BrandSweet Caporal

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Brand Sweet Caporal

Sweet Caporal was one of the oldest names in cigarette brands, having been sold in the Canadian market for at least 125 years until they were discontinued in 2011. The brand was originally produced in the United States by the Kinney Bros. Tobacco Company, New York, beginning in 1878, and became very popular. Kinney Bros., which was merged into the pre-1911 giant American Tobacco Company, expanded into Montréal; the Sweet Caporal trade mark was registered in Canada in 1887. American Tobacco expanded into Canada in 1895 by buying The American Cigarette Company and D. Ritchie and Compnany, both of Montréal, and becoming the American Tobacco Company of Canada, Ltd.; they in turn were bought out in 1908 by the newly-formed Imperial Tobacco Company of Canada. At the time of Imperial Tobacco's creation, Sweet Caporals commanded 50 per cent. of the Canadian cigarette market.

In the United States, the American Tobacco Company's monopoly was broken in 1911; the Sweet Caporal trade mark was retained by the restructured A.T.C.. One of the brand's distinguishing features was the inclusion of collectible "cigarette cards" in each pack. Sweet Caporal cigarettes pulled its Honus Wagner card from the market in 1915 after the slugger complained he didn't want kids to see him associated with tobacco products. The non-filtered version has long since been retired, while a filter king-sized version was introduced in 1965 but withdrawn four years later.

In Canada, Sweet Caporal Plain was repackaged in 1940, and got its final design, a white pack with two horizontal lines, one red and the other blue, in 1956. Except for some minor changes to accomodate the ever-increasing size of the health warnings, the design remained in use until the brand was discontinued. Imperial Tobacco introduced the filter, king-sized version of Sweet Caporal some time in the 1960s; it likewise was sold in its original design (although it was only about half of its original size by 2011).

Go to Manufacturer Imperial Tobacco Canada

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