The problem of preserving valuable tobacco leaves has always been a pressing issue for manufacturers. Saving around 30% of tobacco lost by the tobacco industry on its way from the agricultural field to the finished pack of cigarettes was an important task. Only a company with frugality ingrained in its DNA from its inception could solve this problem.
It is a well-known fact that at RJ Reynolds, for a worker to get a new pencil, they had to return the stub of the old pencil. In the 1930s, RJ Reynolds, under the management of CEO Bowman Gray, achieved success.
Here is how this moment is described in the book "Barbarians at the Gate" (1989, ISBN 0-06-016172-8):
"Ingenuity: The company developed a way to recycle scraps and stems of tobacco to greatly increase the usable amount of each leaf—and greatly increase profits. "Reconstituted tobacco," as it was called, was considered classic Reynolds a blend of its manufacturing know-how and its waste-not, want-not culture"
Over the following decades, RJ Reynolds managed to win the competitive battle and maintain low prices for its products by utilizing Homogenized Tobacco.
As early as 1956, Time magazine reported that General Cigar claimed outstanding consumer acceptance for https://content.time.com/time/subscriber/article/0,33009,862262-1,00.html
: General Cigar claims "fantastic consumer acceptance" for HTL, which is used in place of conventional "binder," the layer of tobacco (12% of the cigar) that is sandwiched be tween inside "filler" and outer "wrapper.".
Cigars were once considered an exclusive luxury, accessible mainly to wealthy individuals. HTL emerged as a solution to offer more affordable cigars, catering to a broader population seeking this sophisticated experience.