RTDA Tobacco Products Buying Guide

Soaring taxes and price increases prompted by the Master Settlement Agreement have fueled the growth in the roll-your-own and make-your-own cigarette segment, reflected by numerous product introductions in this once sleepy, European segment.

by E. Edward Hoyt III

G.A. Andron & Co., Inc., Deer Park, N.Y. (800-221-1634) is distributing the most expensive cigarette in the world, the all-new Treasurer. Chalk it up to the booming economy, but Treasurer sales at the RTDA exceeded G.A. Andron’s wildest expectations. Made in limited quantities in Holland by London-based Chancellor Tobacco Co., Treasurer is packed in stylish brushed-aluminum hinge-lid tins. Cartons containing 10 tins mimic Treasurer’s unique package format. Only key international markets are being targeted, and distribution domestically is limited to premier tobacco shops and high-end clubs.

New to the U.S. market are German-made Macoba cigarillos, lightly scented with vanilla, which are available in either Classic or Filter versions in 20-count, European-style packs.

Premier Greek cigarette producer Karelia Tobacco Co. has added elegant Karelia Slims filter cigarettes to its line. Packed in slim, glossy, flip-top packs of 20 sticks, these extra-long cigarettes are rated at 6mg tar, .6mg nicotine.

Two new herbal smoking blends are now available in pouch form, made by England’s Honeyrose Products Ltd. Honeyrose Special is a blend of herbs including marshmallow, red clover, and rose petals, while the Farmers Honeyblend adds apple juice and honey to create a more aromatic blend. Honeyrose smoking mixtures are all-natural, non-tobacco, and non-addictive. Andron is now distributing the popular, 50-year-old European Moscotte line of cigarette rolling papers, tubes, and rolling equipment. These quality, French-made papers are the leading brand of rolling papers in Holland, the biggest market for roll-your-own products in the world. A roll-your-own Mascotte display featuring assorted papers, tubes, and machines is also available.

Kretek International, Moorpark, Calif., (800-358-8100) added a number of new products to its portfolio. Djarum filter kretek clove cigarettes are now available in 20-count metal tins (Special Classics only), as well as American style, 20-count flip-top packs (Special, Lights, and Menthol, Djarum Black, and Djarum Splash). Djarum Super Lights are all new, a milder blend of the sweet clove and tobacco mixture found in the full-flavor Djarum Super, but lower in tar and nicotine. Darshan Indian-style bidi cigarettes has added a Darshan 100% Herbal Blend; and Ecstacy Herbal Cigarettes has released Ecstacy Herbal Bidis. Also from Ecstacy is Cannabis Free, herbal cigarettes made from wild lettuce, catnip, skull cap, and mint. Kretek now offers Tajmahal Bidis, the most popular bidi in India, where these traditional cigarettes are made. All-new Liquid Zoo flavored cigarettes are made in Holland, flavored to smoke sweet and aromatic in either Coconut, Mint, or Strawberry. The company is offering several new lines of rolling papers. Rita’s hemp rolling paper, and four “wired” versions featuring non-toxic stainless steel wire supports - The Original Randy’s, Euro Randy’s, King Randy’s, and Randy’s Classic - are manufactured in California by C.T.C. Ltd., as are Kretek’s own High Wire and High Wire Longs, also wired hemp rolling papers. Liquid Zoo offers 33-leaf booklets of flavored hemp rolling papers made in Spain, available in Coconut, Mint, or Strawberry.

Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co., Inc., (800-982-7454), Santa Fe New Mexico, has extended its newest cigarette - Natural American Spirit 100% Organic Tobacco - to a new hinge-lid, 20-count hard pack. Manufactured from whole-leaf, premium tobacco grown to certified organic standards, these filter cigarettes were introduced earlier this year in 10-count tins. Designed to tap into the growing organic market by appealing to consumer demand for all-natural, chemical-, additive-, and preservative-free products, the line extension provides retailers with higher profit margins than other mass-market, commercial brands.

James Norman, Ltd., New York, N.Y., (800-525-5629), offers German-made Exzellent roll-your-own tobacco, a light American-blend fine-cut product available in either Vanilla or Cherry packed in 40 gram pouches.

Lane Ltd., Tucker, Ga., (800-241-6579) has re-introduced Gitanes Blondes, absent from the U.S. market for over a year. Featuring new packaging, these French filtered cigarettes are packed in 20-count flip-top packs, available in regular or lights.

Phillips & King International, Inc., City of Industry, Calif., (800-532-4427), introduced the Zigarettes line of make-you-own tobaccos and supplies. The unique tobacco blend comes in five flavors: Regular, Menthol, Pina Colada, Vanilla, and Raspberry, packed in 6.2 oz. bags in a special vapor-seal bag to maintain freshness. Zigarettes Tubes are also available, packed 200 tubes per box. The company is also distributing the German-made Myn Heer RYO tobacco in Zware Shag, Halfzware Shag, and American Blend versions, as well as Jan Willem Halfware Shag, all in 40 gm. pouches.

Smokin’ Joes, Sanborn, N.Y. (888-996-2848), the first federally-licensed and approved Native American cigarette manufacturer, introduced a line of hand rolling cigarette tobaccos packed in cans, offered in five varieties: Canadian Full Flavor, American Full Flavor, American Menthol, Menthol 100% Natural, and 100% Natural. Cans are packed 12 to a case.

Nat Sherman, New York, N.Y., (888-243-9377) re-launched its Naturals, 100% Pure & Natural Tobacco cigarettes. The slender “101” size filtered cigarettes, offered in either Originals, Lights, and new Mint, are packaged in upscale, European-style packs of 20. RBJ Sales, Inc., Dresden, Tenn. (888-243-9377), offers the Old Hillside Tobacco Center, a turn-key make-your-own cigarette display containing 25 boxes of German-made El-Rey Full Flavor Cigarette Filter Tubes, 7 El-Rey Filter Cigarette Making Kits, and 10 bags each of Old Hillside Regular and Light cigarette tobaccos in 6 oz. bags. Wholesale cost, $162.97.

Also available is the RBJ Make-Your-Own Cigarette Merchandising Center at $862.60 wholesale, featuring a complete range of cigarette tobaccos, rolling papers, RYO machines, MYO injectors, kits, and tubes. Center ships with a free coated wire merchandising rack.

Nationwide Tobacco, Inc., Blaine, Wa., (877-443-3600) introduced the sixty1 line of MYO cigarette tobaccos and accessories. Packed in resealable 6.1 oz pouches, cigarette rolling tobacco is offered in Full Flavor, Light, Ultra Light, Menthol, and Menthol Light, in 12- or 30-count cases. A Cigarette Kit includes one bag of tobacco, a making machine, filtered cigarette tubes, and empty crush-proof carrying boxes. Empty cigarette storage tins are also available. The “Make Your Own Center” floor display ships with 48 bags of tobacco, 90 cigarette storage tins, 30 cigarette making machines, 12 packs of empty boxes, 18 cartons of cigarette tubes, and 4 MYO cigarette kits.

M&R Holdings, Inc., Pink Hill, N.C., (800-451-5729), offers Farmer’s Gold premium roll-your-own cigarette tobacco in either Full Flavor or Menthol versions, packaged in resealable 6 oz. or 16 oz. polybags. The tobaccos are additive-free, and locally-grown. Private label programs are also available.

Maxius Cigar Co., Buffalo, N.Y., (800-845-9965), has introduced Maxius Tobacco in a Can, premium American Blend RYO cigarette tobacco packaged in 6 oz. full-color paperboard canisters.

USA Tobacco Distributing, Ventura, Calif. (877-646-0100), introduced several new products:

Ideal is a line of quality filtered cigarettes at discount prices, available in Full Flavor, Lights, Ultra-Lights, Menthol, and Menthol Lights, in 85mm or 100mm versions.

Ultra Deal are filtered, tobacco-free cigarettes formulated to taste like regular cigarettes, not herbals. Formulations include Full Flavor, Menthol, Ultra Light, and Vanilla, with 100mm and King sizes.

Wismilak, filtered clove cigarettes packed in 16-count hard packs, is an international award-winning brand for quality and taste, utilizing top-quality tobacco, cloves, and spices.

Jambi is the first tobacco-free filtered clove cigarette, made from herbs, spices, and cloves, entirely nicotine-free. Offered in either Island Spice or Cinnamon Clove in hard packs.

Single Stick cigarettes are individually packaged cigarettes sold by the stick in a custom display, in Full Flavor, Menthol, and Cinnamon versions.

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. was testing retailer interest in several products that are currently available only through its CML: The Camel Quarterly direct marketing magazine, or still under development for the U.S. market. Of interest were Camel Exotic Blends - premium versions of Camel Turkish blend cigarettes packed in full-color 20-count metal tins and marketed as cocktail or special occasion cigarettes. Camel Crema adds a hint of vanilla and a touch of exotic spices; Camel Twist is infused with a splash of citrus flavor; Camel Samsun features a “delicate, fragrant leaf for a mellow, exotic smoke;” Basma utilizes the fragrant Basma leaf, the most expensive of Turkish tobaccos, for a spicy, smooth smoke with a “woodsy undertone;” Izmir Stinger is a “sweet and tart” cocktail cigarette; and Rare Batch, a continuing series of special reserve releases blended from the finest 1% of the company’s finest leaf. Versions of Camels packed in tin canisters, and a Camel pouch RYO tobacco were also displayed. Watch for the first introductions to specialty tobacco retail markets by year’s end.

Merchandise Report

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