CUBAN CIGAR MAKER EYES GROWING MARKET IN MACAU AND MAINLAND CHINA


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https://macaudailytimes.com.mo/cuban-cigar-maker-eyes-growing-market-in-macau-and-mainland-china.html

 

CUBAN CIGAR MAKER EYES GROWING MARKET IN MACAU AND MAINLAND CHINA

 - TUESDAY, JANUARY 15, 2019 - 2 DAYS AGO NO COMMENTS 754 VIEWS

 

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Cuban premium hand-rolled cigars are becoming quite popular in China, which is considered the most important emerging market for at least one particular company.

In an interview with Xinhua, Jose Maria Lopez, development vice president of Habanos S.A., said the company will seek to expand and diversify its presence in China in 2019. “China has the potential to be in the medium term the first market for Habanos S.A.” and there are “great possibilities” to increase sales in China, Lopez said.

According to official figures, China became the third largest market worldwide for the company in 2017 after Spain and France, with an increase in sales of 33 percent from 2016.

Premium cigars in China was an undersized segment until a decade ago because there was preference for cigarettes, said Lopez, adding that an increasing fondness of Chinese consumers for handmade tobacco has emerged in recent years and Cuba is currently the top producer in the world.

Due to the growing demand, Habanos S.A. reached an agreement with the China National Tobacco Corporation in the summer of 2017 to increase sales and work together to promote knowledge of and develop a taste for Cuban cigars in China.

“The Chinese consumer prefers our most exclusive and premium products with an authentic admiration for the Cohiba brand, which is our most important trademark and greatest exponent of luxury within the Cuban cigar market,” Lopez said.

“Between 40 and 50 percent of the Chinese demand is concentrated in the Cohiba brand, which is very high. One of our intentions when we talk about developing the tobacco culture in that country is to educate the Chinese consumer that not all cigars are Cohiba,” he said.

Habanos S.A. also sells another 26 brands of cigars and each of them has its own characteristics, flavors and different price ranges, according to the senior executive, adding that it is the company’s focus to make these brands widely known to the Chinese consumers.

According to Lopez, sales of Cohiba with respect to other brands is much higher in China than in other countries in Latin America and Europe.

With the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration through which domestic imports are made to the Chinese mainland, growth rates between 20 and 30 percent per year are expected, according to Lopez.

“Based on the collaborations that we are having, without doubt we trust that, with a relationship of mutual benefit, we will be able to grow in the market,” said Lopez.

Habanos S.A. plans to continue growing in three other marketing channels that have been identified in the Asian nation.

The company has shops in Hong Kong and Macau. It is also working to attract customers through the China Duty Free Group in the two regions.

Lopez told Xinhua the company is working on an exclusive product for 2020 to commemorate the Chinese Spring Festival as a sign of the growing demand and constant expansion of sales in the Asian nation.

“We believe that we have a very interesting idea to satisfy the expectations and interests of Chinese consumers in a moment so special for them as the celebration of the New Lunar Year,” he concluded.

Founded in 1994, Habanos S.A. is dedicated to commercializing hand- made Cuban premium cigars. Its distribution network includes 144 sale points on the island and over 700 additional establishments in more than 150 countries around the world.   MDT/Xinhua

 

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Just talked to a wine producer from Bordeaux about Chinese money. His concern was two-fold: 1) Bordeaux prices have now climbed so high as to make his market inaccessible to the vast majority of younger buyers, thus risking the next generation’s preference for Bordeaux, 2) He thinks the Chinese will ultimately store and not consume the wine! This last concern he conceded was not economic, but rather one of the heart. He said he likes to think that his handiwork will delight his customers, and that ultimately he makes the wine to be drunk! I would imagine similar market exaggerations will occur with Habanos? For me, if this just occurs with Cohiba, I’m none too concerned - but I’d hate to see Bolivar go this way!

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13 hours ago, ha_banos said:
16 hours ago, Ritch said:
Give it time and just like everything else the Chinese will make their own. First they buy, then study, then produce. I look forward to the future Chinohibas

Ummmm ..... In think we already there ... So to speak..

Aye I guess so. They are on the imitation copy phase. Gove it time and they will find the perfect area of China for growing and they will make their own then. People forget that China is the world's oldest civilisation they are playing for the long game.

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I've smoked quite a few Chinese cigars (typically rolled with Dominican/Honduran/Nicaraguan tobacco and some Chinese-grown filler).  For example, Great Wall cigar, Mount Tai, and a few others.

They are not the best in terms of flavor (to me), but I've had a few that were decent to good.  The thing that was striking to me is how beautiful they were.  Every single premium Chinese cigar I've seen has been immaculately rolled and the wrapper is perfect, very few veins, almost smooth, and the draw and construction are always 100% spot on.  If I could get whoever is making these to roll with some Cuban tobacco, I think that would be my go to.

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