BrandSweet Caporal

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Brand Sweet Caporal

Sweet Caporal is one of the oldest names in cigarette brands, one which survives in Canada to this very day. 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 The non-filtered version has long since been retired, while a filter king-sized version was introduced in 1965 but withdrawn four years later.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 current 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, it is still in use today. Imperial Tobacco introduced the filter, king-sized version of Sweet Caporal some time in the 1960s; it is likewise still sold in its original design (albeit in about half of its original size).

In 2008, Imperial Tobacco Canada ceased their Canadian manufacturing operations; today, all of Imperial's brands (including Sweet Caporal) are produced in Mexico and shipped to Canada for sale.

Go to Manufacturer Imperial Tobacco Canada

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