ITC has released Mixpods, the smallest variant of its premium brand Gold Flake.
ITC is quietly pioneering a sachet blitz for its cigarette business, emulating consumer goods companies to counter illicit trade, a potential ban in the sale of loose sticks and higher taxes.
India's largest tobacco manufacturer has rolled out the smallest variant of its premium brand Gold Flake—Mixpods—in target markets like Mumbai. This pack contains five 84-mm sticks and is priced at Rs 82.5.
The Kolkata-based conglomerate has tried to expand into multiple businesses including hotels, technology and FMCGs. Yet, cigarettes remain its core business, accounting for 40% of revenues at the 113-year-old company.
The company's latest move also comes as a nationwide ban on the sale of loose cigarettes looms large. A standing committee of Indian Parliament has recommended a ban ahead of Budget 2023 and called for a hike in taxes.
Small cigarette packs could help ITC retain volume growth even as consumers are switching to smaller packs to fight inflation. It could also prevent smokers from opting for illegal cigarettes due to higher taxes.