Cuba Increases Prices Of Cohiba Behikes—Again

Another huge price hike from Habanos S.A. means a single Cohiba Behike can now cost $300
Apr 27, 2023 | By Gregory Mottola
Cuba Increases Prices Of Cohiba Behikes—Again
Photo/Habanos S.A.

If you thought that Cohiba Behikes were expensive after last year’s price hike, then you’re about to be in a state of absolute sticker shock. Prices for Cuba’s coveted Behike BHK series have gone up yet again, with most spikes in the neighborhood of 50 percent.

The reaction online was almost immediate last year when Cuban cigar distributor Habanos S.A. announced a major global increase in cigar prices. Cohibas and Trinidads, it was declared, were to be fixed to the Hong Kong dollar in every market around the world, which meant that the prices for these flagship brands were instantly doubled, and, in some cases, tripled, with many Cohibas approaching $100 per cigar. 

But just when it seemed that Cohibas couldn’t get more expensive, Habanos did it again. In January, prices for the Cohiba Behike series jumped once more, this time by another 45 to 57 percent, depending on the size. The largest Cohiba Behikes are now priced at around $300 each, comparable in price to many complete boxes of cigars in the United States. 

Cohiba Behike
(Photo/Habanos S.A.)

The fluctuations vary by market. In London, the retail price of the Cohiba Behike BHK 52 (a former Cigar of the Year) went from £110 to £160.80 (about $201.50), a hike of 45 percent. The larger BHK 54 saw a jump from £130 to £204.20 (about $256), a 57 percent increase. And the hefty BHK 56 went from £150 to £225 (about $280) per cigar, which is a 50 percent spike in price. That amounts to $2,800 per box of 10, and that’s if you can even find them. Demand has always outstripped supply for the Behikes ever since they were commercialized in 2010. Boxes are often allocated before they even arrive, and retailers can sometimes be selective as to which customers they deem worthy enough to purchase these rare smokes.

Thinking of going to Spain, to save a few dollars? Think again. Though it’s true that Spain has historically been a less-expensive market for Cuban cigars, the new global pricing means that no such discounts exist anymore, and prices there are up slightly more than 50 percent per cigar. From Barcelona to Madrid, a Cohiba Behike BHK 52 now costs 180 euros (up from 118 euros), which converts to around $200; the BHK 54 now costs 227 euros (up from 150 euros), amounting to about $251; and the BHK 56 costs 250 euros (up from 166 euros), which converts to approximately $275.50 per cigar.

If you think that’s expensive, Canada’s retail prices for the trio are C$307, C$404 and C$440, respectively, which works out to about $230, $300 and $330. They experienced a 50 percent increase as well.

Other countries like Chile didn’t see the boost in price until March, and Germany’s prices didn’t go up until April, so smokers in Hamburg and Frankfurt had a little more time to save some money. Now, Behikes in Deutschland are priced like the rest of the world.

“I feel that Habanos is taking advantage of us all by continuing to randomly raise prices higher and higher,” says longtime smoker and serious cigar collector Michael Weil. He collects exotic cars as well, so for him, it’s not about the money so much as it is the principle. “It’s become insulting to think we’ll just pay more and more because they’re Cuban cigars especially when you look at the great cigars coming out of the Dominican Republic, Honduras and Nicaragua.”

El Laguito
Considered Cohiba's mother factory, the stately El Laguito is where many Cohiba and Cohiba Behike cigars are rolled. (Photo/Habanos S.A.)

The sentiment is echoed online. “Funny that only the wealthy will be able to access a product made by folks making pennies an hour,” quips one disgruntled commenter on the Cigar Aficionado website in response to news of raising prices.

“I'll never spend $100 for any cigar,” says another. “The Cubans can just keep them.” 

And while many believe that Habanos is going to price itself out of the market, this doesn’t seem to be the case so far. Retailers and distributors report that, despite the price hikes, people are still buying Cohibas and Cohiba Behikes faster than they can stock them.

“Our sales here in the U.K. are still very strong, even with the high prices of Cohiba’s Behike and Trinidad,” says Ajay Patel, who owns a La Casa del Habano shop in London. “It looks like Habanos is positioning itself for the super luxury market, like Patek Philippe, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, and Hermes.”

In Germany, considered by Habanos to be its third largest market in the world, customers are still buying Behikes.

Cohiba Behike
A box of 10 Cohiba Behike BHK 52s like this one costs more than 2,000 dollars. (Photo credit/Cigar Aficionado)

“Demand for BHK is still strong so far,” assures a representative from 5th Avenue Products Trading, Germany’s official Habanos distributor. “But delivered volumes are still extremely low.”

So, what makes Cohiba Behikes so special? According to Habanos, Cohiba stands above the other Cuban brands due to its tobacco being selected from the top five farms of Pinar del Río. The leaves also undergo an additional fermentation process. But only Behikes contain medio tiempo, a rare sprouting of two potent leaves that sometimes grow on the very top of the tobacco plant. 

If high prices signal exclusivity, then the psychological game seems to be working—the more Behikes cost, the more people want them. At least, for now.

Read Next: Cuban Ramon Allones Receives New Size

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