The Hipster Cigarettes

I’m not a smoker nor am I a proponent of cigarette smoking at all.  This topic is actually at odds with a health-related post I am simultaneously working on.  Yet, something about Fred cigarettes, introduced in Lausanne, Switzerland in 2004, caught my eye enough to want to write about them.

Fred cigarettes are the creation of a little company called Sin&Cure, founded by Benoit Rossignol. Their competitive advantage is that their products are additive free and made from 100% pure tabacco, giving smokers more bang for their buck.  Rossignol admits the idea is borrowed from American Spirit cigarettes, according to, but he adds his own spin to the brand.

Fred cigarettes expanded to the German (Berlin) market in June 2009.  Described by my friends as Berlin’s hipster cigarette, Fred has clever, design-savvy packaging and is even active on twitter as Smoke Fred, often announcing the latest in art and culture in Berlin.  In 2010, Fred held a package design contest, printing a limited edition of the five winning designs.  Rossignol is not afraid to keep the packaging fresh and new, often changing the colour of the logo, because he is confident that his 25-to-35-year old target market will seek out the brand.  Whether in kiosks or online.

Although I’ll probably never smoke the cigarettes, the re-psycho in me would totally reuse the empty packs to store anything from laundry coins to my overwhelming collection of costume jewellery.

(Images via Fred)


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