Henri Wintermans has launched a new Café Crème miniature cigar - while at the same time announcing it has brought the brand’s distribution back in-house.

The company says the Café Crème Express cigars are smaller than its traditional miniatures and have been developed in response to changing behaviour among smokers.

James Higgs, head of commercial marketing at Henri Wintermans, said Café Crème was a "new smaller breed of miniature cigars," that had been launched to "support the consumer migration towards the miniature cigar segment".

Higgs said smokers still wanted to enjoy a good quality cigar despite current legislation meaning smokers were often time-poor or in a restricted venue. The new miniatures are about 10% smaller than the standard Henri Wintermans’ miniature cigars and are available from this month, initially in two variants, original and blue, with a rrp of £3.29.

Higgs added: "The independent forecourt sector is an area of focus for us in 2009, and an area we’d like to develop."

Meanwhile, the company - which is a subsidiary of International Scandinavian Tobacco Group - said the decision to bring the distribution of the Café Crème range back in-house was part of its international strategy to have global control of the brand and continue to grow its share in all key markets. The distribution was formerly handled by Imperial Tobacco UK.

0208 7313400