With budget lines seemingly the only option for cigarette brands, companies are turning their attention towards cigars in a bid to attract new smokers.
Miniature cigars, in particular, are driving the trend, with firms developing new blends, formats and flavours to appeal to an increasingly female and younger adult smoker market.
The miniature market is currently led by Henri Wintermans’ Café Crème range, distributed by Imperial Tobacco. Sylvain Laporte, sales & marketing director at Henri Wintermans UK, says: “While the UK cigar market is declining by about 7% annually, sales of our brands such as the Café Crème range and the Half Corona continue to grow.”
Most cigar smokers, according
to Laporte, are male and aged over 50, but firms believe that miniature brands can attract more female and younger cigar smokers with the way they package their products and with new blends. Gallaher’s Hamlet Smooth, launched last year, appeals to smokers making the switch from cigarettes to cigars. It since entered miniature cigar brands in February this year with the launch of Cappuccino, as a competitor to Café Crème, with listings in Sainsbury.
Not all companies see the future in cigars, however. The Cuban cigar brand Cohiba went the other way by launching a Cohiba brand of cigarettes in March last year.