We are now nearly two weeks into the post-regulation era of the modern cigar industry. While not much has changed on the ground for most consumers and retailers; manufacturers are making moves behind the scenes to protect their assets against the impending roll-out of the new FDA regulations. (click to read the FDA’s statement)

One such manufacturer is Fratello Cigars, headed up by Omar de Frias. Under his leadership, Fratello Cigars achieved an unprecedented 40% growth in fiscal year 2015.

With over 550 accounts across North America, a new cigar launch in the Fratello Bianco and programs to reinforce relationships with retailers; the red, hot cigar company was heading into 2016 with enviable momentum after coming off a successful 2015 campaign.

So it comes as no surprise De Frias was livid after hearing news of the FDA’s ruling; which could essentially unravel the company he launched in 2013.

It is companies similar in size and scope to Fratello Cigars who are most vulnerable to the FDA’s ruling. (explore further)

However, De Frias was less than dejected by the news, in fact the changing landscape only emboldened his entrepreneurial spirit to further continue aggressive expansion of his brand. A brand which enjoys a rabid cult following among hardcore cigar enthusiasts in the U.S. and now quite possibly abroad.

Here is his response:

“We condemn these upcoming regulations by the FDA.  It’s an attack to our freedom and the American Dream but we feel we will come out victorious from these attacks. 

Fratello Cigars has been evaluating entering into the European and Asian Market for over a year.  We are participating in this years Inter Tabac in Dortmund Germany.”

For an entrepreneur like Omar de Frias who has succeeded in bringing his company this far, could we have expected anything less than a passionate, action orientated response?

While considering expansion into international markets is a bold move, it isn’t outrageous.  Just ask Eddy Guerra, Gurkha’s new Director of Marketing who experienced unparalleled success in the East Asian cigar market prior to joining Gurkha. (source)

Also, world renowned maker of luxury humidors and cigars; Daniel Marshall has had a presence in Austria for many years now and continues to enjoy success there.

It’s individual success stories like these that offer proof Fratello Cigars can succeed outside of the U.S., in fact with more manufacturers following the same path; this could be the beginning of a new golden age of cigars.

What’s the old saying?

“When one window of opportunity closes, another opens right…”


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