It can easily be said that this past year and a half has been one of the most emotionally taxing periods for many of us. Some of us paid the ultimate price, others lost someone they loved dearly, and even some of the luckier among us managed to endure it without too much personal damage done. The pandemic put a stop to our day-to-day lives. However, after a long time, the masks are coming off. People are out in public again. It’s time to take a deep breath and prepare for the life to resume normal operations once again.
There has been a lot of negativities in the cigar industry since March 2020- and thankfully, we finally have some good news: things seem to be booming! Despite all the obstacles in 2019, imports of premium handmade cigars still increased in 2020, and it’s been even better in the first quarter of 2021. Cigar sales have been growing steadily, with shipments going up 47% in the first quarter of 2021. During difficult times during a pandemic, people would find a source of pleasure and reward. And that reward was a cigar. Many of us already smoked cigars and were happy that we had more places to light one up.
We Appear to Be in A New Cigar Boom
Any talk of booms will always bring to mind the boom that happened during the 1990s. Thankfully, this boom appears to be different than the one in the 1990s-unless things change, at least for now. The 1990s cigar boom caught cigarmakers by surprise and led to depleted stocks of top-tier brands, with the void being filled by newcomers, many of which made substandard products. Cigars are only now recovering to the levels they were at before the turn of the century. If you shopped for cigars in 1995, 1996, or 1997, it might seem like there were few good choices available. One difference now is that cigarmakers are responding much faster to these shortages. Some small-production cigars are indeed hard to get, but if you walk into a store today, you’ll find a wide range of choices. They will likely have quality products, just like in blind cigar tastings!
It’s been a tough time, but now that things are beginning to return to normal, consider the things you’ve missed. Invite your friends around for a smoke. Instead of sitting in a room, you can go to your local cigar shop and pick out a cigar from their variety. This way, you will have an opportunity to talk about the world with the store clerk and grab a seat to feel more welcoming.