S&M Brands wants to make a major statement with its new LEX12 brand of premium little cigars, so it collaborated with the JL Packaging Group on an embossed tin to carry its carefully calibrated branding, protect its product contents, and maintain tobacco freshness.

The result is a rich-looking, visually striking package that should be attractive to its first-wave target market of trendsetters, men and women, in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, and other urban metros.

“A strong brand identity is critical to attracting smokers to a new, premium product,” notes Steven Bailey, President of LEX12. “Everything about LEX12 has been artfully designed and made to create a great experience that rewards customers, from the look and taste of the cigars to their high appeal packaging.”

According to William Dinger, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for JL Packaging, “The LEX12 tins are a perfect embodiment of our value proposition — exceptional printing and manufacturing quality, highly competitive pricing from China, and always attentive US-based project management. We are very proud to be the packaging resource for the LEX12 launch.”

LEX12 cigars are intended to deliver premium appeal to both the cigarette and little cigar market. Each hand-packed tin features 12 slender design, handcrafted blend, sweet tip black filter cigars — sealed to maintain freshness. A choice of 84 or 100 sizes is available. Tins are supplied to retailers in folding carton packs of five, which double as point-of-sale displays. Cartons are packaged in cases of 10. In addition, a retail display case is available to house 30 tins.

“There are several aspects of the tins that exemplify the attention to detail given to the LEX12 brand,” says Mariah Garner, Marketing Manager of S&M Brands. “While the top of each tin is embossed with the LEX12 logo, the bottom of each tin is debossed in exactly the same position, so each of the 5 tins can nest in the folding carton we pack them in. Also, the package features a lot of rich black and red printing that also uses the silver of the tin itself to great effect in certain spots. Some of the type registration is tricky, but JL Packaging was able to hold it in all cases.”

Currently, S&M Brands is focused on introducing LEX12 to the wholesale market via major 2012 trade shows (Tobacco Plus Expo, American Wholesale Marketers Association, National Association of Tobacco Outlets, and International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers). Early interest has been strong with some major distributors already lined up. JL Packaging Group worked closely with S&M Brands through prototyping, a pilot run, and has already delivered its first and second commercial production rounds.

S&M Brands has been a Virginia-based manufacturer of tobacco products since 1994 and has been engaged in tobacco growing for over 100 years. In addition to LEX12 cigars, it makes Bailey’s, Tahoe, and Riverside brand cigarettes. For more information, visit www.lex12.com or www.sandmbrands.com .

JL Packaging Group is a Dongguan and Shanghai, China-based metal packaging producer with sales of $100MM USD, five manufacturing plants, and over 4,000 employees. The group’s U.S.-based sales team includes industrial and graphic designers and a customer support staff to provide real time project development and order assistance — all are employees of the group, not brokers or manufacturers representatives.