Philip Morris USA Profile

Philip Morris USA Logo

Philip Morris USA, owned by Altria Group Inc, is the leading tobacco company in the United States. Last year, the tobacconist, which sells the legendary Marlboro brand, reported owning 49 percent of the U.S. retail cigarette market. The company is headquartered in Richmond, Virginia’ its main rivals are Reynolds American and Lorillard Co.

PMA USA History in Dates

The history of of PM USA began when Philip Morris manufactured his first cigarette in London in 1854.

In 1902 – Philip Morris Co was registered in USA, and started manufacturing cigarettes at a tobacco factory located in Virginia.

In 1924 Philip Morris launched a cigarette brand, which was named Marlboro, and advertised under a slogan “Mild as May”. The brand became very popular, and topped U.S. cigarette market in the late 1930s.

In 1954, The company re-launched Marlboro cigarette brand as a men’s smoke. The brand was equipped with innovative cork-tip filtering systems and packed in hard flip-top boxes. At the same time, the company created a marketing campaign, named Marlboro Country featuring the handsome Marlboro Cowboys. The popularity of the brand skyrocketed, with sales going up by 500 percent in the first year after the re-design.

In the 1970s, Marlboro has become the best-selling brand in the U.S. and never its leading position.

In 2004, Philip Morris USA was split from its international tobacco business, Philip Morris International, which became an independent company in 2008. Following this move, Altria, the parent company of PM USA, shut down its manufacturing unit in North Carolina, concentrating production in Richmond.

Philip Morris USA key cigarette brands

  1. Marlboro – the top-selling cigarette brand in the United States, owning 42% share of the market.
  2. Parliament– the company’s leading brand in super premium segment of the market.
  3. Chesterfield – once a best-selling tobacco product, currently is more popular outside of the USA.
  4. L&M – PM USA’ flagship mid-value brand
  5. Virginia Slims – the key female-oriented brand for the company.
  6. Merit
  7. Basic – the most popular low-cost brand
  8. Benson &Hedges
  9. Lark and others.

Besides cigarettes, Philip Morris USA also manufactures Marlboro Snus - a smoke-free spit-less tobacco product, which is selling in four flavor versions - Peppermint, Spearmint, Rich and Mild. Though the market of smokeless tobacco products is a relatively new segment of U.S. tobacco market, many experts forecast its growth in the near future, as the market of cigarettes is currently on decline across the United States, due to strict anti-smoking policies, high taxes and social stigma.