Some reviewers may have tasted a bit of difference, and I can’t say they didn’t, but I’d bet it’s more due to batch variation than actual recipe changes.
Yes, they (Swedish Match) took Natufibe off the label on a couple of them, but the ingredients list “plant fiber” Since Natufibe was just “plant fibers” XRANGE is basically the same thing under another name. Yes, in this case a rose by any other name still smells…as sweet.
What, in my mind sets XRANGE snus apart is the labels. Bright, bold graphics. XR right on top of the lid, where it stands out in the chillers full of snus choices. ( Ok, at least in Sweden where they have stand up coolers the size of American pop coolers full of snus choices. Almost breathtaking the first time one sees it.) Sweden is the marketing target for these snuses, not Norway and not web sales.
Swedish Match has had the premium snus market wrapped up for years much like a couple of cigarette companies have had the cig market tied up in a couple of brands.
The problem comes in with Sweden regularly disproportionately raising the snus tax which forces up local pricing. Other companies are capturing market share by offering more products on the value snus shelves.
As I consumer I get the issue. I’d use a couple premium snus all the time if my budget was unlimited, or even just a lot less limited than it is now, but money is tight around my house. I have to buy a roll of my preferred premium snus for occasional use and use lower priced value-brand snus to make up the shortfall.
When I can buy 2 rolls of a pretty good snus for the price one roll of damn good snus the budget director appreciates the savings. So one compromises.
With XRANGE snus we get premium Swedish Match quality, albeit slightly smaller portions, at a much more budget friendly price point. That is from web shop point of view; I would bet it’s an even more remarkable difference to the Swedish consumer which taxes by weight.
I really do like all the range of options in the XRANGE . General Slim Large White Strong is my favorite. The way I look at it if I’m getting smaller portions I want bigger nicotine. General Classic White Strong is still my favorite/most used strong snus so I guess it fits.
Fans of General Tailored White portion and Goteborg's Rape' Slim Portion will love XRANGE Slim White Portion and XRANGE Goteborg's Slim White Portion: the XRANGE versions are the same damn snuses for a lot less money!
Snus prices have easily doubled in the time I’ve been using snus pre-PACT Act. Way back when I started we thought paying $3.50 a can for General Onyx was flippin’ outrageous. Now if we get Ettan white portion for under $4 a can we’re happy.
I really wish I was making double the income I had back then. Seems like the only ones making that kind of income increase is the taxman nowadays. I really can’t imagine what I’d do if I had to pay the over the counter snus prices that they put up with in Sweden.
I’d likely use much cheaper value snuses 90% of the time and buy a few “premium” priced cans when going out on the town, just to show random ladies I meet that I’m not as poor and cheap as I really am.
So from a Swedish point of view I think XRANGE snus is a great idea. It fulfills Swedish Match’s need to occupy the medium price range and it provides Swedish, Norwegian and web shop consumers a less expensive high quality option.
Until next time,
Reporting from Sweden for SnusCENTRAL.org