Ranking the markets: Something seems askew.


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Looking at the top 5 markets for Habanos globally. 

1. Spain

2. France

3. China

4. Germany

5. Cuba

I was asked this question last week and to be honest I didn't have an answer. 

 

How is  France the second largest habanos market in the world?  What is the  dynamic that creates such demand? 

 

and yes. If recognised, the USA would be number 1. ;)

 

 

 

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the forum has been accused of being anti US, anti islamic, anti Asian (those damn nouveau-riche Chinese!) and now anti France/EU. ......I think that means the balance is about right 

Thanks for the kind words ! I moved out this fall and had a lot of stuff to deal with. I'll be back, I'm not so easy to get rid of!  And Happy New Year to everyone !

I wouldn't be surprised at all if it's Chinese buyers making the French and Spanish markets look so good. I go to Spain regularly and I just don't see Spanish people smoking premium cigars in any

Any idea if this list is based on shipments or consumption? For example is this based on the volume selling into French distributors/wholesalers/retailers or is this based on sales to end users in France?

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24 minutes ago, ac031898 said:

Any idea if this list is based on shipments or consumption? For example is this based on the volume selling into French distributors/wholesalers/retailers or is this based on sales to end users in France?

Good question. Is this "Sales to distributors" or actual retail consumption in France? The US market has to be supplied from somewhere and it isn't all coming directly from the island. 

The Habanos SA website says that SEITA is only responsible for the distribution of Jose L Piedra and Quay D' Orsay in France. It does mention any distributor for the other brands though. That is odd to me. Does anybody know who distributes the majority of the brands in France?

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Didn’t the French / Spanish state tobacco companies obtain 50% equity in Habanos SA back in the 1990s? If so makes sense those two countries are on top.

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The factors that contribute to France being a large market for Habanos cigars include the following...

  • Jean Nicot, the French Diplomat, brought tobacco to the French Royal Court in 1559 and it subsequently became popular in France to consume tobacco in the 1560s. France followed in the footsteps of the Portuguese and Spanish seafarers who had already brought tobacco to their countries by this time. Sir Walter Raleigh, credited with introducing tobacco to the United Kingdom, did so around 20 years later, but tobacco culture was initially resisted by King James I. Note, Spain's ties to Habanos culture stem back to Columbus' finding of Cuba in 1492.
  • Tobacco Smoking became more entrenched in French society ever since a state monopoly controlling tobacco sale was create in 1674 during the reign of King Louis XIV. As a result of this, it has become very difficult for modern French Governments to institute bans which are popular in other countries as tobacco has been a high source of revenue for hundreds of years.
  • This Cigar Journal article from 2014 suggests that 70% of Habanos sales comes from 14 countries and that Cohiba, Montecristo and Romeo y Julieta account for 2/3 of all sales. However, in my mind, and I admit forthrightly that this is my own speculation, is not Jose L. Piedra a global brand? What does this mean? The 7 global brands account for something like 85% of worldwide sales and around 2006/7 Habanos S.A. released figures which suggested that Montecristo, Romeo y Julieta and Jose L. Piedra account for 50% of these sales (this information is listed on Cuban Cigar Website). Now, Jose L. Piedra therefore is a high-selling brand for "cheap and cheerful" Cuban cigars and I would not be surprised in the least if Spain and France are by far the biggest markets.
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26 minutes ago, Corylax18 said:

Good question. Is this "Sales to distributors" or actual retail consumption in France? The US market has to be supplied from somewhere and it isn't all coming directly from the island. 

The Habanos SA website says that SEITA is only responsible for the distribution of Jose L Piedra and Quay D' Orsay in France. It does mention any distributor for the other brands though. That is odd to me. Does anybody know who distributes the majority of the brands in France?

There are 2 distributors to France. That's why it's common to have 2 different regionales editions in the same year in France.

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3 hours ago, MD Puffer said:

They're a big country- population-wise in addition to size.  Maybe they have a low per capita rate of cigar smokers, but that they're so numerous it puts them in the top 5?

65 million people? That is hardly a big populous. 

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4 hours ago, ac031898 said:

Any idea if this list is based on shipments or consumption? For example is this based on the volume selling into French distributors/wholesalers/retailers or is this based on sales to end users in France?

Purchases by Country. 

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3 hours ago, JohnS said:

figures which suggested that Montecristo, Romeo y Julieta and Jose L. Piedra account for 50% of these sales (this information is listed on Cuban Cigar Website). Now, Jose L. Piedra therefore is a high-selling brand for "cheap and cheerful" Cuban cigars and I would not be surprised in the least if Spain and France are by far the biggest markets.

Spot on. JLP is the highest selling brand in Spain, and a big seller in Europe still. That's also why I am not sure the statement of El Prez regarding US sales would hold. Value perhaps, not units.

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9 minutes ago, Fugu said:

Spot on. JLP is the highest selling brand in Spain, and a big seller in Europe still. That's also why I am not sure the statement of El Prez regarding US sales would hold. Value perhaps, not units.

30% of Cuban production would end up in the USA. Well, that is the estimate of major dealers and HSA themselves (at least privately). 

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17 hours ago, MD Puffer said:

They're a big country- population-wise in addition to size.  Maybe they have a low per capita rate of cigar smokers, but that they're so numerous it puts them in the top 5?

Large population and the most tourists per year on the list.

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