Brand Trivia Part 1

Revolutionary forces took control of Cuba on January 2, 1959. The Cuban cigar price list effective as of January 1 showed 140 brands in production for export, offering 999 in-production shapes and another 186 shapes not in production, but available for sale (1,185 total). 

In 1960, the Cuban cigar industry was nationalized and in 1962, "Empresa Cubana del Tabaco" known as CUBATABACO was formed and the number of marques declined to less than 40. 

Between 1959 and 1973, a total of three new brands were introduced (Diplomaticos,Davidoff and Quai d'Orsay). None were introduced from 1974-81, then Cohiba andDunhill started in 1982.

There was little additional activity until 1989 when three machine-made brands were introduced for sale in Eastern Europe: BelindaCabañas and La Corona.

Fourteen years after the introduction of Cohiba, however, a series of new brands began introduction in 1996Cuaba started that year and Jose L. Piedra was revived as anexport brand. Vegas Robaina and Vegueros followed a year later, then Trinidad in 1998and San Cristobal de la Habana in 1999. The Edicion Limitada was started in 2001, theColeccion Reserva in 2003, and a new machine-made brand, Guantanamera, introduced in 2002.

A new firm to control the distribution of Havana tobacco products worldwide (except in the United States, where the import of Cuban products is prohibited), HABANOS, S.A., was created in 1994 and has aggressively expanded the availability of Havana cigars from the ancient tobacco shops of London to the remote islands of the Pacific Rim.

Altadis, S.A., a combination of the Spanish (Tabacalera) and French (SEITA) tobacco monopolies, purchased a 50% interest in Habanos in 2000.

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