I said then, both publicly and privately, that the new Long Thin portion pouch was the future of snus in the United States. I beat the drum for a General snus recipe version of this new pouch. My wish has become reality with General Long Portion and the higher nicotine General Long Sterk Portion snus.
I do owe snusers world-wide an apology. Swedish Match would have probably released the General Long series 10 months ago if I hadn't suggested the product last year. Despite my enthusiasm and unsolicited advice, they overcome their unease about my judgement and went ahead anyway; General Long was born. Vikings are fearless!
General Long and Long Sterk are available for pre-order at SnusCentral.com but have not been released yet. General Long Portion will be shipping Week 38 (the week of Sep 12th) while Long Sterk Portion will not be available until Week 42 (the week of Oct 24th). Like the rest of you, I have not tasted what Swedish Match describes as "the General snus recipe optimized for the Long Portion design". Even after reading the product information sheets from SwM, I don't really know what an "optimized" General recipe will taste like. We'll all find out soon enough.
The Quest to Rethink Snus project was more than looking at new pouches/delivery systems. Everything was on the table and it shows with the General Long series snus. Gone is the traditional General snus packaging. The new cans are mono-color black with the new gold General logo and graphics seemingly embossed on the them. The only difference between the two long portions is the color of the banner and side graphics. Both have catch lids on the top.
The Lab Series cans were designed to the same theory, but the General Long cans are elegant and bar-worthy. Bar-worthy means a snus can is attractive enough for a person in a group situation to place the can on the bar or table for others to see. Using a car analogy, Lab Series is Toyota where General Long cans are Lexus. Especially in social situations, a snus can can be a great conversation starter for Americans. General Onyx, skruf snus, Gustavus, and Jakobsson's snus cans easily fall into this category. The Long series is General Snus packaged not only for the 21st century, but as a luxury snus (without the luxury price, happily).
While each can contains 24gr of snus, instead of 24 one gram portions you receive 26 portions weighing 0.91gr each. Why the same total weight with more portions/less snus per portion? I believe the answer lies in the manufacturing process utilizing long, thin pouches.
When the Lab Series was released, it was supposed to contain 24 one gram portions per can. Instead, the number of portions per can ran between 22 and 26. It was easier for Swedish Match to calibrate a firm 26 portions per can then try to deliver 24. To this day, the Lab Series effectively comes with 2 extra portions or a total weight of 26 grams. At the time this created quite a snus scandal.
With the General Long series, they still have to calibrate their equipment for 26 portions but slightly reduced the snus per portion so in the end, the total snus weight remained 24 grams per can. One would assume in optimizing the General recipe for the Long series, the flavor was enhanced to make up for the difference.
General Long Portion has 8mg/portion of nicotine while General Long Sterk Portion has 14mg/portion. Both are relatively moist at 50% and contain E500 so I'm betting the nic hit will be excellent. Once I track down the pH level, I'll be able to calculate the bio-available or free nicotine levels with my "borrowed" top secret Swedish free-nicotine decoder ring. I'll update this when I have the numbers...unless I forget to.
This article was a bit more clinical than the Long Series pouch deserves. If you read the pre-release and post-release articles I wrote about the Lab Series last September and substitute 'General Long' for 'Lab Series' you'll see why I am so excited by the General Long series. When we finally get to taste them and evaluate the mouth feel, I'm pretty certain you will be excited too.
Swedish Snus Ambassador to the United States
Reporting for SnusCENTRAL.org