Dunhill Cigars Win Packaging Award

Dunhill’s holiday 2003 cigar promotion packaging has been honored with a Gold Award in the 61st National Paperboard Packaging Competition, which recognizes innovation, structural superiority, and creativity in product packaging solutions.

The judges were impressed by the “beautiful finish” and “excellent folding and scoring characteristics” of the Dunhill boxes’ paperboard outer sleeves, as well as the graphic enhancements which include metallic, UV satin coating, embossing, debossing, and hot foil stamping.

“The entire package design lends itself to being opened and closed numerous times,” stated the Paperboard Packaging Council, “while keeping the cigars secure from damage and protected against exposure to environmental conditions.”

Quest Cigarettes Now in Menthol Versions

Liggett Vector Brands has added new menthol versions to its innovative Quest cigarette line, the first cigarette brand geared toward adult smokers who have chosen to either reduce their level of nicotine intake, or to gradually step to nicotine-free smoking. The original Quest was launched regionally in early 2003 as a non-menthol brand. Now, consumer demand has led to the release of Quest Menthol 1, 2, and 3.

Quest Menthol 1 is a low nicotine cigarette with 0.6 mg. of nicotine and 10 mg. of tar per cigarette. Quest Menthol 2 is an extra-low nicotine cigarette with 0.3 mg. of nicotine and 10 mg. of tar per cigarette. Quest Menthol 3 is an entirely nicotine-free cigarette, with no more than 0.05 mg. of nicotine and 10 mg. of tar per cigarette.

All six Quest varieties are available in hard packs and are priced comparable to other premium brands.

Liggett Vector Brands, Inc., Research Triangle Park, N.C., Tel: (919) 990-3500, Web: www.questcigs.com.

Ozona Nasal Snuff Now in Spearmint

Felipe Gregorio Tobacco World, which specializes in importing premium tobaccos from small, familyowned firms in Europe and Asia, has added the new Spearmint flavor to its Ozona nasal snuff line.

“Nasal snuff is growing rapidly in popularity due to the current negative attention cigarettes are receiving,” says Philip Wynne, Felipe Gregorio’s president. “Younger users, in particular, are discovering its pleasures, and FGTW offers a complete lineup of nasal snuff brands.”

Ozona Spearmint joins Ozona Cherry and Raspberry flavors, which FGTW began distributing in the U.S. in 2003. All are made by the third-generation, family-owned German firm of Poschl Tabak, whose nasal snuff is the most popular in Europe.

“Ozona Spearmint nasal snuff is refreshingly cool and stimulating,” says Wynne, “with a delicate spearmint flavor...and chilling sensation of menthol.” Suggested retail pricing for 5- gram tins of Ozona Spearmint nasal snuff is $2.80, at keystone discount.

Felipe Gregorio Tobacco World, Alexandria, Va., Toll-free: (800) 336- 1181, Fax: (703) 519-7323, Web: www.felipegregorio.com.

El Credito Debuts El Rico Habano Four-Pack

The new “El Rico Collection” 4-packs, which offer consumers four richly flavored El Rico Habano cigars for the price of three, became available beginning in April at tobacconists nationwide, for a suggested retail price of $15.40 per pack, while supplies last. Each pack contains four El Rico Habano cigars, in four different frontmarks, including two favorites - the Habano Club (47/ 8 x 48) and Corona Suprema (6 x 50), which have natural wrappers - and two recently introduced cigars with maduro wrappers, the Rico Club (51/ 2 x 54) and Torpedo (6 x 54).

“The El Rico Habano Collection showcases perhaps the richest and most flavorful cigars made by [cigarmaster] Ernesto Perez-Carrillo,” said Bill Roethel, senior vice president of marketing for General Cigar. “That’s saying a lot, considering that he also makes La Gloria Cubana and Serie R cigars - two powerhouses.”

El Rico Habano cigars feature a blend of long filler tobacco from Nicaragua, a rich Nicaraguan binder, and either a natural wrapper from Ecuador or a sun-grown Connecticut Broadleaf maduro wrapper. All El Rico Habano cigars are aged in a Spanish cedar room to maximize their deep, rich flavor.

El Credito Cigars (General Cigar Co., Inc.,) New York, N.Y., Toll-free: (800) 273-8044, Tel: (212) 448-3800.

Puros Indios Launches “New Look” for Box and Ring Art

Puros Indios Cigars has introduced updated artwork for its cigar rings and boxes. The new design will apply only to its Puros Indios line.

“The purpose of this is to attract new smokers, and to give the retailers a presentation that reflects the premier quality of our cigars,” says Carlos Diez, director of marketing. Puros Indios cigars have consistently ranked among the highest in the cigar ratings, and are produced in Honduras by Rolando Reyes, Sr., who has almost 70 years of expertise in tobacco and cigars. The new boxes will be reduced in size to hold 20 cigars, rather than the company’s usual 25.

“The most significant improvement is in the box art,” Diez says. “It was designed to harmonize with the new cigar band. The band itself retains the familiar Puros Indios green, but is much more elegant. We think the new look will prove to be more eye-catching than previous box art and bands.”

Puros Indios Cigars, Inc., Miami, Fla., Tel: (800) 99-CIGAR, Fax: (305) 649-5154, Web: www.purosindioscigars.com.

Avo Legacy Cigars Celebrate Avo’s 78th

To commemorate the 78th birthday of musician and cigar entrepreneur Avo Uvezian, Davidoff of Geneva has released the AVO Legacy Limited Edition cigar.

The Legacy cigar, a 53/ 4 in. x 48 gauge corona extra with a tapered head, contains specially fermented Piloto tobaccos in the filler to create what the company terms a medium-strength flavor with a slight sensation of sweetness on the tongue.

Only 6,500 boxes will be available in the U.S. Each transparently lacquered wooden box contains 12 cellophaned cigars, along with a special gift: Avo’s Legacy music CD. Each cigar has a unique second band printed with a name that corresponds to one of the 12 tracks on the CD. Suggested retail price for the box is $144.

Davidoff of Geneva, Stamford, Conn., Toll-free: (800) 232-8436.

Macanudo Gold Label Re-released;
‘Somerset’ Frontmark Added

General Cigar is re-releasing its Macanudo Gold Label cigars this Spring, along with a new frontmark - the Somerset - that will make its retail debut.

Developed by cigarmaster Daniel Nuñez, the Macanudo Gold Label Somerset is a 5 in. x 54 gauge pyramid-shaped cigar that is available for a suggested retail price of $5.85 per cigar.

Originally introduced in the fall of 2002 and re-released in small quantities in subsequent years, Macanudo Gold Label is a limited edition line of Macanudo Café cigars featuring limited production Connecticut Shade wrapper leaves. Exposed to less sunlight to allow more natural sugars to remain, each leaf is unusually thin and remarkably supple with barely visible veins. This capa especial (special wrapper) has been combined with the first and second primings of the 1998 Macanudo San Andreas binder, 1998 Piloto Cubano and 1998 Mexican filler tobaccos. The result is a cigar with the “traditional smoothness of Macanudo with a unique natural sweetness.”

In addition to the new Somerset frontmark, Macanudo Gold Label cigars are available in four sizes: Shakespeare (61/ 2 x 45); Lord Nelson (7 x 49); Tudor (6 x 52); and Duke of York (51/ 4 x 54).

General Cigar Co., Inc., New York, NY, Toll-free: (800) 273-8044, Tel: (212) 448-3800.

Limited 2004 Edition of Punch Rare Corojo Cigars, Now Shipping from Villazon & Co.

With sufficient wrapper leaf for another limited return in 2004, this year’s offering of Punch Rare Corojo cigars became available at tobacconists nationwide beginning in April, but will only ship while supplies last.

Punch Rare Corojo was reintroduced in 2001 after a shortage of wrapper leaves caused the product to disappear at retail for several years. Since then, Villazon has cultivated small amounts of their reddish-brown Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper tobacco for a limited production of Punch Rare Corojo. Like the recent issues of Punch Rare Corojo, the 2004 release utilizes select blend of Nicaraguan, Honduran, and Dominican tobaccos and a flavorful Connecticut Broadleaf binder.

“Rare Corojo is a rich-tasting, square-pressed cigar of rare distinction,” said Whit Beebe, the brand’s director of marketing. “It satisfies the increasing demand for medium-to-full-bodied cigars that smoke smoothly and effortlessly.” Punch Rare Corojo is offered in four popular frontmarks - Double Corona (63/ 4 x 48), Pita (61/ 8 x 50), Magnum (51/ 4 x 54), and Rothschild (41/ 2 x 50). The cigars are packed in eye-catching red boxes, with individual cigars bearing a second red-and-gold band that bear the Rare Corojo label. Punch Rare Corojo cigars are available at retail for $3.50-$4.75 per cigar.

Villazon & Co. (General Cigar Co., Inc.,) New York, N.Y., Toll-free: (800) 273-8044, Tel: (212) 448-3800.

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