A quick look at the year in review and what s to come
Big tobacco meets little tobacco
2007 saw some big changes in the cigar industry, and was a banner year for some brands as well. Among the bigger stories was General Cigar's foray into the online retail cigar channel. Even more recently, General acquired certain assets of Havana Honeys Holdings LLC, makers of the Havana Honeys flavored cigars brand.
Other "big tobacco" news included Cigarette-making giant Altria purchasing John Middleton, Inc., makers of Black & Mild cigars, for $2.9 billion. CAO became the exclusive U.S. distributor of all Carlos Torano cigars, including the Dunhill Signed Range line of cigars. That agreement goes into effect on January 2, 2008. Could this be the future of the premium handmade cigars business? According to one of my closest and most reliable sources, look for 2008 to bring many more surprises.
Perhaps the biggest news of all was the death of the SCHIP bill, which will keep the 5 cent cap on premium cuban cigars right where it is at. That is, until the next administration comes in, and at this stage, God only knows who that will be. At least the IPCPR (form. RTDA) and the Cigar Association of America (CAA) will have more time to hold off the enemies at the gate.
Friday, December 21, 2007