Sunday, 21 June 2009 22:17

Four Million Cans of Swedish Snus!

Written by Larry Waters
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We Visit the Swedish Match Snus Factories in Gothenburg and Kungälv, Sweden

The Road Trip to Sweden Series: June 2009, chronicles Larry Waters' diplomatic mission to Stockholm and Gothenburg Sweden.  Swedish Match AB "suggested" we come visit them concerning the Joakim/Markus in "alleged" captivity issue and some other things.  SnusCENTRAL in Sweden:  it wasn't like the old Danish invasions of centuries past, but comes pretty close!

June 11 & 12, 2009: When you want to intimidate the people you are negotiating with, what better way than a show of force?  The old Soviet Union had their May Day parade; a seemingly endless line of tanks, troops, ballistic missiles, and the like.  China does the same thing to this day in Tienanmen Square each year.  The Nuclear Freeze proponents of the 1970's and 1980's were sure intimidated.  Ronald Reagan wasn't, but that's another story for another website.

When I arrived at Landvetter Airport,  Swedish Match plain clothed security personnel escorted us into an Swedish Match; Gothenburg, Swedenarmoured limousine for the 30 minute drive to the Swedish Match Gothenburg Snus Factory.  Before we had a chance to sit down and discuss the Joakim/Markus situation, Jens Karlsson took us on a tour of the Gothenburg Snus Factory.  Jens was the lead negotiator for Swedish Match AB.

The following day, we were back in our armoured limo and off to the new snus factory in Kungälv.  The details of both tours along with many more pictures from our secret Spy Shop pen-cameras will follow in later articles.  There is so much to tell and so many highlights that one article can't hold them all....at least without giving you severe eyestrain.

The title of this article is Four Million Cans of Swedish Snus...Swedish Match snus to be precise.  These were the heavy tanks of Jen's Swedish Match show of force.  It was very effective.

 

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!

Larry Waters (left) chilling in the SMAB Cold Room at the Gothenburg FactoryAs 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 This is just one row of chilling snus.  There were a lot more rows....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 restFour 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.

Yet another row of SM snus. Notice me comforting a master carton of General OnyxTo 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.

The secret entrance to the Swedish Match Gothenburg FactoryEverything 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.................

Bästa hälsninga,  (that's Best Regards in Swedish.  Swedish Snus Ambassadors have to knSnus Central Founding Member and Snus Ambassadorow things like that.)

LARRY WATERS
Swedish Snus Ambassador to the United States
Reporting From Sweden for SnusCENTRAL.org

 

Seal of the Swedish Snus Ambassador to the United States

 

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