Country: Dominican Republic
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic
Price: $7.50 - $9.50
Available in 4 Sizes:
Toro (6 X50) [pictured]
Short Robusto (4 1/2 X 52)
Short Torpedo (4X56)
Special Toro (6X60)
AVO Brand Manager
We talked about the changes that were made to the brand as part of this refresh. We talked about a new tagline, new swag for events, and about how you trimmed the fat from the brand, but we’ve seen that the boxes have changed significantly. What’s behind that change?
The brand has been around for almost 30 years and it was time to update it. We switched from 25-count boxes to 20-count boxes. We moved away from the old cabinet style box to the 10-on-top-of-10 hinged box. By doing this, we allow the cigar to be the hero and it doesn’t get lost inside of a cabinet box after you remove the first row. The wider box also allows us more space to give the consumer some tasting notes about the cigar and what level of intensity he or she can expect from this cigar.
Additionally, we price protected the brand. Price pro-tecting means that every retailer, whether brick and mortar or online and catalog, will work within the same price structure. You won’t see huge discrepancies or variances in price from one retailer to the next. But we also decreased the price in almost every format, making it so that consumers who were buying it discounted won’t see a big increase in price and consumers that were not will get a great decrease.
We have a pretty good idea of how consumers feel about price decreases, but what has been the reaction from the retailers?
Everyone has loved the change. It’s still too early to tell, but so far it has been extremely well-received. There is an incredible amount of people out there who are loyal AVO smokers and these folks are obviously ecstatic about the changes. We’re getting excellent feedback and the stores have been scheduling an enormous amount of events. We’re just getting underway and we’ve got about 120 events booked all over the country. That takes us through the trade show. The reception to the changes we’ve made and the event experiences that we’ve incorporated have been a dream come true for most AVO fans, consumers and retailers alike.
You know Avo has always been a very generous man. He’s always been about sharing and I think that these changes to the brand accentuate that. Like the photo booth we now bring to every event. It allows event participants to take a photo. Then it applies a black and white filter, puts the orange border around it to resemble our current ad campaign and then the person can share the pic on social media or through email. They can share the moment and that’s what it’s all about.
So this brings us to the AVO Heritage. Why did this brand that is known for producing mostly mild and creamy cigars launch this flavorful and strong cigar?
Well, just like the rest of the industry, Avo’s palate changed. He wanted to smoke something with a little more kick to it. He also wanted to pay tribute to the men and women who work in the tobacco industry in the Dominican Republic, where his cigars are manu-factured. So he assembled the young generation of blenders at the factory and had them work with the master blenders. Together they blended the AVO Heri-tage and it is by far the fullest bodied and most intense cigar in the AVO portfolio.
The cigar is covered with this rich and flavorful wrapper. You almost want to chew on it. Can you tell us about this wrapper and the other components of the blend?
Yeah, that wrapper is something else. It is a special sungrown wrapper from Ecuador that is dark, very rich and oily and slightly toothy. It’s specially grown for this blend and it gives the Heritage its unmistakable character. The binder and filler are Dominican, but we use higher priming tobaccos to get that intensity and strength. But, like everything Henke Kelner blends, it is extremely refined. It isn’t an overpowering cigar that knocks you down.