Brandon's Predictions for PCA 2024

Brandon Hayes
Today Nate and I are at PCA, our largest trade show of the year. However, I prepared this email a couple of days before we left. I’d like to share a couple of my predictions just ahead of the largest trade show of the year. I will report back as soon as we return.
There will be a lot of talk about acquisitions. Last week I talked about two previous large acquisitions and predicted one more to come this week. I think there will be a lot of chatter about who is next and maybe even an announcement of one. 
The tobacco shortage will be talked about by every manufacturer. With the increase in demand over the last few years combined with poor crops due to weather conditions, tobacco stocks are running low. Additionally, we will see tobacco being grown in new areas, for example, Christian Eiroa's South American project. 
Manufacturers will make clear that tobacco prices are higher. I am confident that new releases will be accompanied by conversations about how expensive tobacco is. While this is absolutely true, I hope manufacturers can find a healthy balance between making a profit and keeping cigars affordable for consumers. 
More new releases. The last several years have been spent catching up from the cigar boom and Covid shutdowns, but factories are now caught up. I predict this means cigar makers have had time to focus on more limited/new releases.
Retailer attendance will be up. This will be good for manufacturers and PCA (to collect revenue). Hopefully, they will properly utilize the extra money to help continue the fight with the FDA as the lawsuit drags on.
It will be good to see General, Altadis, and Drew Estate back, but Davidoff will still be missed. Bringing three of the biggest brands in the industry back is good for everyone.

I hope this gives you a little glimpse of what we are expecting. By the time you are reading this, we will be packing to head back home (and probably dead tired too).Once we have a chance to return and process our thoughts, we will follow up with a recap regarding what we actually experienced.

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