Japan Tobacco (JT) will rebrand its popular Mild Seven products as Mevius and sheath them in uniform packaging in an attempt to become the world’s number one premium brand, the company announced today. A unified design will be introduced in Japan this November under the Mild Seven brand, followed by launch of the Mevius name in February, 2013, JT said in a statement. Introductions abroad will take place over the next 12 months. Outside Japan, Mild Seven is popular in Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia and Russia, JT said. Geographic expansion is planned for Mevius, the company added. Mild Seven has been the number one selling brand since 1978, the year after it first was introduced. The current product line is extensive. “Mevius is moving forward with a new name across the world, a unified global design and an expanded product portfolio in order to command a greater international presence by enhancing brand equity, aiming to become the number one global premium brand,” said Mitsuomi Koizumi, president and chief executive officer of JT. “We are targeting our tobacco business to grow EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) by mid-to-high single digits per year,” he said. Mevius branding incorporates the ‘M’ and ‘S’ of Mild Seven in its spelling and the new design will retain the Mild Seven icon and blue colour. The new package has a “special texture treatment that enhances tactile sophistication,” in keeping with a premium brand, the company said.