U.S. tobacco industry comprises 80 companies with CGAR of about US$28B, report finds; major companies include Altria, Lorillard, Reynolds American, Vector Group

DUBLIN , November 29, 2011 (press release) – Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Tobacco Manufacturing" report to their offering.

The US tobacco manufacturing industry includes about 80 companies with combined annual revenue of about $28 billion. Major companies include Altria (owner of Philip Morris USA and UST), Lorillard, Reynolds American, and Vector Group. The industry is highly concentrated: the eight largest companies generate more than 90 percent of revenue.

COMPETITIVE LANDSCAPE

Demand is driven by discretionary consumer spending and awareness of the health effects of smoking. The profitability of individual companies depends on effective marketing. Large companies enjoy economies of scale in manufacturing and in their ability to offer wider ranges of products. Small companies can compete effectively through heavy discounting, through clever branding and packaging, and by exploiting niche categories such as pipe tobacco and additive-free cigarettes. The industry is capital-intensive: average annual revenue per worker is more than $1.5 million.

PRODUCTS, OPERATIONS & TECHNOLOGY

Major consumer tobacco products include cigarettes, chewing tobacco and snuff, and cigars. Cigarettes account for more than 80 percent of industry revenue.

Tobacco is an annual plant with leaves that are hand- or machine-cut and then cured. Curing removes all moisture from the leaf and enhances flavor. Flue-curing takes about a week; air-curing takes two months. Cured tobacco is cleaned and sorted in tobacco processing plants, where stems are removed in a process called threshing. The tobacco is then re-dried, compressed into boxes or wooden vats, and aged in a warehouse for up to two years.

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