Once Swedish Match snus or snus in general (I hope) has been made, labeled and sealed into master cartons, the master cartons are placed in a Cold Room for a few days to finish maturing. Think of Swedish Match's Cold Rooms as the two largest snus refrigerators on planet Earth.
These are the first known published photos of the Swedish Match Cold Rooms. Yet another in a series of SnusCENTRAL exclusives. Oh, the things we endure for our treasured readers!
As you can see from the pictures, this was a lot of snus! It represented approximately a 2.5 day supply of all the different Swedish Match snus's. I asked how many individual cans of snus represented a 2.5 day supply? Without a blink they replied "four million cans".
Four MILLION cans??? Four MILLION cans!!!!! I were speechless. We later did the math and that averaged out to about $20MM worth of snus. I wandered the rows looking at pallets of General Onyx, Ekstra Sterk, Etten, Probe, Kronan, and all the rest. Four million cans of snus.
Remember, this was just the chilling Swedish Match Snus. The Gothenburg and Kungälv Snus Factories were currently producing around 750,000 cans a day which, especially in Kungälv, is just a small percentage of their full operational capacity.
The factories were built with future demand factored in. That being said, my efforts alone will probably force Swedish Match to start construction on yet another factory around 2011-2012. The 750,000 cans per day are not included in the four million cans chilling in the Cold Rooms.
Jens Karlsson's ploy had worked. Within minutes, we were both begging to take some master cartons home with us. We were like children in a candy store....the largest candy store in the world. This beat Willie Wonka hands down.
To reinforce their psychological victory, they even broke protocol and took pictures of us in the Cold Room. A couple of those showing me trying to meld with the master cartons I'm sure were posted to the Swedish Match AB intranet site. Good for employee morale.
We managed to leave the Cold Room of our own volition; being dragged out would have been just too humiliating. Especially since I am the Swedish Snus Ambassador to the United States.
We immediately released Joakim and Markus from my checked luggage with the promise they would continue to answer Member and Visitor questions in the Swedish Match section of "Ask the Snus Makers!" on SnusCENTRAL.org.
Everything became much more relaxed after that. I leave you with this picture of a very innocuous-looking door. Nothing impressive. Nothing fancy. No armed guards. But this simple door leads to the heart of the Gothenburg Factory itself! To be continued.................
Swedish Snus Ambassador to the United States
Reporting From Sweden for SnusCENTRAL.org