To paraphrase Mark Twain, the reports of the death of the General Snus Reduced Harm Tobacco Product (MRTP) application have been greatly exaggerated.
Friday afternoon, the anti-all-tobacco crowd and media immediately began reporting that the FDA Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee (TPSAC) had "turned down" the General Snus application; that "approval was denied", that the MRTP application had been "voted down" and in the case of Matthew Myers of Tobacco Free Kids, the Swedish Match application was "poorly written" and "full of holes".
As more information about the TPSAC deliberations began to trickle out, a different picture began emerging.....
This morning Swedish Match made official this month's latest new snus rumor: Nick & Johnny Small Batch Snus. The first of the Small Batch series, Nick & Johnny Small Batch Licorice Slim White Portion Snus, is being released today...
Both the US dollar and the Swedish Krona are up against the Euro. Today one dollar would buy 1.05 Euro, a huge drop from 1.40 about a year ago.
What this means for American users of Swedish snus is that while snus prices (and taxes) are rising in Sweden, they are dropping dramatically for Americans buying Swedish snus from eStores in Sweden....
The battle for market share in the Swedish and Norwegian snus markets has been taking a toll on snus industry leader Swedish Match. Today SMAB announced their latest salvo in the Swedish snus market war with a new snus brand: XRANGE....
[UPDATED 30 March 2015]
Swedish Match has lifted the information embargo on XRANGE Snus so we're finally able to publish the uncensored version of the original article without getting our legs broken (hopefully).
Here it is with a new name: Swedish Match XRANGE Snuses Released and Why?
[Edited 03:00 27 Feb 2015]
The article originally featured here has been removed at the very strong request of Swedish Match as the information it contained was not intended for public release until a date closer to the Week 16 projected launch of the XRANGE Brand.
Below is the XRANGE information authorized by Swedish Match from a press release they issued yesterday. This will have to suffice until we approach Week 16. I need a drink...
Mid-April will see the launch of a brand new snus series – XRANGE.
The products in this series have a long lasting taste experience and are less prone to drip, compared to other large pouches from Swedish Match.The new range – XRANGE – from Swedish Match consists of five pouch products that all have the familiar taste experience from the Swedish Match collection of snus products.
At the same time four products will be discontinued from today's the snus collection: Catch Pure Mint Medium Slim, General Tailored White, Göteborgs Rapé Slim White Large and General Long Original.
The LAB 03 is the latest addition to Swedish Match's The LAB brand of snus. It fills the regular nicotine strength hole left by the delisting of LAB 01 in 2014 but where 01 was a wet portion, LAB 03 is a white portion.
The difference between the two types of portions is that white portions forgo an addition drop of water during the production process. This leaves the pouches dry to the touch and gives the pouches a whitish color, hence the classification "white portion".
All LAB series snuses are also slim portions which fit more comfortably in the mouth and boast a "non-drip" release when compared to traditional snus pouches.
Where LAB 03 breaks away from its other numbered brethren is something called "Strong Effect". According to my Swedish to English translation software, Strong Effect essentially means although 03 is a regular strength snus, it gives you the feeling of using a strong nicotine snus. What the hell does that mean?
Having finished my first can of LAB 03, I'm ready to explore this unique concept for a snus with you.....
[UPDATED] For a snus not even yet released as of this writing, General Kardus Selection 2015 has caused quite an uproar around the world. In Norway, the entire allocation of General Kardus 2015 has already been pre-sold!
After being sworn to secrecy, I was briefed on General Kardus during my visit to the Swedish Match offices in Stockholm in September 2014. All the information on General Kardus Selection 2015 was embargoed until Friday, 28 November 14. At least that was the plan.
On Wednesday, 26 November, Norweigen eTabloid Side3.no blasted out photos and information contained in the Swedish Match Press Kit. They were followed the next day by Dagligvarehandelen, a weekly industry newspaper for convenience stores and other CPG stores in Norway.
To say I was unhappy would be an understatement. Since the information unofficially released couldn't be fact-checked, there were a number of errors. I don't like errors.
I was also very unhappy with my own SnusCENTRAL Intelligence Agency (SnusCIA) for not only being caught off-guard, but for not getting me early copies of the final graphics.
Now that I officially know, here's everything you need to know about Kardus and General Kardus Selection 2015...
17 Nov 2014 - Breaking News: Swedish Match AB, the world's largest manufacturer of Swedish Snus, will announce this morning that if the Swedish Parliament votes to raise the excise tax on snus, Swedish Match will be forced to respond in kind with price increases for all their their snus products.
If history is any indicator, it is likely other Swedish manufacturers of snus will also raise their prices...
Swedish Snus manufacturer Gotlandssnus AB, makers of the Jakobssons, Gotlands, and Gotlandssnus brands of snus, suffered a defeat at the hands of the US FDA, a source in Sweden reported.
Gotlandssnus has been selling the Jakobsson's brand of snus over-the-counter in a limited number of US stores for the past two years.
Updated 18 August 2015 - NOTE: This story was originally published on 29 September 2014 during the first FDA Public Comment Period on the General Snus MRTPA. Fast forward almost 11 months and we are reaching the 31 August 2015 for the second and final Public Comment Period. If you haven't already acted, now is the time to do so.
This article contains my 2014 statement to FDA which was published in the Federal Register. It was just my snus story from the heart. This is what FDA needs see.
You can then review my 30 July 2015 General Snus MRTPA update for instructions on how to get your opinion on the record. This is our last chance!
American snus users, close your eyes and visualize the Swedish snus selection (if any) at your local tobacco store or convenience store today. Then imagine one day having a snus store like this at your local mall......
Back in January of 2012, Gotlandssnus AB made a major change to their business plan. They expanded their Jakobssons Snus brand and changed the flavor profile to target the US market.
The new products featured unconventional (by Swedish standards) flavors and added sweeteners to appeal to Camel SNUS and other American-made "snus" customers. When it came to high nicotine melon flavored snus, Jakobsson's had the monopoly.
That changed in July of 2014 when Thunder Melon Extra Strong portion snus was released as a stand-alone product available by the can or roll. Formerly it was only available as part of a Thunder flavored snus Limited Edition.
Now it is time to compare Jakobssons Melon against Thunder Melon to determine who is the new Melon Snus King.
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