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Fall, 2007

If you liked Dortmund, then you’ll love Warsaw

This past September, the north German town of Dortmund once again played host to the Inter-tabac exhibition, which again proved why it’s the Fall event for anyone interested in European tobacco retail. With three halls, over 200 exhibitors, and nearly 5,500 visitors, a three-day stretch seemed barely enough time to cover all of the annual gathering.

Heavenly Cigars made a splash, as usual, with their hired sultry “Angels” roaming the exhibition floors, while the Mexican cigar representatives brought along a live mariachi band, and other booths featured everything from complimentary drinks to poker tables. But amusements and attractions aside, Inter-tabac is all about the business of tobacco, where manufacturers, retailers, and the press all come to mingle. Centered on the German retail market, the event has started to become a global exhibition featuring exhibitors and visitors from every continent. The Messe Westfalenhallen exhibition hall gave a place for all facets of the industry to mix and mingle: from pipes and RYO to stogies and humidors. It also proved a perfect stage for the launch of new brands and accessories. Some new (and if not strange, then at least, “interesting”) cigarettes brands made their debut, such as Planta Tabak Berlin’s Lemon Mint aromatic cigarette (which, unlit, smell a bit like bathroom cleaner, but to be fair, taste like a regular delicious menthol when smoked), Heupink & Bloemen’s vanilla-flavored (and quite pink in appearance) Pink Elephant cigarettes, and German Tobacco Group’s soon-to-be introduced brand of S.A.L.E. cigarettes complete with an added dose of vitamin E [see story on page 18]. Of course, there were all varieties of new and familiar cigar brands from around the globe, different flavors and colors of rolling paper, and just about every conceivable type of novelty lighter on the market.

Anyone who visited or exhibited at Inter-tabac and found it usefull should also think seriously about attending EuroTab—2008, being held in Warsaw, Poland, June 24–26, 2008. As the name implies, the event will center on the European market, but will incorporate participants, products, and visitors from Asia, the Balkans, Russia and the CIS, Africa, and the Middle East, among others. EuroTab aims to be a guiding light through the sometimes complicated and constantly changing nature of tobacco retail. Systems of distribution vary dramatically from region to region, and even nation to nation, but slowly and surely, tobacco is becoming a globalized game, and tobacco product retail, an international sport. Check www.eurotab.com for the latest news and registration information.

- Evan D. Dashevsky

Tobacco Products International - Fall, 2007

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