Lighting the Way: Scandinavian Tobacco Group’s CEO Niels Frederiksen, Part 2

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    “We recently made a significant commitment to increase our consumer connectivity by expanding our brand ambassador team to six ambassadors,” Frederiksen says. “Our team traverses the country, and in the case of some brands, the globe, interacting with cigar lovers in-store and at events to deliver tailored and impactful experiences with our brands. This effort is helping to pay dividends for us, as brands across our entire portfolio are enjoying marked growth.”

    Future Forecast
    While the regulatory environment throughout most of the world might seem ready to kill the premium cigar industry, Frederiksen insists that the future is far from bleak. The Cigar Association of America’s recently released data on 2017’s premium handmade cigar imports into the U.S.—330 million, the most premium cigar imports in 20 years—bears witness to the overall health of the industry. With challenges come opportunities, and STG will be among the first to capitalize on them.

    “We expect the industry to be stable, with slight growth over the next five years, and there is absolutely reason for optimism,” Frederiksen says. “The driving force behind our optimistic view is the resilience of our retailers and consumers. Cigars will always face regulation; however, we have an extremely passionate base of cigar lovers who are willing to adapt their smoking occasions. We will be there to support their passion, and will continue to support our brands and drive innovation in the category. Our resources and capabilities will allow us to serve both the retailer and consumer in more customized and more impactful ways than ever before. We are committed to delivering the utmost excitement to retailers, along with great moments to smokers. And we are on track to fulfill our mission to ensure a bright future for the category. Rest assured, STG will light the way.”

    This story first appeared in the May/June 2018 issue of Tobacco Business magazine. Members of the tobacco industry are eligible for a complimentary subscription to our magazine. Click here for details.

    By Stephen A. Ross, senior editor of Tobacco Business Magazine. Photos by Justin Hummerston.