Benson & Hedges

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Benson & Hedges

Post by Admin on Thu Dec 19, 2013 10:32 pm

Benson & Hedges was founded in Canada in 1873 by Richard Benson and William Hedges as Benson and Hedges Ltd. Alfred Paget Hedges succeeded his father in the business in 1885, the same year which Richard Benson left the business and this headquarters was moved to England. The 1900s saw branches of Benson & Hedges Ltd. opening in the United States. In 1928, the American branch became independent, and was bought by Philip Morris in 1958. Benson & Hedges Ltd in the UK was acquired by the Gallaher Group in 1955.


A Royal Warrant was issued to the British company in 1878, after the required five years of supply to the Royal Family. This was revoked in 1999 due to a "lack of demand in the royal households". The Warrant seal, which had previously been on the flip lid of the box, was removed.

In the late 1970s, the company's products were advertised in a series of posters and cinema films which featured the gold pack in various surreal juxtapositions and transformations, devoid of words and people. In 2001, brand packaging was changed from Special Filter to Gold, and a Silver version was introduced, with reduced tar content and 0.1 mg less nicotine, at a slightly cheaper price. In 2008, a 14 cigarette pack was launched, alongside existing 10 and 20 packs. In July 2009, a Gold and Silver versions of rolling tobacco were launched. As of June 2011, the company's UK brands were Gold, Silver, White and Gold Superkings, and rolling tobacco. Discontinued former brands in the UK have included: Sovereign, Gold Bond, Virginia Red, Virginia Blue, and Black.

In October 2012, a "Dual" (dual-flavour) cigarette was introduced, with a user-poppable menthol capsule inside the filter. If the capsule is burst, the cigarette flavour is altered from plain to menthylated tobacco.

In the 1930s, Benson & Hedges (Overseas) Ltd was established by Abraham Wix to handle international trade. This branch was acquired by British American Tobacco in 1956. Today, British American Tobacco markets Benson & Hedges throughout Asia and the Pacific, including Australia and New Zealand, but with the exception of Taiwan and the Philippines. The Canadian branch of Benson and Hedges is owned by Philip Morris International. In Canada, a popular brand is "Belmonts", manufactured by B&H in Quebec City.

In the United States, available varieties include Kings (box), Menthol (box), Multifilter Kings (soft pack), DeLuxe (box), DeLuxe Menthol (box), Luxury, and Luxury Menthol (soft pack or box).

In Australia, the company's cigarettes are available as Classic, Rich, Smooth, Subtle, Fine and Ultimate, in the standard Australian plain packaging.

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