Oriental General Trading (GT) is introducing its Oris China line of cigarettes into global travel retail, with the Chinese consumer the key target. The word ‘Oris’ is said to represent prosperity, luck and good fortune in Mandarin, according to the company.
Stating the company’s ambitions for the business, Oriental GT Managing Director Anthony D’Souza told us: “With our market know-how and expertise in Chinese tobacco, our ambition is for Oris to become the top international Chinese brand for Chinese smokers and travellers worldwide.”
The Oris brand was developed by the UAE-based company eight years ago but now it has created six variants for the travel market, each with bright, colourful packaging.
These include king size cigarettes Oris Dragon and Oris Nobel Dragon from the Oris Dragon Empire series; queen size Oris Peace Red and White from the Oris Peace series, plus Oris Chao Lights and Menthol from the Oris Chao Society range, the latter aimed at the younger adult smoker.
The products, which range from premium to more affordable lines, are on average priced between 5-10% below their Chinese tobacco counterparts, noted Oriental GT.
The premium line king size Noble Dragon from the Oris Dragon Empire range is priced at around US$55-60 with Classic Dragon at US$40-45.
The Oris Peace series in queen size is a first for the Chinese tobacco consumer market, said Oriental GT, with prices from US$25-30.
The “affordable” Super Slims range under the Oris Chao Society name is priced at US$15-20.
The company said: “Our pricing reflects the recent changes in Chinese consumer spending power, without compromising on quality and consumer tastes or preferences. Our attention to detail from premium packaging to the tipping paper design to the tobacco and filters used are our USPs. These are well thought-out and tested in the Chinese market among multiple Chinese smoker focus groups.”
D’Souza added: “Chinese travel is growing fast today and we wanted to present these travellers with a strong story that resonates with them. We will invest behind the brand and hope to target the tax free shows in Singapore and Cannes. We will partner with leading distributors to build awareness and presence. For retail partners we will invest with promoters and merchandisers to add value to their business. We have developed a dynamic look that will appeal to younger Chinese adult consumers.”
The full range will be available from 1 January worldwide. Already Oris Peace Red (queen size) is listed through Qatar Airways Inflight Duty Free. All six variants are listed through Addis Ababa Airport Duty Free in Ethiopia, with many more partnerships planned.
Brand owner Oriental GT was among the first suppliers of Chinese tobacco and liquor to the Middle East and Africa travel retail markets.
D’Souza noted: “Our experience not only stems from travel retail, but we have years of experience in the tobacco industry. We were one of the very few foreign companies to produce our own brands in China for export and have developed relationships and partnered with many Chinese tobacco and cigarette manufacturers.
“The number of Chinese travellers continues to rise and they are exploring parts of the world where their presence was previously quite small. We aim to tap precisely those areas in addition to well-established parts of the world in travel retail.
“Our goal is to provide the Chinese smokers exactly what they want and where they want it. With ever-changing consumer behaviour and preferences, our flexible personality means we listen to what the end market seeks and what our business partners look for. We tailor the best possible outcome to suit each stakeholder while staying true to the brand’s image and quality.”