The other brand owner present pointed out that it was the older people who had the money, and that therefore maintaining an exclusive luxury image was essential in profit maximisation. This may well be the case, but had I been in business for money I would have probably pursued a more lucrative career in the financial centre of London. I feel that the 20 year olds of today are the 40 year olds of tomorrow, and that the industry is in danger of becoming unfashionable precisely because of such cynical marketing strategies.
Well, the jury is out on this one. If cigar makers don’t wake up and realise they are alienating younger people then this must surely spell disaster for the industry. Most of the older cigar consumers I speak to started in their twenties, and I don’t see that trend continuing today which is concerning. This is not necessarily because of the misguided anti smoking campaigners, because there are plenty of young people consuming other tobacco products. For some reason cigars have an image that is not easily shaken off because it is so widely propagated. On the other hand, we might see an influx of new smokers starting in their thirties and forties, I don’t know.
What I do know is that cigars are interesting and lend themselves well to social occasions. It is a shame that often they are overlooked for other alternatives, and not because of anything other than an image that is fast becoming outdated and unhelpful.