Answers to Your Snus Questions
Monday, 27 October 2008 20:31

VARIETY: Swedish Snus versus American Snus

Variety:

American Snus:: This section I'm going start with American Snus. Why? It's quick, simply and will highlight the significant philosophical difference between American snus manufacturers/tobacco companies and Swedish snus manufacturers. American snus only appeared in 2006. American Tobacco Companies have modeled their snus offerings on they way they marketed Cigarettes: Philip Morris USA's first snus offering, Taboka, came in regular and menthol. Taboka was test-marketed in Indianapolis and failed.

Today Marlboro snus is offered in Rich, Mild, Spice and Mint. Camel SNUS is offered in Original, Spice, and Frost...new flavors announced for 2009.   Skoal Snus, the latest as of this writing, is mixing it up a little, but with only three offerings: Citrus Blend, Mint, and Cinnamon. Triumph, marketed and flavor-designed by Lorillard but made for them in Sweden offers Original and Mint.

All American Snus's to date come in some kind of dry pouch, period. They only offer one weight in a pouch, period. Since all the American Snus manufacturers are still test marketing and none are available nationally (Klondike says they are national, but most people can't find them.  Camel SNUS is scheduled to nationally marketed 1st Quarter, 2009)  there are others out there, and they seem to be following the same model.

Swedish Snus: With it's over 200 year history, hundreds of family snus recipes, some long gone, some still here, and new ones being created all the time, both flavor variety and consumer convenience of use has had centuries to mature and variety is a important component of Swedish Snus.

For the sake of convenience, I'm going to use the current inventory of SnusCENTRAL.com, our store for Members and others to Buy Snus as an example. (What? Throwing in a Free Advertisement? Of course not....well maybe.)

When you Buy Snus from SnusCENTRAL.com, you will find over 109 unique flavors and varieties of Swedish Snus; growing all the time, from a host of manufacturers! Not just the 3 or 4 generic categories American Snus Manufacturers seem to think is all Americans need....or deserve.

Swedish Snus comes in not one form like American snus, but three primary forms: Loose, Portion, and White Portion. American Manufacturers (and I'm purposely not talking about the Swedish-Style American Manufacturers: they get their own FAQ) do not offer Loose Snus...just your choice of a few cans with different flavored pouches.

Loose snus is just that: snus in a can. The user, either by hand or with a tool, forms what's commonly called a pinch to the size of their liking and places it between the lip and gum. Many say there is a taste difference between Loose Snus and Snus that comes in pouches, which we're going to referring to as Portions when talking about Swedish Snus.

As to pouches, Swedish Snus is available in two types: the Original Portion pouch which is very similar in construction to a tea bag and the newer White Portion pouch.

  • The Original Portion is moist. The flavor will start "running" fairly quickly after you put it in your mouth. On average it lasts about an hour.
  • The White Portion is the same snus as the original but manufactured differently. The White Portion does not require re-moisturizing at the end of the manufacturing process, so it is white in color, much dryer than an original portion, will last longer..2 hours plus average but it takes a few minutes for the taste to start "running". White Portions are generally a little milder than Original Portions as the trade-off for lasting longer.
  • There is no "right or wrong" type of portion to use: it's all a matter of your personal taste. I currently use about 60% White Portion to 40% Original Portion depending on the brand and flavor of Swedish Snus I'm using.

QUESTION: Why do American snus manufacturers call the packets they put their snus product in "pouches" and the Swedish call them "portions"?

ANSWER: With American Manufacturers, you only get one choice on the amount of product that is in their pouch. The Swedish give you three portion sizes to choose from based on your personal preference: Mini, Regular, and Maxi. These names refer to the weight in grams of each pouch.

That's important to remember because Camel SNUS, by weight, would be considered a Mini. Yet by the way the constructed the pouch, it actually felt larger than a Swedish Regular Portion, to the point it where it was uncomfortable....at first; then the nicotine and sugar center of my brain over-rode that too.

In fact, with the exception of Triumph which is made for Lorillard in Sweden, all the American Manufactured snus pouches I've seen would be consider Mini Portions at best. Remember that when you read the FAQ on who gives you the most for your money, Swedish Snus or American Snus. Very, very important.

So when it comes to variety, both in flavors, brands, choice of how and how much snus to use, Swedish Snus gives you the widest possible selection for YOUR convenience. They don't try and force you into an A, B, or C choice of flavor and leave it at that.

 

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