Swint Elite
Breaks New Ground

By Max Gartman

Innovators in the cigarette business, Swint Elite Corp. stands ready to unleash a new twist in the menthol category, adding a sweet touch to an old favorite.

As flavored tobacco products continue to take the market by storm, Edwin Soto, president of private label cigarette company Swint Elite Tobacco, decided to tap his own longstanding flavor expertise to update a strong subcategory in the cigarette market - menthols - with an innovative new angle.

Swint Elite is a Florida-based producer of fully MSA-compliant deep-discount cigarettes such as Millennium, Golden Beach, Paris-Las Vegas, Buffalo, and Arrows. Soto, however, prefers to call his products “value cigarettes” as they all use high-quality American blend tobaccos, delivering premium-grade products at an affordable price.

Continuing their tradition of innovation, Swint Elite (formerly Third Millennium Tobacco) is gearing up to launch a sweet new cigarette brand called Swint. Soto describes Swint as a menthol cigarette with a flavor “comparable to that of the leading menthol brands,” but with an interesting twist that has its roots in his 10 years of experience in multiple sectors of the tobacco business.

During the cigar boom of the late 1990s, when Soto was working in the cigar industry, he introduced the idea of applying honey as a sweetener to cigar wrappers, thereby delivering a pleasant hint of sweetness to the lips of the smoker. In the development of Swint, he brought this same sweetening concept forward and modified it for a new application: cigarettes.

The final product is a cigarette with a sweet tip and full - but not overpowering - menthol flavor. The tip is made using a sugared paper which has been designed to negate any unpleasant after-taste from smoking, all while adding a pleasant accent to Swint’s already “bold” and crisp mint flavor. Or, as the pack itself succinctly states, “Swint - Sweet and Mint.”

The product’s packaging also takes a step forward by adding design complexity to the formula - a sophisticated sleek black pack with graphics that add a soft, almost neon-like glow while tapping the well-known consumer association of the color green with menthol products.

Swint Elite built its business around a comprehensive three-tiered program for companies who wish to create a cigarette brand of their own and can choose from a complete portfolio of full flavor, ultra light, light, menthol, or menthol light styles. The Level One program is designed for price-sensitive markets and provides a cigarette of solid quality in addition to basic marketing support services. Level Two is aimed at more established markets, with marketing solutions like competitive pricing and brand recognition programs. Level Three incorporates all of the features of the first two levels but adds the option of a completely customized tobacco blend, permit registration services, brand development, logistics management, and networking programs for efficient marketing.

Soto keeps proving that the potential for innovation still exists in an industry that has been largely dominated by major players for decades. With his own private label brands doing well, Soto continues to create new and exciting products and brands in the cigarette segment, while also providing the expertise and framework for others to do the same.

Swint Elite Corporation, Tarmac, Fla., Tel: (954) 829 1919. Fax: (954) 337 0496, Web: swintelite.com.

SMOKESHOP - April, 2008