Sweet Daddies Flavored Cigars from Freyboy Tobacco

Freyboy Tobacco, which owns and operates nine tobacco shops in Las Vegas, recently launched Sweet Daddies, a signature line of flavored cigars. Blended with long-filler Dominican tobacco and finished with a sugar-coated cap, Sweet Daddies are available in cherry, rum, amaretto, and vanilla flavors. The new line is the first national cigar product from Freyboy Tobacco, which is owned by brothers Michael Frey and Robert Frey.

Following a late summer launch, the cigars are now available for distribution nationwide.

“After working in the tobacco industry for several years, we were able to identify a niche in the cigar market to provide quality flavored cigars,” says Michael Frey, who is spearheading the project for Freyboy Tobacco. “We visited several tobacco factories before we found these cigars, which are exactly what we envisioned for the ‘Sweet Daddies’ brand.”

Freyboy Tobacco, Las Vegas, NV, Tel: (702) 735-8322, Fax: (702) 735-8334, Web: www.sweetdaddies.com.

Tuxedo, Newest Cigar from Cupido is a Nicaraguan Puro

The new Tuxedo premium cigar line from Cupido is the company’s first cigar to use tobacco exclusively grown on its own Nicaraguan farm, making it a true puro. Kiki Berger, who manages the farm and manufactures the cigars, makes four sizes: Robusto, Toro, Lonsdale, and Torpedo. All retail for $113.80 per box, at keystone.

The Tuxedo’s filler and binder tobaccos are primarily piloto-Cubano, grown near Estelí, Nicaragua from Cuban seeds obtained in an agricultural exchange program some years back, according to Berger. The wrapper is a rich, earthy Habano 2000 leaf.

The cellophaned cigars are presented 25 to the box, in Cupido’s luxurious, space-saving jewel-box design.

Introduced at the 2002 RTDA trade show, Tuxedo sold out its first shipment in December, but is no longer in a backorder situation, says Kviatkovsky, who thanks retailers for their patience. “An extra benefit to retailers and smokers is that this second release has been aged a full two years,” adds Kviatkovsky.

Kviatkovsky says the latest harvest at its Esteli, Nicaragua farm is ready, and should be sufficiently large to avoid future hitches in product availability. “When this crop is gathered and aged,” Kviatkovsky says, “it will set standards, even for Nicaraguan tobacco.”

Cupido cigars are available in western states through Kretek International.

Cupido Cigars, Costa Mesa, Calif. Tel: (888) 287-4361, Fax: (714) 435-0118, Web: www.cupidocigars.com.

Honey Joins The Cigar Connection’s Cojimar Line

The Cigar Connection has developed a number of new products in its line of Cojimar flavored cigars.

New additions include Mango, “fresh from the mango tree,” offered in a single Senoritas (5 x 30) size, and Honey, “straight from the comb,” which is available in either Senoritas (5 x 30), Senora (5 1/2 x 42), or Torpedo (6 x 50) sizes. All have the unique sugar coated tip that Cojimar is known for. The complete Cojimar line currently has 12 Senoritas and either Senoras flavors.

The Cigar Connection has also developed four new flavors in its Solos line. Solos have been around for quite some time in their four original flavors - vanilla, cherry, Sambuca, and chocolate. The new flavors released include honey, rum, amaretto, and peach. Complete with a self humidified display, this is a sure way to test-market flavored cigars in any store.

Retailers are invited to contact the manufacturer for a full merchandise catalog or additional information.

The Cigar Connection, Inc., Miami, Fla., Toll-free: (800) 348 8286, Tel: (305) 406-2461, Fax: (305) 406-2447, Email: tracie@cojimarcigars.com.

Smokin’ Spirits Premium Cigars

Hand rolled in the U.S.A., Smokin’ Spirits is a new line of premium cigars individually packaged in glass tubes. Featuring a blend of fine tobaccos, they are offered in two varieties: Tennessee, which are made with and aged in true Jack Daniels whisky, and New Orleans, made with and aged in authentic Southern Comfort whisky. Point-of-sale counter display units hold six of each variety.

T.N.J. Cigar Company, Amityville, NY, Toll-free: (877) 512-4427, Tel: (631) 264-0212, Fax: (631) 264-2796.

Music of America Fact Card Series from Natural American Spirit

Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co. is releasing Natural American Spirit Vignette Fact Card Series VII, Music of America. The new series is available on all styles of Natural American Spirit cigarettes.

Each fact card features a vibrant, full-color original illustration created for Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company showing one of 25 American styles of music from rap to rock & roll and new wave to New Orleans jazz. On the back is a brief history about the origin of each music style along with a “Did You Know” fact about the manufacturer or NAS brand.

A point of sale poster in the shape of a record LP commissioned especially for the Music of America series features six examples of the vignette cards, available free by request to retailers.

Included on each pack is a form for consumers to fill out and return to Natural American Spirit. For every valid entry received before July 31, 2003, the manufacturer will donate $1 to Continental Harmony to help bring artists and communities together to create new music that reflects local culture and history.

Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co., Santa Fe, N.M., Toll-free: (800) 982-7454, Tel: (505) 982-4257, Fax: (505) 982-0156.

Salem Gets New Packaging, Ads, Promotion

In a bid to restore and expand market share in the increasingly competitive menthol segment, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. has updated the box style, labeling, and graphics for its Salem menthol cigarette brand. The company is also launching new promotional programs for the brand-which had been pulled entirely in the fourth quarter last year-including price support, and will debut a slick new advertising campaign in the second quarter.

Salem’s two styles, each of which features a different blend of tobacco and is flavored differently, now have individually tailored packaging. “We want to make that distinction clear and build on it,” said Ronda T. Plummer, vice president of marketing for Salem. The brand’s stronger menthol flavor blend is now called “Salem Green Label” and comes in a hard pack with a flip top. The packaging is bright green and features enhanced graphics to give it a more modern and premium look. The richer tobacco blend version is now called “Salem Black Label” and is offered in a black slide box, also with updated graphics giving the box a richer and edgier look.

Reynolds Tobacco is also expanding distribution of the Salem Black Label style to 80 percent of the menthol market. The style has been limited to 10 east coast markets since its introduction in 1999. The Green Label styles are already sold nationally.

Salem has primarily been sold in a soft pack, with only 30% of the brand’s sales volume coming from hard packs, according to Soloman Smith Barney tobacco analyst Bonnie Herzog. Other major menthol brands are sold primarily in hard packs.

In addition to the packaging redesign, Reynolds will break a new advertising and marketing campaign in the second quarter featuring a campaign slogan of “Stir the Senses.” Advertising will focus on the cigarette’s taste.

“This effort will provide Salem the opportunity for long-term growth in the marketplace, to better compete effectively in the category,” Plummer said. The menthol category accounts for about 25 percent of the U.S. cigarette market.

Quintin Repositions Stars Flavored Cigs

Quintin USA, Inc. has slashed the dealer cost for its new Stars premium flavored cigarettes to $10 a carton of 200 cigarettes, to compete favorably with lower-quality fourth-tier cigarettes. Stars, the first tobacco product for American consumption made in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon), Vietnam, is available in six flavors including Banana Nut, Blueberry, Cinnaberry, Vanilla Créme, Swiss Chocolate, and Cherry Cheesecake.

Stars blend Virginia, Zimbabwean, Vietnamese, and other tobaccos, and are cased with domestic flavoring agents. Quintin USA also announced free two-day UPS air shipping for all orders of twelve units or more of any one product, valid on Quintin’s entire 2,000-item product lineup of European and Canadian cigarettes, natural cigarettes and tobaccos, roll- and make-your-own tobaccos and supplies, pipe tobaccos, premium & domestic cigars, and Zippo and Djeep lighters. Any order placed by 5 p.m. Eastern Time will arrive within the two-day window.

Quintin USA, Inc., Steamboat Springs, CO 80477, Toll-free: (800) 359-4170, Tel: (970) 879-8707, Fax: (970) 879-8607.

Cohiba Selección Reserva

Habanos S.A. has released a special production Cohiba Selección Reserva assortment of 30 cigars presented in a humidified box. These cigars have been rolled from a special blend of aged tobaccos originating from the best vegas of San Luis and San Juan y Martínez in Cuba’s Vuelta Abajo growing region. The tobacco filler leaves have been aged for over three years prior to rolling, lending these special Cohibas a distinctive flavor and aroma.

The Cohiba Selección Reserva contains six Coronas especiales; four Espléndidos; six Robustos; eight Pirámides; and six Medias Coronas. This is the first time that the Media Corona shape has ever been produced in the Cohiba brand, and it will only be available in this special production. Each cigar is double banded with a special “Reserva” band that accompanies the main Cohiba band, which for this release features the name brand in golden letters.

SMOKESHOP - February, 2003