RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company: The Camel-maker

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company (RJR) is one of the oldest tobacco manufacturers in the United States. It was established in 1875 by Richard Joshua Reynolds. The first manufacturing unit was based in Winston-Salem. Currently RJ Reynolds is owned by Reynolds American, which in its turn is the subsidiary of British American Tobacco.

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco products

History and Key Events

RJ Reynolds was founded in 1875 as a manufacturer of loose tobacco products, very popular in the country at those times.

In 1913, the company introduced its first national cigarette brand, Camel, which became the best-selling tobacco products only two years after its nationwide introduction.

In 1954, RJ Reynolds launched Winston – the first cigarette brand equipped with advanced filter system. The brand was the nation’s top-selling tobacco product for almost a decade.

Two years later the company introduced Salem, the fist filtered menthol brand, and in 1969 RJR launched Doral cigarette brand.

In 1985 RJ Reynolds merged with Nabisco Brands, and the parent company was named RJR Nabisco a year later.

In 1988 RJR Nabisco signed a merger contract with Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & for the purchase of the company, becoming the largest corporate acquisition at that time. The tobacco business was divested in 1995 becoming RJR Nabisco again.

In 1999 international business of RJR Nabisco was sold to Japan Tobacco International, and the American tobacco business was named RJ Reynolds Tobacco again.

In 2003 RJR signed an agreement with British American Tobacco to combine U.S operations with Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation. A year later Reynolds American Inc. was named the parent company of RJR, B&W Tobacco and Santa Fe Natural Tobacco.

In May 2006, Reynolds American launched Camel Snus, revolutionary smokeless tobacco product. The nationwide launch of Camel Snus took place in 2009.

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company introduced Camel Snus, an innovative smokeless, spitless tobacco product made of pasteurized tobacco contained in pouches. Camel Snus was launched nationally in 2009.

Major Brands

RJ Reynolds holds nearly 28 percent of the U.S. cigarette market, offering products in all market segments. The company has recently divided its brands in Growth Brands, Support Brands and Non-support brands to accelerate its products growth and solid market performance.

Growth Brands

Pall Mall – Currently the third-best selling brand in the USA, Pall Mall was re-launched in 2001 as a premium brand offered in mid-price segment and saw such a huge growth in the market share that major competitors even had to reduce prices to compete with it.

Camel – the iconic flagship brand offered in premium segment that was outstripped by Pall Mall and currently holds the fourth place in the market.

Support Brands

Winston – the former American top-selling cigarette still remains one of the 10 best-selling cigarette brands in the country, although it is much more popular outside of the United States.

Salem, Kool, Doral, Misty and Capri

Non-support brands