Cigarette filter rods having individual pellets positioned at predetermined intervals therein are prepared by cutting a strand of plasticized material into pellets which are then inserted into a web of filter tow. A wheel having a series of grooves is rotated within a rim-like housing, and introduction of a plasticized flavor-containing strand into each groove results in a cutting of the strand into pellets of the desired size. Each pellet is positioned within the moving web of tow. The web filter material and the pellets positioned within the web are introduced into a rod-making unit wherein the rod is formed. The rate of feed of the strand, the rate of feed of the filter tow, the rate of rotation of the grooved wheel and the rate of pellet formation are controlled relative to one another such that pellets of well controlled size are positioned at predetermined intervals along the rod. Cigarette filter elements having well controlled amounts of flavorant contained therein can be made from the rods.