Major Cigar Company Enters the E-cig Market
Another sign of the growth and confidence within the electronic cigarette sector is the entry of a major international cigar company into the game. Swisher International, the manufacturer of popular Swisher Sweets, has recently launched it e-Swisher product.
The Jacksonville, Florida based company, which is one of America’s oldest and most popular cigar brand, is better known for its flavoured mild cigars. The current Swisher cigar product lines are at the affordable end of the price scale and are not considered as elite or exclusive when compared to their Cuban counterparts. Their distinctive flavors have made them popular for the casual smoker, as well as within the rap music industry.
It is understood that after an initial trial in a few thousand convenience stores proved very successful, the business rolled the product out across the country.
The current Swisher Sweets tobacco cigars come in about a dozen different flavors, including the traditional menthol along with fruity flavours such as strawberry, blueberry and grape. The new e-Swisher will come initially in a limited number of flavours, but this is expected to increase.
Electronic cigarettes are simple devices that use a small battery to heat special capsules which release a water vapor infused with nicotine and a flavor. They are intended to miminic the physical activity of smoking regular cigarettes or cigars.
While the entry into the electronic cigarette marketplace by a traditional tobacco company shows the growing importance of the e-cig market, it also demonstrates the potential threat the product may have on the traditional tobacco product companies. Analysts see this move a confirming this trend. As it was recently reported, AJ Renolyds, the manufacturer of Camel and Altria, who produce Marlboro, have admitted that the e-cigarette could impact on their profits.
To date, the e-cigarettes have been a phenomenon of the online sales, with dozens companies selling direct to consumers via their websites. However, if the traditional cigarette companies enter the market this may change. The Big Tobacco companies have an extensive distribution network, both in the US as well as internationally, so they could leverage this as an advantange to allow them to quickly enter and expand in the market. With a significant fall in profits, reported recenlty by the CDC at over 25% in the past 10 years, this could be seen as solution to plug the hole in this steady decline in profit.
Swisher cigars are an international brand, selling across the world. It is unknown if they will venture into the international market.