Snus Today, No 1847 Snus Tomorrow.
I first wrote about and tried 1847 by Philip Morris almost two years ago soon after it's introduction. Back then, 1847 by PM was really made by Philip Morris International, not PMUSA. Philip Morris USA was still playing with early versions of Marlboro Snus in a couple of test markets, God help us.
Philip Morris International (PMI) had purchased the old, now defunct Rocker Snus Factory in Sweden and produced 1847 by Philip Morris in both Original and White portions. They came in some of the most attractive metal snus cans made in recent snus history. Unlike most other metal production snus cans, the metal 1847 cans contained a compartment for used snus to be stored in. Since I began snusing in 2007, I have kept one can of every snus I've ever tried. The 1847 cans were an exception: I kept almost every one of them.
Of the two, 1847 White Portion quickly became a favorite of mine and still is to this day. In 2009, the snus world woke up the first shocking announcement concerning 1847 by PM Snus. Despite the name, 1847 by Philip Morris was to become 1847 by Philip Morris made by Swedish Match!
Swedish Match Takes Over Production of 1847 by PM Snus.
In early 2009, PMI and SMAB announced their historic Joint Venture Agreement. As part of the JV, Swedish Match was to take over production of 1847 and move it from the Rocker factory to their own state of the art snus factories in Gothenburg and Kungälv.
On October 12th, 2009, Swedish Match released the first photos of the new 1847 snus and speculation filled the snus world. What happened to the metal cans? Was this some part of a Marlboro Snus plot? The biggest question mark was the taste and recipe for the Swedish Match version of 1847. SMAB assured us the recipe would remain the same. Combining that with their better quality tobacco and better production techniques, I was pretty excited about the release of 1847 by PMI by SMAB.
Turns out Swedish Match not only stayed true to the original recipe, but cleaned up the flaws in 1847 at the same time. There was always a slight bitterness to 1847 by PMI. Swedish Match eliminated that; replacing it with a slight tobacco sweetness and clean finish. I was in 1847 White Portion heaven!
The only downside were the cans. Swedish Match would have effectively had to retool their entire production line to handle the classic PMI metal cans at the expense of all their other brands. Here I'll agree the Accountants had a very strong argument for replacing the metal cans. The new graphics were OK, but in contrast to the embossed metal cans took away the richness of the package. The new cans were bar worthy, but not by much compared to other SWAB can graphics.
General Maxi Portion, Roda Lacket Claq Qui, and 1847: out with the old; in with the new!
Under-performing snus products are discontinued all the time. Some manufacturers are famous for it. All have to do with sales volume, but not all have to do with taste. Many excellent snuses developed vocal proponents but did not for whatever reason catch the popular fancy. In the case of Mocca by F&L, many offerings were introduced and then discontinued just as they were catching on.
Swedish Match has never been that undisciplined. The maxi portion has dropped massively in popularity because of the huge variety of high nicotine Strong and Extra Strong snuses in discreet 1 gram or less portions now available. Claq Qui was different. It had not outlived it's time; just underperformed during it. Since it was discontinued, fans have been mass-purchasing the remaining stock and freezing it for future use.
Now we say goodbye to 1847 by Philip Morris by Swedish Match. According to inside sources, SMAB expects to be completely out of 1847 stock within three weeks of today. That stock combined with what is left in the distribution chain is all that is left.
I've been stocking up on 1847 White pre-PACT Act, but now I'm going to have to significantly increase my next snus order with both 1847 White portion and 1847 Original portion. One day it will be all gone but there will be new snuses I haven't even imagined available then. Swedish Match alone has 47 snus SKUs left including the new soon-to-be-available Catch Collection Glow.
Our SnusCIA has already disclosed that a new General Snus offering based on the long, thin Lab Series pouches will be released either late this year or early 2011. As to the Lab Series itself, don't be surprised if Swedish Match Lab SeriesLS-01 and LS-02 are joined by LS-03 and LS-04 in 2011. The Lab Series was never intended just for two products.
Enjoy your Snus!
Swedish Snus Ambassador to the United States
Reporting for SnusCENTRAL.org