HMC brand portfolio enlarges its footprint in Europe

November 11, 2021

With the acquisition of Agio Cigars in 2020, the Balmoral brand was integrated into the Scandinavian Tobacco Group (STG) portfolio – a perfect addition to the STG portfolio for the handmade cigars category in Europe. Under the must-win battle “Grow our handmade cigar business”, special efforts were put in place from the International handmade cigars team to grow brand awareness and volume.

In 2016, Balmoral entered the premium handmade cigar category that was launched in multiple European markets. The Anejo line-up has been growing since then and has expanded with three additional lines via the Anejo XO Oscuro, Anejo XO Connecticut and Anejo XO Nicaragua.

A great strategic fit

STG international Handmade cigar portfolio was previously not present in the premium HMC price segment, but with the addition of Balmoral Anejo XO, STG was able to offer cigars in this segment as well, complementary to the portfolio.

A simplification process was still needed to be carried out to make sure the assortment was aligned and is focused on best selling products to complement the current portfolio with 50% of the SKUs discontinued with 90% of the volume intact.

Mark Renard, International Marketing Manager says: “When integrating the Balmoral brand into the STG portfolio it was critical for us to have a complementary portfolio to create synergies from the integration. Thanks to the addition of Balmoral, we can grow our critical mass in Europe and the integration increases our distribution expansion possibilities.”

Recently, the Balmoral Anejo XO Corona received a 93 rating in CigarsLover magazine, recognizing the use of the top 5% of select premium tobaccos in the world and in 2022, the Balmoral brand will expand into new markets such as Asia to enlarge its footprint in the international handmade cigars category.

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