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JAPAN

JT to expand Zerostyle Mint distribution

06 Oct 2010. Japan Tobacco (JT) announced today that, starting 18 October 2010, the distribution of smokeless tobacco Zerostyle Mint to retail stores in Tokyo will be fully accessible.

Furthermore, the product will be launched in Kanagawa Prefecture in mid-November. Zerostyle Mint, which JT launched in mid-May 2010 exclusively in Tokyo, has recently been in short supply at many stores due to consumer demand that has far exceeded the company's expectations. However, JT says it has improved capabilities of existing production lines and has completed preparations for new manufacturing bases, clearing way for a steady product supply. JT decided to start marketing Zerostyle Mint in Kanagawa Prefecture following Tokyo, as Kanagawa is the second largest market after Tokyo. Zerostyle Mint enjoys high popularity not only among consumers residing in Tokyo, but also with consumers from outside Tokyo, of which Kanagawa residents account for the largest share of the market according to JT's consumer survey. The package design has been improved to a layout emphasising the words "smokeless tobacco" to raise consumer recognition for the product. It also features a glossy finish for a more luxurious look. The redesigned products are scheduled to gradually replace existing ones beginning in late November. (ci)