1967 was a good year for nuclear weapons and Swedish snus. China exploded their first hydrogen bomb, the MIRV ballistic missile; a single missile carrying multiple nuclear warheads, was developed, and the USSR and USA proposed a nuclear nonproliferation treaty.
Dwarfing these trivial items in historic significance, the last government-owned Swedish tobacco monopoly, Svenska Tobaks AB (STA), introduced the round snus can with a metal lid.
Until then snus had been sold in plain brown cardboard packets. Svenska Tobaks AB added some color and created a different design for each type.
To put this achievement in perspective, in 1967 there was no EU, you would not be arrested for mailing snus from Sweden to any European country, and the pop group ABBA was still 5 years away from being formed! These truly were ancient times.
On May 2nd 2011, Swedish Match US introduced a new natural flavor moist snuff into select US cities: Ettan Snuff. Ettan Snuff joins Redman, Longhorn and Timberwolf in Swedish Match's American offerings of moist snuff and chewing tobacco. I recently spoke at length with Joe Ackerman; Director of US Smokefree Products - Swedish Match US, about the Ettan Snuff pilot project.
While cigarette use continues to decline in the United States, the smokeless tobacco category has been experiencing average 6% increases over for the five years into 2010. For the last 12 months alone, smokeless tobacco sales have grown over 10%.
This trend has not gone unnoticed in the tobacco industry (or unfortunately by the tax collectors). Of the above, Swedish snus is finally a blip on the radar but the majority of the smokeless tobacco sales in the US are of American dip and chew; moist snuff and chewing tobacco.
If you're wondering why I am writing an article about a new moist snuff offering instead of a new snus offering, I'm doing both...and neither. What the new Ettan Snuff pilot in the US represents to me is a brilliant example of a Swedish snus manufacturer proactively turning the tables on Big American Tobacco.
There exists the misconception within the United States that American Moist Snuff/Dip is little different than Swedish Snus except you don't have to spit with Swedish snus. I decided to delve into the history of dip and snus to find the true differences.
I'm working through an excellent history of snus right now written by Janne Sundling. It is in Swedish, and I am constantly pulling out my Svenskt/American dictionary or calling my Swedish neighbor all hours of the day to clarify certain passages, but there's a lot in there about the differences between American snuff and Swedish snus.
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