The Korea Herald


BAT launches new Glo to take on KT&G, PMI

By Shim Woo-hyun

Published : Feb. 14, 2023 - 16:11

    • Link copied

Kim Eun-ji, BAT Rothmans Country Manager, introduces BAT's Glo Hyper X2 at a launch event in central Seoul, Tuesday. (BAT Rothmans) Kim Eun-ji, BAT Rothmans Country Manager, introduces BAT's Glo Hyper X2 at a launch event in central Seoul, Tuesday. (BAT Rothmans)

British American Tobacco’s South Korean branch announced Tuesday that the company will launch a new tobacco heating product, Glo Hyper X2, this month, in a bid to increase its share in the South Korean market.

According to BAT Rothmans, the Korean arm of BAT, Glo Hyper X2 will be available on Feb. 27 at convenience stores and online e-commerce platforms. The new device is priced at 40,000 won ($31.56).

“South Korea is making a significant contribution to BAT,” said BAT Rothmans Country Manager Kim Eun-ji, during a launch ceremony held in central Seoul on Tuesday. Kim also hinted that the company's increasing market share in South Korea is expected to help BAT to achieve its revenue goals in the future.

BAT’s market share in Korea increased to 11.7 percent as of 2022, doubling from the 6 percent market share that the company posted over the past few years.

The rest of the market is bisected by KT&G and Philip Morris, whose market shares reach 45 percent and 43 percent, respectively.

About the recently announced KT&G and Philip Morris strategic partnership, Kim said she expects their partnership is for the global market thus will have little impact in the Korean market.

“Korea is one of the most important markets for Glo in the BAT group, contributing to our progress towards these ambitious targets. Korea continues to be one of the top global markets for Glo, and we’re excited to showcase this exciting product to the Korean consumers, which we believe will further accelerate the THP category growth in Korea moving forward,” said Elly Criticou, Global Category Director Vapor & Group Head of New Channels at BAT, in her speech at the launch ceremony.

Criticou said BAT currently aims to post 5 billion pounds ($6.1 billion) of revenue in its new business category by 2025, which includes the heating tobacco products Glo series, vapor products Vuse and oral nicotine products commercialized under the brand name of Velo.

The company also looks to secure a total of 50 million consumers using BAT’s non-combustible products by 2030.

In 2022, BAT's sales from its non-combustible products business came to 3 billion pounds, and the number of consumers using them came to 22.5 million.

Glo Hyper X2 is an all-in-one device featuring the company’s own induction heating technology, a separate boost function for faster heating and LED indicator that shows battery status and how long a session will last.

BAT will also launch four different types of tobacco sticks specifically designed for its new Glo device. The tobacco sticks for the Glo hyper series, called demi-slim tobacco sticks, contain 30 percent more tobacco for better flavor and smoking experience, the company added.

Meanwhile, despite the fact that BAT’s new device is priced relatively cheaper than other devices released by its competitors, the device was two times more expensive when compared to its price in Japan.

Emma Dean, Head of Marketing in North Asia, said the pricing for every country is different based on a variety of factors.