Altria buys ’boutique’ cigarette brands from Nat Sherman

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RICHMOND, Virginia – Altria Group has expanded into what some call “boutique” brands by acquiring privately held Sherman Group Holdings, which includes the Nat Sherman lines of super premium cigarettes and premium cigars, officials said in a press release. .

New York-based Nat Sherman will join Philip Morris USA and John Middleton Co., as reported in a McLane /Daily CSP news flash, As part of Altria’s “smoking products segment,” said officials from Altria, based in Richmond, Virginia.

In light of British American Tobacco’s recent ruling on Reynolds American, John Strickland, president of Wayne Oil Co., Goldsboro, NC, said consolidation is a definite trend among tobacco companies, but one that likely won’t not much effect on consumers.

Altria’s move was a solid one, Strickland said, but it will mean more in terms of efficiency and an improved portfolio for manufacturers compared to any new product or offering to consumers. “Nat Sherman is a ’boutique’ cigar brand and will complement Altria’s brand portfolio,” Strickland said. Daily News from the CSP. “Historically, Altria does not innovate well and they acquire rather than innovate.”

“Nat Sherman has a tremendous portfolio of brands that complements Altria’s existing smoking product segment,” said Marty Barrington, president, CEO and chairman of Altria. “Nat Sherman will benefit from the retail distribution, brand management and adult tobacco consumer engagement expertise of Altria’s companies. ”

“We are delighted that our family business is joining the Altria family of companies,” said Bill Sherman, executive vice president of Nat Sherman. “We believe Altria will be a great steward of the Sherman company and its brands.”

While discussing Nat Sherman’s recent progress with Daily News from the CSP ahead of the acquisition announcement, Nat Sherman vice president of sales Matt Spillane said the company reached a milestone, having sold 1 million units in the 43 weeks ending October 29, 2016 , citing data from New York-based Nielsen and its convenience panel.

Growth for its Nat Sherman brand was 45% year-to-date in October 2016 and 93% for its Natural Kings brand, Spillane said. That means more than 700,000 Natural Kings packs have been sold in convenience stores to date, 340,000 more than last year, Spillane said. Daily News from the CSP.

Nat Sherman was founded in 1930 as a family business. Nat Sherman cigarettes are manufactured in Greensboro, North Carolina, and are currently in limited distribution in the United States. The company also operates a flagship store in New York City.

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