General Launches Macanudo Moments Promo;
Sancho Panza Taste Showdown to Follow

Consumers are being challenged to write an essay about their favorite "Macanudo Moment" by General Cigar for a chance to win a year's supply of the cigar. An anecdote will also appear in an upcoming consumer magazine advertisement for the brand. The company describes a Macanudo Moment moment as "a positive situation made more significant by the enjoyment of a Macanudo cigar," from celebrations to everyday occurrences.

Second and third place runners-up will win 6-month and 1-month supplies of Macanudo. The promotion is being supported on General Cigar's website, www.cigarworld.com, and at www.cigaraficionado.com.

Entries will be judged on clarity of expression, creativity/originality, and content. The promotion, launched on February 18, runs through April 30, 2001.

Separately, General Cigar will launch a consumer taste/value challenge, pitting top-rated Sancho Panza cigars against all other competitors' cigars, up to twice the retail value of Sancho Panza, 8$ maximum. Consumers purchase any Sancho Panza cigar along with any other cigar, try both cigars, and then mail both bands to General with the official response form. Consumer indicate which was their favorite, explain why, and note the price of each. If they chose Sancho Panza, General will send participants one Sancho Panza Caballero, or the competitor's cigar if that's what they chose.

The program, which General notes will drive incremental sales, launches April 1st and ends May 21. Supporting materials include easel, poster, tear pad shelf talker, as well as consumer print advertising and web support.

Legends, Tubes, and Perforations from Indian Tabac
Indian Tabac is currently shipping all sizes of its two newest cigars - The Cameroon Legend and the Deluxe Tubos. Three versions of the medium-bodied Dominican-rolled tubo are offered. The 5 1/4 x 43 Corona features a Cameroon wrapper, while the 7 x 48 Churchill is offered with either Cameroon or Brazilian maduro wrappers. The tubo is presented in full-color boxes of 20 cigars.

The Dominican-made Cameroon Legend is a series of three super-premium perfectos, blended with full-flavored, vintage Dominican-grown Olor and Cuban ligero tobaccos, and finished with a luxurious Cameroon wrapper. A Figurado (5 1/2 x 5 1/36), Perfecto (5 x 52), and Perfecto Grande (54 x 6 1/4) are offered, presented in full-color boxes of 25 cigars.

In separate news, Indian Tabac has introduced perforated cellophane wrappers on all of its cello-wrapped cigars. While retaining all of the handling advantages of traditionally cellophaned cigars, Indian's perforations allow cigars to mature in humidors much like unwrapped cigars.

"This way, the retailer gets the benefit of not having their cigars damaged, but the cigars still get to breathe in the humidor," explains Rocky Patel, president, Indian Tabac Cigar Co.

Indian Tabac Cigar Co., Naples, Fla., Tel: (941) 593-1833, Toll-free: (888) 766-5387, Fax: (941) 593-1839.

Two New Shapes in La Tradicion Cabinet Series
Tabacalera Perdomo has added two new sizes to its La Tradici"n Cabinet Series Perdomo Reserve premium cigar line. The No. 4 is a 5 1/2 x 54, and resembles a toro with a tapered foot. The suggested retail price is $6.99. The No. 5 measures 6 3/4 x 54 and is similar to the company's popular X, but with a tapered foot. Suggested retail price is $7.49. Both new shapes are available in either a rich Rosado or triple-fermented Maduro wrapper. The La Tradici"n line features a blend of double-aged Cuban-seed tobaccos, and are box-pressed to recapture

"Adding a larger ring gauge perfecto and a unique diademas complements this line nicely and will further strengthen its popularity," said Bart Gerber owner of Churchill's Fine Cigars, Phoenix, Ariz. "It's already the top seller in my store."

Tabacalera Perdomo, 5900 N. Andrews Ave., Suite 700, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309-7098, Toll-free: (888) 642-5797, Fax: (305) 266-2951

Natural American Spirit Debuts Vignette Fact Cards
"A Tribute to the Endangered" is Theme

Natural American Spirit Vignette Fact Card Series V: A Tribute to the Endangered, is a limited edition set featuring 36 different endangered animal species.

The card will appear on specially-marked packs of Natural American Spirit Cigarettes beginning in Spring 2000. Included on each special pack is a form to complete and return for more information about Natural American Spirit products.

In addition, for every valid, complete form received by the company before January 1, 2002, Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co. will donate $1 to the Rare Species Conservatory Foundation.

Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co., P.O. Box 25140, Santa Fe, NM 87504, Tel: (505) 982-4257, Fax: (505) 982-0156

Southern Pride Joins Busch Racing Sponsor List
Southern Pride, the fastest growing brand of loose-leaf tobacco on the market, is marking its success with a Southern Pride-sponsored car on the 2000 NASCAR Busch Grand National Circuit in Charlotte, N.C. and Memphis, Tenn.

"We've chosen these locations for their strength as loose-leaf markets, North Carolina in particular being the number one loose-leaf state," says Harold Price, senior v.p. sales & marketing, Swedish Match North America. "Putting Southern Pride on the track is an exciting way to tell chewers that if they haven't already, it's time they test drive this brand."

Southern Pride has enjoyed a 131% increase in pound volume over the same period for the prior year. Formulated to suit the needs of a specific consumer segment, it is one of the many brands in the Swedish Match loose-leaf portfolio which also includes Red Man, Red Man Golden Blend, and Granger Select.

Smokers Option, New Cigarette Alternative from NASCO
North American Sales Company (NASCO) has introduced Smoker's Option, a cigarette alternative for adult smokers in situations where they cannot, or choose not, to smoke. The product, which consists of a cinnamon or menthol-flavored filter material - like that used in a cigarette filter - looks and feels like a cigarette, but contains no tobacco or nicotine, and does not burn. Adult smokers simply draw on Smoker's Option as they would a cigarette to release the product's flavor.

"Smoker's Option is the right product at the right time," says Ralph Angiuoli, president of NASCO, the company that markets and distributes Smoker's Option. "With the increase in smoking restrictions, we developed this idea to accommodate smokers who, for example, are in smoke-free airports or restaurants, or visiting with friends who are non-smokers. Because our product does not burn, it is a rewarding smokeless alternative for adults who enjoy cigarettes."

Smoker's Option is being distributed nationally by a core group of major distributors and retailers. Smoker's may also obtain information about the product over the Internet at smokersoption.com or by calling (877) 270-1155.

NASCO, PO Box 1387, Clemmons, NC 27012, Tel: (336( 778-0038, Fax: (336) 778-2600.

La Paz, Clubmaster, Wings Available through James B. Russell
James B. Russell has reached an agreement with Swedish Match to distribute the company's La Paz and Clubmaster cigars.

La Paz is one of the oldest and best-known cigar brands in Europe, launched in 1813 and repositioned in contemporary times to become the first "modern brand" in the cigar world. The successful "Wilde" version established a family range with the signature slightly "ragged" foot. The La Paz Wilde cigarillo line is made from 100% Sumatra, Java, and Brazilian tobaccos. Russell is supplying a free counter display with all orders.

Clubmaster cigars were originally created by Arnold Andre Zigarrenfabrik, now the largest cigar producer in Germany. Around the world the company is famous for its Sumatra and Brazil cigars. Sumatra-blend Clubmasters have became especially known for their Brazil cigar type. Although dark colored, they are smooth, palatable, and aromatic. Available sizes included the Half Corona packed in 10/10's, and Superior Sumatra packed in 5/10's. Also available are Clubmaster Fellows, Vanilla Aromatic cigarillos.

James B. Russell, Inc., 25 Park Way, Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458, Toll-free: (800) 526-4653, Fax: (201) 934-6370.

Pirate's Gold, New Honduran Premium Handmade from Reyes Jr.
Rolando Reyes Jr., son of Puros Indios patriarch Rolando Reyes Sr., has released Pirate's Gold, a new Honduran-made hand rolled cigar line produced in Danl“. Pirate's Gold is a rich, maduro-wrapped line made with tobaccos from the Dominican Republic, Brazil, Nicaragua, and Ecuador. It is characteristically full-bodied, and targeted towards the experienced cigar smoker. Pirate's Gold is offered in nine shapes: Piramide No. 1, Churchill, Figurado, Coronas, Piramide No. 2, Toro, No. 4, Rothchild, and Petite.

Reyes Cigar Distributors, Inc., Tel: (954) 978-9007.

La Perla Habana Offers Incentive Awards to Tobacconists
Smokeshops can earn valuable incentives two ways in a new one-month-long awards program from La Perla Habana Cigars.

For a ten-box initial order of their cigars placed during March, the company will give a retailer a free fifty-cigar custom humidor, with the historic La Perla Habana box-label laser-etched into the top of the lid. The gloss-finish teak humidor with Spanish cedar liner includes a humidifier and hygrometer. In turn, the retailer gives each La Perla Habana purchaser a raffle ticket - which the company provides - for every cigar the smoker buys. The humidor winner's name is drawn at the end of the month-long raffle program. Retailers can mix sizes from all three lines - Classic, Maduro, or Black Pearl. "This program provides excitement with smokers, which stimulates business for the smaller smokeshops," said Doug Wood, president of La Perla Habana.

The program's second phase rewards retailers for referrals. Says Wood, "At every RTDA show, we see shop owners touring the exhibits with friends from other shops, often from distant locations. With our referral program, they capitalize on the sales and profits they have enjoyed with us by encouraging their friends to join the La Perla family." A tobacconist who refers a new smokeshop to the company receives a box of La Perla Habana cigars. The new dealer need only place an opening order of six boxes, and there is no limit to the number of referrals allowed. Both retailers can choose whatever size and line of La Perla Habanas they want.

La Perla Habana Cigars, 859 No. Hollywood Way, Suite 470, Burbank, CA 911505, Tel: (818) 985-2800, Fax: 818-985-2809.

Tatiana Tins, Flavored Mini Cigars
Miami Cigar has introduced Tatiana Tins, miniature flavored cigars that are hand made in the Dominican Republic from tobaccos that have been aged four years. Measuring 3 1/2 x 52, Tatiana Tins are offered in vanilla, cherry, or rum flavors. Suggested retail, $7.50. Counter displays are available.

Miami Cigar Company, 2533 N.W. 74th Ave., Miami, FL 33122, Tel: (305) 599-3395, Toll-free: (800) 643-7209.

SMOKESHOP - February 2001