For years, boxes of higher-end products from Arturo Fuente have had a sticker placed on the outside indicating there was a Boveda humidification pack inside. Now, thanks to an aggressive expansion by Boveda, there will be a lot more of those stickers adorning boxes.
At this year’s IPCPR convention and trade show, the Minnesota-based company that once marketed itself as Humidipak introduced an updated version of its Co-Op program. It allows cigar manufacturers to buy Bovedas in bulk at prices well below wholesale, in exchange the manufacturer must not only agree to place a Boveda in all of its packaging, but also place a sticker that indicates these products were “Packaged With Boveda” on the packaging itself.
“We’ve had a little bit more efficiency,” said Charles Rutherford, a spokesperson for the company. “But the main thing for us is that we wanted to get very aggressive with the price, in that it barely makes sense for us to do it, in order to protect people’s cigars.”
At its core, the Co-Op program is a very large advertising undertaking.
Boveda hopes that consumers will recognize that the people behind the cigars they enjoy are willing to not only use, but spend money, on Bovedas for their cigars. In turn, the consumer will the buy Boveda units to use in their humidors.
In the retail humidor, boxes from companies like Fuente, Altadis U.S.A., Drew Estate, La Flor Dominicana, Oliva, Padrón and Rocky Patel—all listed as current partners—will indicate they are packed with Boveda, but it also extends to traditional forms of advertising. Part of the agreement cigar companies sign with Boveda includes a provision that would make the “Packaged With Boveda” message a small part of every advertisement going forward.
Perhaps the largest change to the new Co-Op program is that Boveda no longer requires a minimum purchasing order for the program, something aimed specifically at attracting smaller companies to join.
“We have been talking with Tim (Swail, co-founder of Boveda) for a few years about a product for our boxes that would work aesthetically and economically,” said Skip Martin, co-owner of RoMa Craft Tobac and Fabrica de Tabacos NicaSueño S.A. “We are very fortunate to have been selected, as a small factory, for the new Co-Op program. We believe that the costs are justified and may even be offset by efficiencies we gain by using the product.”
Those efficiencies are unlikely to be where most would think.
While consumers use Boveda largely to provide enough humidity for their cigars, manufacturers will likely use it for the opposite—removing additional unwanted humidity as the cigars are transported from their manufacturing origins to retail humidors. Boveda’s two-way humidification helps with this, as it will either add or remove moisture within a sealed environment until it reaches a set humidity level, which for the Co-Op program will almost always be 69 percent relative humidity.
“We have always been committed to the highest quality standards at Nica Sueno, said Martin. “The most difficult variable to control has always been humidity in transport.”
Martin indicated that his company will be absorbing the added costs of the Boveda pack in each box and bundle.
Boveda says in almost every circumstance it believes the product will be able to properly humidify products on its own for at least 90 days, although in packages that are better sealed, like Drew Estate’s G-Fresh packaging, it will be well beyond that.
In addition to reworking the costs and requirements, Boveda is also in the process of redesigning its sticker options so that it can better work with box designs aesthetically.
“It might be a tax seal instead of a badge, we want to give people some options to show that Boveda is in the box,” said Rutherford.
Consumers are also likely to see Bovedas included in packaging at larger events. The final component of the updated program allows for manufacturers to requests free four-gram packs from the company for select events.