Photograph courtesy of Swisher
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Swisher International Inc. recently rebranded to Swisher and reorganized its business to reflect its broad product portfolio. The changes were in the works for a couple of years, Swisher President John Miller told CSP Daily News, and not necessarily a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s a little problematic for a company when you have a relatively diverse portfolio in the tobacco category, but you’re only known by a single brand,” Miller said. “It limits your ability to expand into other product offerings.”
Most people knew Swisher International for its Swisher Sweets branded cigars—but being known as a company that only makes a cigar brand limited Swisher on going deep into innovation in other consumer goods, he said.
Now the brand is organized into business lines including Swisher Sweets Cigar Co. (large and little/filtered cigars), Fat Lip Brands (smokeless), Dre Estate (premium cigars), Hempire (hemp products) and Rogue (modern oral nicotine). It also is planning to focus on innovation, Miller said.
Miller spoke with CSP Daily News about the company rebrand, challenges brought on by COVID-19, where he sees cannabidiol (CBD) and hemp fitting into the convenience-store space and more.
COVID-19 and out-of-stock cigars
COVID-19 created problems for cigar out-of-stocks. Several of Swisher’s facilities closed due to the virus, and while the company had contingency plans in place for natural disasters like hurricanes or earthquakes, the pandemic wasn’t something they could