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A European cigar company bets on the large US premium cigar market

Posted by on 8/7/2021
A European cigar company bets on the large US premium cigar market

There are no doubts. The United States is the market for premium cigars (handmade) to be pursued by tobacco manufacturers. And it could not be different because it is three times bigger than the rest of the world combined, including Europe and Asia.

This explains the most recent investments made to this end by the Belgian company J. Cortès, a large European producer of machine-made tobaccos.

A little bit of history

J. Cortès Cigars have been owned by the Vandermarliere family since 1926, when Maurits Vandermarliere, its founder, began making cigars in the attic of his tobacco shop in Moen, Belgium. Until 1965 they grew in line with demand and in 1936, they opened a new factory in a nearby village, where they began to produce smaller, machine-made cigars.

Starting in 1965, Guido, Maurits's youngest son, joined and began to lead exports, and the company quickly reached a higher level. Between 1975 and 1979, within their growth strategy, they acquired the Neos Cigar and TAF factories, which allowed them a notable increase in production by adding those traditional and well-known Belgian brands of machine-made tobacco.

For four decades, Guido successfully led the company, making it a global player and, in 2005, Frederik, his youngest son, joined the company and began to take the reins, this time with his sight set on the powerful and attractive US market.

With this goal in mind, in 2016 he acquired the very prestigious American-Nicaraguan family business of artisanal cigars, Oliva Cigars, with subsidiaries in Miami and Nicaragua. With this, it makes its triumphant entry into the coveted by many, US premium cigar market, strengthens its position in the world market and adds $ 100 million to its annual turnover. That business marriage became the commercial union of the year.

By buying Oliva Cigar Co., which manufactures between 15 and 16 million handmade cigars a year, the J. Cortès group added to its own, a history that dates back to the 19th century, when Melanio Oliva began growing cigar tobacco in the fields of Cuba. Plus, of course, a wide variety of fine premium, handcrafted cigars, including Oliva Connecticut Reserve, creamy and smooth, with a smooth to medium body; the medium bodied G and O Series and the V Series also known as Special Light, best described, due to its unique combination of flavors, as "mild". All available in our store in its various formats: Churchill, Robusto, Toro, Doble Toro and Torpedo.

To close with a flourish, just a few days ago it was known that Oliva Cigar Co., acquired the legendary brands Cuba Aliados, Puros Indios and Roly, owned by the Reyes family, who since 1990 helped put Honduras on the map of producers of premium cigars.

“These are three, very well-known, much-loved and respected brands,” said Frederik Vandermarliere, owner of the company J. Cortès Cigars NV and Oliva Cigar Co., adding: “They have a significant loyal following in the U.S. market, so it made sense to us to take these brands under the Oliva roof, where we can ensure their quality from leaf to leaf”.

They seem to be fulfilling the dream of becoming an important reference in the US market for premium cigars.

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