The challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic for cigar companies in 2020 are well known in the industry, but for Gurkha Cigars the company has faced the additional challenge of the aftermath of Chairman Kaizad Hansotia stepping down following racially insensitive comments on his social media accounts. While the company is going through a change to eventually divest Hansotia’s shares of the company, the company is still moving forward with business.
2020 is seeing Gurkha Cigars bring two new products to market. Gurkha has long been known for ornate packaging, this year the focus was less on that and more about cigars. I have to go back to 2010 when Gurkha released the Ninja and Viper cigars as the last time there was not an emphasis on packaging. If there had to be a year where the focus was off of these items, 2020 might is an appropriate year to do it.
2020 is going to see Gurkha bring two brick and mortar offerings to market produced out of Nicaragua. First up is the Gurkha Castle Hall Nicaragua. Earlier this year Gurkha relaunched its Castle Hall line at the 2020 TPE. The Castle Hall is a grandfathered line of cigars that was once a catalog brand. Castle Hall Nicaragua is something being offered to brick and mortar retailers not previously offered in catalogs. While the Castle Hall that was relaunched at TPE is being produced out of the Dominican Republic, the Castle Hall Nicaragua is being produced at the American Caribbean Cigars Factory in Estelí, Nicaragua and is made with 100% Nicaraguan tobacco. The cigars will be available in three sizes (Robusto: 5 x 52, Toro: 6 x 54, and Magnum: 6 x 60) and presented in 20-count boxes. Like the Dominican offering, Castle Hall Nicaragua is a value-priced cigar that will be priced under $5.00.
Gurkha is also re-releasing another former catalog brand to brick and mortar retailers called San Miguel. For San Miguel, Gurkha has turned to the TABSA factory in Estelí, Nicaragua to handle production. San Miguel is the third line that Gurkha is producing at the TABSA factory, joining the Gurkha Treinta and Gurkha Nicaragua Series. San Miguel is a Nicaragua puro featuring Aganorsa grown tobaccos. The blend is highlighted by a Nicaraguan Shade Grown Corojo wrapper. The cigars will be available in three sizes (Petite Corona, Robusto, and Toro), each packaged in 20-count boxes. Gurkha has said San Miguel will sell for under $10.00.
Gurkha Vice President Juan Lopez appeared on Prime Time’s Virtual Trade Show 2020 to discuss his company’s plans for 2020.
Photo Credits: Gurkha Cigars except where noted.
Video Credit: Cigar Coop