Why cigars are going up in price in 2024

Brandon Hayes

If you’ve been in a humidor lately, you’ve probably noticed that cigar prices (like everything else) are slightly higher. This is something we’ve discussed before, but today I’m taking the opportunity to share some of my thoughts from a slightly different perspective.

The fact is, cigars are better now than they were just a handful of years ago. Do you remember when Opus X and Liga first hit the market? There was nothing like it. These were the first ultra-premium cigars to hit retail shelves. Since then, competition in that space has gotten more fierce. As a result of being exposed to higher quality cigars, people’s palates have developed—and cigar makers are producing better products. One of the ways they’re making better products is through the utilization of tobaccos that have been aged longer. Naturally, the extra aging time results in a greater expense for the cigar manufacturers.

That answers the question of rising costs for a lot of new cigars hitting the market—but what about the classics? I’ve been in cigar retail for about a decade now, and in that time, I’ve seen that on average, cigar prices go up about three percent per year. This is actually a pretty healthy percentage compared to other goods and services. And while we may have seen some slightly higher increases in the last two years, don’t forget that we’ve also experienced some years where there have been almost no price increases at all. 

Here’s another interesting fact to consider: The cost of making cigars has shot up roughly 25 percent in the last few years, with a good number of manufacturers absorbing those increases. So while costs are on the rise, it may not be as bad as it seems.

Tobacco is in high demand right now for several reasons. First, there’s been an increase in the number of cigar smokers as more people discover this uniquely refined hobby. However, increased cannabis use has played a role in this too. As more states legalize cannabis, higher-end users have begun looking for a more premium option, which often includes a premium wrapper. As more wrappers satisfy these new customers, costs go up.

New world cigars are not just for the US anymore. Europe and Asia are developing a taste for the cigars we typically enjoy in the US, further impacting the supply and demand imbalance. Additionally, the search for skilled workers in developing cigar-making countries is getting increasingly difficult. As the economies of these countries grow, so does the cost to recruit and retain workers. This is amplified by US companies outsourcing to these markets and paying more competitive wages. While this is a great benefit to the workers, it has the end result of increasing overall costs.

All things considered, there are still some great value cigars out there. Despite my strong belief that most cigars still present a great value proposition for the time and enjoyment they offer, I still appreciate a good-value cigar. Maybe these days you might have to hunt a little harder to find them, but they do still exist, and we’re more than happy to help you find them.

A cigar maker’s job is to find the right product to fit their customers. It’s my belief that if consumers vote with their wallets by making big changes in their purchasing habits, cigar makers will find a way to make a product that meets that demand.

Brandon Signature
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