PCA 2024 Quality Importers

Coming into the 2024 Premium Cigar Association (PCA) Trade Show, the big story from Quality Importers Trading Company (QI) was it was getting back into the premium cigar space. QI’s focus has been in the accessories space, but over the years it has been involved in premium cigars. Most notably, it was best known for its Cult Cigars brand. The company also distributed Ortega Cigars for a short time. This year, QI comes back into the premium space with a new brand called Conspiracy Cigars. The unique proposition of this project is the company is integrating its accessories with almost every cigar purchase made.  PCA 2024 wasn’t only about Conspiracy Cigars as QI had several other product innovations across its different brands it brought to this year’s Trade Show.

Conspiracy Cigars

PCA 2024 Quality Importers

It wasn’t a total surprise that Quality Importers is getting back into premium cigars. Alex Goldman, President and COO of QI, and Michael Giannini, Chief of Consumer Engagement of QI, have a history in the premium cigar business. While at Swisher, Goldman led Royal Gold Cigars and was a key player in the Drew Estate acquisition. Giannini’s premium cigar experience spans El Credito, General Cigar, and Ventura Cigar Company. Together with Michael and Marilyn Giordano, Goldman and Giannini have now launched QI’s all new brand, Conspiracy Cigars.

To produce the Conspiracy line, QI turned to Casa Carrillo and Ernesto Perez-Carrillo.  Giannini has a long relationship with Perez-Carrillo going back to his El Credito days. There are two blends each with a different wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut and San Andres Maduro. There are three sizes (Robusto, Toro, and Gordo). Pricing comes in between $10.99 and $14.99.

While Conspiracy is a premium cigar brand for QI, there are several packaging options – each also includes different accessories with the customized branding.

Retail Prepack

This package features a free-standing retail display to allow for single cigar sales. This prepack will include 120 cigars (20 cigars of each size and wrapper), a free Conspiracy branded clear acrylic six-bin locking humidor display, and 120 Conspiracy branded cigar cutters. Consumers will receive one cutter with each cigar purchased. This unit allows retailers to feature the full line of cigars without taking up excess shelf space.

PCA 2024 Quality Importers

Factum Series

Limited to 900 units, each unit features ten cigars plus a Conspiracy branded Palió V-Cutter packaged in a Mahogany chest featuring magnetic closures or travel humidor. The units have a custom Conspiracy artwork on the inside and outside of the box.

Humidor Series

The Humidor Series is an ongoing offering. It will feature a revolving series of artwork and accessories to complement the detailed design of the Conspiracy concept. The initial 20 cigar offering is packed in a Humidor Supreme 20-count Traveler humidor featuring SureSeal Technology. The package also includes a humidification device and Conspiracy branded Xikar Xi2 cutter.

Photo Credit: Quality Importers Trading Company


Around the time of the 2023 Premium Cigar Association Trade Show, Xikar soft-launched the Xikar Xi1 Perfect Cutter. The Perfect Cutter has a closed-back design that produces a smooth cut across the cap of your cigar every time without any guesswork. At the time they were soft-launched, the cutters were exclusive to Smoke Inn. Since then, the Xi Perfect Cutter has gotten a worldwide release. At PCA 2024 a new version, the Xikar Xi80 Perfect Cut was unveiled. The Xi80 Perfect Cut uses the same design, but can cut up to an 80-ring gauge cigar.

PCA 2024 Quality Importers

Xikar has also introduced the Flip Dual Cutter. The Flip Dual Cutter is a combination straight cutter, v-cutter unit all in one. The Xikar Flip Dual Cutter is available in six finishes: Black, Black & Bronze, Bronze, Brushed Chrome, Gunmetal, and Red. The Flip Dual Cutter comes in at an SRP of $84.99.

Finally, Xikar showcased the Xikar VX2 G10 V-Cut. This is a new version of the Xikar VX2 cigar cutter that is crafted using G10. G10 is a high-pressure fiberglass resin laminate. The Xikar VX2 G10 V-Cut is constructed using multiple layers of G10 for enhanced sturdiness and durability. It features stainless steel blades capable of cutting cigars up to a 64-ring gauge. The VX2 G10 V-Cut Cigar Cutter is available in three traditional color combinations: Blue/Black, Red/Black, Gray/Black. The VX2 G10 V-Cut is priced at $89.99 MSRP.

The new Xikar products come with Xikar’s Limited Lifetime warranty.


The 2023 PCA Trade Show was a big one for the Palió brand. However, there were still a couple of new Palió offerings for Quality Importers available at PCA 2024.

First up is the new Palió Tazza Piccola ashtray. This is a four-cigar-rest personal version of the Palió Tazza line It is available in black, copper, red, or stainless steel finishes. The bowl is also windproof. Each of the cigar rests can hold a 70-ring gauge cigar. The rim of the ashtray is customizable for laser engraving. Due to ship in June, the Palió Tazza Piccola comes in at a $29.99 SRP point.

PCA 2024 Quality Importers

Photo Credit: Quality Importers Trading Company

The other new release is the Palió Veneto lighter. The Veneto is a quad-jet flame lighter highlighted by its elongated diamond-shaped flame. The unit has a transparent fuel tank and the protective cap doubles as a cigar rest. The Palió Veneto comes in five color options: Black, Clear, Red, Green, and Blue with Gunmetal accents. The unit also has a lanyard loop. The Veneto keeps to Palió’s value-price point, coming in at $29.99.

Photo Credit: Quality Importers Trading Company

Cigar Caddy

Under the Cigar Caddy brand, Quality Importers introduces Cigar Caddy Cigar Tubes. Cigar Tubes is an option to store cigars on the go. Made of Black ABS material, the Cigar Tubes are both weatherproof and crushproof. Each features a textured finish to help prevent scuffs and scratches and to provide a sure grip while handling. The units can hold cigars up to a 64-ring gauge. They all feature an internal locking mechanism Cigar Tubes are available in a one-count or three-count option. Cigar Tubes are also customizable through Quality Importers’ Swag Bunker.

PCA 2024 Quality Importers

Photo Credit: Quality Importers Trading Company

Interview with Michael Giannini, Quality Importers Trading Company

Product Reports

Photo Credits: Cigar Coop, except where otherwise noted