It's often been stated that we are in a golden age, in terms of the number of tobacco brands and blends available. Yet, when I look at the backs of my tins, I find the same few parent companies over and over. It seems that there are only a few entities that actually produce the bulk of our pipe tobacco. As a relative newcomer, I ask: Has it always been this way? If it has not always been this way, what might it mean for the future?