Asia Marketing Services sees demand in China for premium handmade cigars

By Faye Bartle |

Hans Rijfkogel, Asia Marketing ServicesAsia Marketing Services is seeing a ‘considerable’ rise in demand for premium, handmade cigars in Asia Pacific and is in the process of re-introducing its product portfolio with duty free operators in the region, including in China’s duty free market “very soon”.

“There’s a lot of interest in cigars from Chinese consumers – by far the biggest opportunity is in China,” said Hans Rijfkogel, Director at Asia Marketing Services, which is responsible for coordinating the sales and marketing activities for cigar companies including VCF Cigars (J. Cortès and Oliva Cigars) in the Asia Pacific duty free and travel retail markets.

In our Singapore Shorts video interview, which took place on location at the TFWA Asia Pacific Exhibition & Conference (7-11 May 2023), produced in partnership with The Bluedog Group, Rijfkogel described how being able to meet partners ‘face to face’ once more at the show, has been a highlight. 

In the February 2023 issue of TRBusiness magazine, Rijfkogel described how curiosity is driving discovery within the cigar category.

“Cuban cigars used to dominate the handmade cigar category, but consumer buying behaviour has changed and this presents an opportunity for premium cigars like Oliva,” he said. “We expect that demand for handmade cigars, particularly those from well-known brands such as Oliva, will continue to increase.”

He also flagged how promotions and merchandising play a key role in driving engagement.

“Travel retail operators can expect our full support with gift-with-purchase promotions and staff incentive promotions,” said Rijfkogel. “These have worked very well in a number of Asia airports. With tailor-made promotions and offering travel retail exclusives, we will continue to support and promote our brands.”

Please click here to read the cigar feature in the February 2023 e-zine.

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