Trinidad - The brand everyone loved but no-one bought

The news today that the Trinidad line is to be discontinued is not a great surprise So why has Trinidad been discontinued, and is the talk of the brand being re-launched a few years down line a feasible marketing move?

Discontinuation - No great surprise

The official news today that the Trinidad range of Cuban Cigars is to be discontinued is not a great surprise. The first signs that the brand were in trouble came in 2011 when it was announced that the Trinidad Robusto T and the Robusto Extra were on the shortlist of Cigars to be discontinued in 2012. It was sent shock waves through the online Cigar community, as the Robusto T had only been launched in 2009, and had been very positively received in the Cuban Cigar community.

A Trinidad Robusto T
The Trinidad Robusto T. When the Cigar was announced it was to be discontinued in 2012, was this the first indication it was the end of the line for the Trinidad line?

Today's announcement means that the curtain will fall on the last three marca's of the Trinidad line:

Name Vitola
Reyes Petit Corona - T (40 x 4.3")
Coloniales Corona - T (44 x 5.2")
Fundadores Lonsdale - T (40 x 7.6")

The news was first announced on the Facebook page of the La Casa del Habanos in Hamburg by respected Cigar Merchant Christoph Wolters. Whether Christoph leaked the news before Habanos SA are about to announce the news themselves, I do not know.

Cohiba - Trinidad's brother and ultimate killer

Originally released to be a brand that would sit beside or as a slightly cheaper alternative as the flagship brand Cohiba in terms of quality, why would Habanos decide to discontinue such a celebrated brand?

Well, there's only one reason, and that can only be sales.

Back in 1997, Habanos SA must have thought there was a niche available in the market, positioned under the Cohiba brand in terms of cost and quality that the Trinidad be marketed as. But it has come apparent that this niche does not exist, as anyone who would go for a Cigar in the price range that both Cohiba and Trinidad occupy, will choose Cohiba.

The decision may have been easier by the fact that the two Trinidad Limited Editions that had been released in 2007 and 2010, the Ingenios and Short Robusto T respectively. Unfortunately, both have failed to sell in any great quantity. Have a look at many of the online Cuban Cigar retailers on the Internet, and you will notice that there are still many boxes of the Ingenios on sale.

2009 Limited Edition - The Trinidad Short Robusto T
2009 Limited Edition - The Trinidad Short Robusto T. Roundly slated amongst Cigar Aficionado's for it short size and high price.

There has been plenty of praise shined upon the Trinidad brand in the past. Anyone who loves their short Cigar has no doubt smoked the Reyes. But again, being in the price range that the Reyes was set at, the novice or smoker would either lump for the similarly priced Cohiba Siglo I or a cheaper Trés Petit Corona.

Possible re-launch a few years down the line

Out of the bad news of the Trinidad discontinuation comes one glimmer of hope, that the brand will be re-launched a few years down the line. There will be no-doubt that the brand will be re-positioned in terms of pricing and quality. Does that mean the Reyes, Coloniales and Fundadores will be resurrected, who knows at this point, but I doubt we will see the pig tailed head making a return...

My personal opinion is that if the Trinidad range is to be brought back from the dead four or five years down the line, existing lines will of other brands will have to be discontinued to make way.

With the discontinuations of popular lines like the Bolivar Corona Extra and El Rey del Mundo Petit Corona , Habanos had better be careful with what decision they take next. There are lot of unhappy smokers already who are not happy with what Cigars have been discontinued in recent years. There have been rumours that the San Cristobal marca could also be discontinued.

Interesting days lie ahead...

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