitude, embodied through our support for grassroots musicians in Germany. 

    In 2023 came the launch in Germany of JPS Motion, an innovative new product designed in response to consumer insights. Motion is blended to achieve a reduced after-taste and includes touch technology which allow the consumer to lessen lingering smoke smells on the fingers. Similarly, in Australia a new range, JPS Evolve, has been developed to meet changing consumer expectations of the smoking experience.


    Brand timeline

    1970 JPS launched as a Virginia blend product in the UK
    1989 JPS king size American blend launched 
    1990s Brand gains a foothold in continental Europe
    2010s Rapid growth in popularity in Australia at time of high excise
    2023 Launch of Motion in Germany and Evolve in Australia
  • Zuzana Buckingham, Head of Brand Development, Davidoff

    Davidoff

    Davidoff is one of the most recognisable premium names in tobacco and beyond, globally, with a heritage closely tied to its founder, entrepreneur Zino Davidoff. Hailing from a Kyiv-based family of tobacconists, Zino travelled through Central & South America and the Caribbean in the 1920s to hone his tobacco leaf expertise in the pursuit of a leading product.

    A milestone moment for Davidoff cigarettes came with the 1989 launch of Premium Line, a distinctive longer stick format. This is still the best-selling product in the Davidoff range.

    Davidoff cigarettes were added to the Imperial portfolio in 2002 as part of the company’s acquisition of Reemtsma. Imperial acquired the Davidoff trademark for cigarettes outright in 2006.

    Since 2014 Davidoff has been present in more than 100 countries with a particular prominence in Taiwan, Saudi Arabia and key markets in central and southern Europe. It’s also one of the most popular brands among globetrotting smokers, performing strongly in the global duty-free channel.


    Brand timeline

    1906 Zino Davidoff is born in Kyiv
    1926 Zino travels to South America to master his tobacco know-how
    1989 Davidoff's new cigarette format ‘Premium Line’ launched
    2006 Imperial acquires the Davidoff trademark for cigarettes.
    2014 onwards Davidoff expands into more 100 countries and introduces new product ranges
  • Franklin Damien, Brand Marketing Manager, Africa

    Gauloises

    What began as a filterless cigarette in France over a century ago has evolved into an internationally respected brand, available in around 35 countries. Germany, Morocco, and Algeria are the three most important markets for Gauloises, which also has a significant presence in Iraq and France.

    Gauloises’ French roots and enduring association with 1960s and 1970s counter-culture cement the brand’s iconic status. Contrary to the usual cigarette category colour cues, in markets where they can be used, Gauloises Blue is the full flavour variant, and Gauloises Red its lower tar alternative.

    We’ll continue to develop new products in response to evolving consumer expectations. Recent additions to the portfolio include Gauloises Gold, a lower tar blend available in Germany, and Gauloises Fusion, a crushball product available in North Africa to offer adult smokers a customisable experience.

    As we look to the future, sustainable packaging and product solutions will play a growing part of the brand story. Gauloises has, for example, been at the forefront of pilots to assess the viability of paper-based filters.


    Brand timeline

    1910 Gauloises launches in France
    1984-85 American blend Gauloises ‘Blondes’ supports the brand’s internationalisation
    2008 Gauloises becomes a part of Imperial's brand portfolio
    2014 Modernisation of the brand through the ‘vive le moment’ strapline
    2022 Gold and Fusion launched in Germany and North Africa respectively
  • Stefania Bolt, Product Development Senior Specialist

    West

    West launched in Germany in 1981 to challenge the rising popularity of premium American blend cigarette offerings. It gained traction quickly among German smokers, who prized the combination of its premium taste characteristics and value price positioning.

    By the end of the decade West had become one of the leading tobacco brands in the country and begun to internationalise across central and eastern Europe. West was, for several years, a sponsor of a Formula 1 race car team and has also pioneered the use of innovative filter technologies and 'expanded’ volume tobacco, among other industry firsts.

    Today, with a presence in more than 40 diverse markets, West is one of the biggest-selling brands in our international cigarette portfolio. In addition to its home market other key territories include Spain, Saudi Arabia and Taiwan.  

    We continue to focus on providing choice and value to West consumers. We’re maintaining a broad range of fine cut tobacco extensions, delivering limited edition packs, and driving consumer-relevant cigarette innovations such as slower burning paper.


    Brand timeline

    1981 West launches in Germany
    1997 West becomes sponsor of the McLaren F1 team, a partnership that runs until 2005
    1999 Launch of innovative ‘streamtec’ filter in central and eastern Europe.
    2006 Use of expanded tobacco revolutionises West fine cut tobacco range
    2021 Slow burning paper introduced for West cigarettes
  • Marla Blackwell, Brand Marketing Director, US

    Winston

    Winston has always commanded strong recognition among American 21+ smokers since its introduction way back in 1954. This iconic brand took just 12 years to become the most popular cigarette in the States and, while it experienced a decline under previous owners, today it remains one of the top ten best-selling cigarette brands in the country. Imperial doesn’t own the brand outside of the US.

    Our focused investment in the brand starts with what we know about typical Winston adult consumers in the US: they’re deeply patriotic, lovers of the outdoors and automotive enthusiasts, particularly in the context of motorsport.

    We continue to harness the brand’s timeless feel as we look to the future. Following a successful trial in Texas in 2022, we refreshed Winston packs for the first time in several years, introducing a new look and design.

    Our work to revitalise Winston is paying off, with the brand growing share of the premium value segment.


    Brand timeline

    1954 Winston launches in the US
    1966 Winston becomes the leading US cigarette brand
    1971 Long relationship with motor racing begins
    2015 Imperial acquires the Winston brand in the US
    2022 First packaging refresh in several years
  • Stephanie Nelson, Brand Marketing Director

    Kool

    Kool is the original menthol cigarette brand in the US, where it was the first to gain national distribution way back in 1933.

    It maintained a dominant position in the category throughout much of the 20th Century and was synonymous with the US jazz scene of the 1970s and 80s. Even today, Kool is particularly popular among the menthol smokers of Louisiana, the birthplace of jazz.

    By building on this unrivalled heritage, we’re working hard to unlock Kool’s full potential and to restore its market position.

    At the centre of our efforts is our deep understanding of a typical Kool consumer – urban-based adult smokers who love the energy of city life. We’re encouraged by the results so far, with Kool rebuilding market share of the premium value segment in the States.

    2023 was a landmark year for Kool, as it saw the launch of the first ever non-menthol line extension, Kool Luxe, which was rolled out nationally in two flavour variants.


    Brand timeline

    1933 Kool is the first menthol brand to gain national distribution in the US
    1976 Kool Jazz Festival begins and continues through the 1980s
    2015 Imperial acquires the Kool brand in the US
    2022 Kool‘s first rewards program, Koolcoin, is launched
    2023 Introduction of non-menthol Kool Luxe
  • Jamie Burns Smith, Brand Manager

    L&B

    Lambert & Butler takes its name from a tobacco company founded in London by Charles Lambert and Charles Butler in 1834. The Lambert & Butler business became part of the Imperial family upon the foundation of the company in 1901, making L&B one of our most historic cigarette brands.

    Throughout its history L&B has remained one of the most well-known and popular cigarette brands in the UK. Today it maintains a double-digit share in one of our most important markets.

    L&B has a presence in more than 40 markets in total, in many cases as a trusted option for British smokers seeking relaxation and pleasure in southern Europe’s tourist destinations. It was successfully introduced to the Australian market in 2021.

    Product innovation and range extensions are playing an important role as we stay focused on the evolving needs of consumers. Recent improvements made to L&B Blue cigarettes include enhanced filter technology and rolling tobacco variants have been added to the L&B range.


    Brand timeline

    1834 Business founded by Charles Lambert and Charles Butler
    1936 Imperial’s first filtered cigarette is L&B’s Varsity
    1979 King size variant launched
    2014 L&B Blue launches in both a king size and super king size format
    2019 Launch of L&B Silver rolling tobacco
  • Ana Rubio, Brand Manager, Spain

    Fortuna

    Fortuna is one of our cherished ‘local jewel’ brands in Spain, where it continues to build on a legacy of modernisation and evolution to keep pace with consumer expectations. 

    For many smokers here, the brand remains synonymous with sport sponsorships and bold advertising campaigns of the 1980s and 1990s. More recent innovations – including a major refresh in 2019, which heralded a new era for the brand – have kept Fortuna relevant among adult smokers in what is a highly competitive market. 

    Fortuna has a particular strength across central, eastern and southern Spain, with almost nine in ten sales made here. 

    With offerings in both the mid and lower price categories, the brand benefits from having the most extensive portfolio in the Spanish cigarette market. Several variants in the range offer quality and value across the ‘big box’ segment, an important part of the market and one in which Fortuna plays a leading role. 

    As the brand reaches its 50-year anniversary, change founded on consumer insights will continue to play a part in the Fortuna story. 


    Brand timeline

    1974 The brand is established in Spain by Tabacalera
    1980 Fortuna takes a pioneering role in sports sponsorship activities
    1980s The brand modernises through a series of bold and edgy ad campaigns
    2019 Major packaging and logo refresh ends a period of reduced investment
    2021 Significant quality enhancements through filter and packaging innovations
  • Maria Monjardin, Brand Manager

    Nobel

    From the time of its launch in 1981, Nobel has always had a unique and characterful place in the Spanish cigarette market.

    Play the video to hear more from Brand Manager Maria Monjardin on Nobel's status as one of our 'local jewel' brands in Spain.



    Brand timeline

    1981 Nobel launched in Spain by Tabacalera
    2000 Art and creativity established at centre of brand values
    2019 Major packaging and logo refresh ends a period of reduced investment
    2020-21 Further reinvigoration through modern pack designs
    2022-23 Nobel enters the super slims category
  • Carmen Abella, Head of News brand

    News

    News is one of the leading cigarette brands in France, with a market share of around six per cent.

    The brand was launched in the early 1980s in local response to competitors’ introduction of premium American blend products. From its inception, News has always been aimed at meeting the needs of smokers seeking to trade down from pricier brands without compromising on quality.

    News is available across multiple formats in all tobacco categories, including roll-your-own and make-your-own. In cigarettes, the brand has a particular strength in larger pack sizes, and the range is extended by the value alternative, News and Co.

    In France, sales of News are skewed to the north of the country, but the brand is also available in the neighbouring travel retail destinations of Spain and Belgium. In addition, News has a domestic market presence in the Canary Islands and Madagascar.

    As we look to the brand’s future, we continue to focus on quality – driving cigarette blend enhancements in line with consumer expectations and packaging improvements for our fine cut tobacco range. 


    Brand timeline

    1980 News launched in France as a value challenger
    1990s Product range extended through the launch of News ‘make-your-own’
    2004 First launched in travel retail destinations outside France
    2016 News and Co launched
    2022 Launch of further News variants in Spain
  • Antonio Gutierrez, Executive Vice President of Operations, ITG Brands

    Backwoods

    Backwoods is an iconic mass market cigar brand that has fostered strong ties to popular culture throughout its 50-year history. It has a loyal following among its consumers in the USA and beyond, who tell us they identify with its commitment to authenticity and originality.

    Backwoods has a firm association with both the music and comedy scenes, particularly within the hip-hop community in the States. This is maintained through carefully planned activations, including a regular presence at festivals across the country.

    All Backwoods cigars are made using a 100 per cent broadleaf tobacco wrapper which gives each of them a unique and rustic appearance – no two look the same. There are nine flavour variants to suit differing consumer tastes, each seeking to deliver a premium quality experience.

    As this popular and highly recognisable brand keeps going strong beyond its landmark 50th birthday, we continue to view Backwoods as well positioned in the mass market cigar category.


    Brand timeline

    1973 Backwoods is introduced in the US
    1980s The ‘wild 'n mild’ slogan, which remains on packs today, is born
    1990s Backwoods climbs the charts with frequent references in US hip-hop tracks
    2020 Popular wild rum flavour released
    2022 Backwoods launches new banana flavour in the market
  • Mike Signal, Regional Marketing Manager

    Champion

    Champion is an Aussie legend, an iconic rolling tobacco brand with a long local heritage stretching back more than 100 years.

    The brand’s loyal followers tell us they are appreciative of Champion’s distinctive taste and aroma and – as with any typical connoisseur – are willing to pay a little extra for a quality experience.

    Champion’s heritage and quality ensures it remains one of the most relevant and valuable tobacco brands in Australia, one of Imperial’s five priority markets. It is one of the best-selling rolling tobacco brands in the country, and the cornerstone of our local fine cut tobacco portfolio.

    The classic Ruby variant remains far and away the most popular in the range, accounting for 90 per cent of all Champion sales. Red and Blue variants are also available.

    With price and value increasingly key drivers of the Australian tobacco market, Champion pack sizes have continued to evolve, with four different pouch size variants currently available to ensure we meet consumers’ expectations on choice.


    Brand timeline

    1906 Champion first registered in Australia 
    1999 Imperial enters Australian market through acquisition of Champion and other brands
    2013 Traditional 30g Champion Ruby pouches are reduced in size and price
    2018-19 Champion Ruby launched in 40g, 20g and 15g pouch sizes 
    2021 Innovative zip lock packaging introduced
  • Ben Lees, Brand Manager

    Golden Virginia

    With a heritage stretching back to 1877, Golden Virginia is a well-known and trusted brand among hand rolling tobacco smokers in the UK and Ireland. The brand also has a growing presence across continental Europe, including Italy and Greece. Golden Virginia makes use of 20 distinct fine tobacco grades from four different continents, ensuring a unique flavour.

    In 2009, Golden Virginia Yellow was added to the brand stable in response to the evolving taste expectations of smokers. Today, Golden Virginia Original and Yellow combined account for around 14 per cent of the UK fine cut tobacco market, and we will stay focused on meeting the expectations of the growing number of smokers who choose rolling tobacco. 

    Pouches of Golden Virginia have benefited from innovations driven by a focus on quality. In 2018 a Click and Close Max seal was introduced to pouches to maintain the freshness of the contents for longer, and Rizla rolling papers are included with all packs.


    Brand timeline

    1877 Golden Virginia launched
    2001 Zip lock added to pouches
    2009 Golden Virginia Yellow launched
    2018 Click and Close Max seal introduced
    2022 Limited edition retro papers mark GV’s 145-year anniversary
  • Kris Smedts, Rizla factory manager, Belgium

    Rizla

    Rizla is an iconic brand with more than 200 years of heritage underpinning its renown.

    The number one rolling paper in Europe and in Africa, Rizla has a strong global presence with sales in more than 70 countries. It’s a market leader in many of them too, including in the UK, Ireland, Italy and Greece.

    Rizla is unapologetically loud, colourful and quirky and, for many, a byword for the rolling paper category itself. Building on its long history, the brand has cemented its recognition among adult smokers in the modern era through music and motorbike racing sponsorships.

    As we seek to drive Rizla’s constant evolution, responsible sourcing and manufacturing excellence will continue to play an important role.

    While all Rizla papers are accredited by the FSC®, we’ve upped the ante in recent years through the development of an organic hemp range, Natura, and the introduction in Greece of paper filter tips.

    And thanks to engineering advances, we’ve developed our thinnest ever paper, Rizla Precision, to cater for the needs of expert rollers.


    Brand timeline

    1660 Pierre Lacroix is the first person to perfect a paper specifically created for rolling
    1866 The birth of Lacroix’s rice rolling papers, shortened to RIZ LA+
    1997 Imperial acquires the Rizla brand
    2018 Organic hemp Natura papers launched
    2018 Launch of ultra-thin Precision papers
  • Jamie Johns, Head of Marketing, Vapour

    blu

    blu is a pioneering vape brand squarely aimed at the ‘next stepper’ – more mature consumers who are making a broader lifestyle shift, like starting a family. 

    The brand was first introduced in the US back in 2009, but rapid developments in technology and the growth of the vape category mean that much has changed since that time.

    An international expansion of blu, supported by the addition of a rechargeable pod-based device to the portfolio, has given the brand a strong foothold in several European markets. 

    Combining Imperial’s refocused approach to innovation with consumer insights, we developed a new blu 2.0 device in 2022. Now available across established vaping markets in Europe, including the UK, Spain and France, blu 2.0 offers consumers improved product design, pod performance and battery life.

    Following extensive adult consumer research, we have also broadened the blu brand in Europe with a disposable vaping product. blu bar was brought to market within a responsible launch framework, and our latest iteration contains a removable battery to enable more of the product to be recycled.


    Brand timeline

    2009 blu created as a pioneering e-cigarette brand in the US by founder Jason Healy
    2012 US tobacco business Lorillard acquires blu, and begins planning international launches
    2015 Imperial makes a giant commitment to vaping by buying the international rights to blu 
    2018 myblu, a pod-based rechargeable system, is launched in the US and Europe
    2022 blu 2.0 is piloted in France, paving the way for launches across Europe
  • Ezgi Topcuoglu, Category New Product Development Lead

    Pulze

    Our heated tobacco proposition consists of Pulze, our heated tobacco device, and iD, our heated tobacco sticks. We piloted the products in Greece and the Czech Republic in 2021 following a reset of our strategic approach to offering compelling and potentially harm-reduced alternatives to traditional cigarettes. 

    Building on the successful pilots, Pulze and iD are now available in several markets across central, eastern and southern Europe, territories where heated tobacco has become the favoured type of next generation product.

    Supported by our growing consumer insights, we work hard to maximise all aspects of the heated tobacco experience. If we're to maximise the harm reduction potential of our heated tobacco offering, it’s important that we establish a genuine connection with adult nicotine users.

    Pulze initiatives like ‘Refer A Friend’ demonstrate our understanding of shared moments with friends, and ‘Free Trial’, gives consumers the freedom to explore our products, commitment free, before deciding they’re right for them.  


    Brand timeline

    2019 Pulze and iD first piloted in Japan
    2020 Scientific substantiation of the tobacco harm reduction potential of Pulze and iD strengthened through lab studies
    2021 A resetting of our geographic focus sees Pulze & iD piloted in Czech Republic and Greece
    2022 Further launches follow in Portugal, Hungary and Italy
    2023 Roll-out of Pulze 2.0 begins, expanding footprint further to Poland and Bulgaria
  • Marie Klasson, Senior Product Development Specialist

    Skruf

    Friends Adam Gillberg and Jonas Engwall created Skruf in 2003 to give Swedish consumers a fresh, premium alternative to traditional brands of snus, an oral tobacco product with a long history of use in the Nordics.

    Skruf broke the mould with its distinctive white cans, a far cry from the dark colours historically associated with the market’s existing offers.

    The brand quickly gained traction and a successful introduction to neighbouring Norway followed, where it’s captured around a third of the market. Imperial invested in the business in 2005, completing a full acquisition three years later.

    Today the brand retains strong credibility among discerning nicotine users seeking a premium quality experience.

    Beyond the core range of traditional pouches, we also seek to meet diverse consumer needs through flavoured tobacco variants as well as a modern oral alternative, Skruf Super White. Tobacco-free Super White first launched in 2018 and is available in Sweden, Austria and Estonia.


    Brand timeline

    2003 Skruf business and brand created in Sweden
    2004 Norway market entry
    2005-2008 Two-stage acquisition of Skruf by Imperial
    2011 Move to modern purpose-built factory in Sävsjö
    2018 First sale of tobacco-free Skruf 
  • Nieka Pourkazemi, Brand Manager

    Zone X

    Zone X began its journey in the Nordics and other European markets where a heritage of snus tobacco use makes modern oral nicotine the favoured next generation product category.

    Interest in these products from nicotine consumers is growing swiftly across an expanding geographic footprint. With a current presence in Sweden, Austria, Norway, Denmark, Estonia and Iceland, the brand is available in a variety of strengths, formats and flavours to meet a range of consumer moods and moments.

    Zone X consumers are young adult nicotine users, typically 25+, urban and open-minded. They're making lifestyle changes and favour a discreet way to enjoy nicotine.

    We are continuing to build a distinctive brand offer, with flavours designed to offer multisensory experiences for those consumers who want to migrate from traditional snus and other tobacco products.

    Innovation is a key part of the brand’s DNA and we’ll continue to develop new options in the Zone X range, closely guided by our consumer insights.


    Brand timeline

    2021 Zone X first launched in Sweden and Austria
    2022 Further launches in Norway, Denmark, Estonia & Nordic Duty-Free
    2023 Zone X made available in Iceland & duty-free Middle East

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