A lot has happened over the last month, including various dinners at various places with various people. Suffice to say I have learned the following 3 things about the cigar industry:
1) the more cigars you smoke, the more respected you are
2) the more alcohol you drink, the more respected you are
3) you´re only as young as the woman you feel. Which makes me a healthy and mature 26.
A quick note also to our private clients in Hong Kong. We are currently talking with a major tobacco operator in the region so that we can reach a wider audience with greater availability.
A few weeks ago, I was smoking cigars with Colin Ganley, the editor of the European Cigar Journal, a big brand owner in the United States (who shall remain nameless) and some cigar aficionados from North America. I really like smoking and discussing cigars with consumers as every consumer is different and it is possible to learn a lot about the market and other products, even though tastes are so varied. Granted, European consumers are less likely to smoke some of the more full bodied creations destined for the United States, but fundamentally I believe that all consumers are the same in that they are looking for the best quality product for the best price. The nuances in the different cigars make life interesting.
One of the main discussions that took place that night was how to market cigars towards younger people, and to stop cigars going out of fashion, especially in high tax jurisdictions. For example, I know that a lot of my friends will smoke shisha pipes with flavoured tobacco in London because they have a more social reputation.
One would think in a more health and taste driven society, cigars would become more prominent as they are not inhaled and the taste is more subtle and interesting; you don’t smoke a cigar just for the nicotine kick. Much of the lack of uptake I feel is due to the marketing of the product as a high end, luxury accessory for older people, and as a show of wealth as opposed to a functional and interesting way of spending an hour with friends.