Wednesday, 30 January 2013 14:30

New Snus from Swedish Match 2013

Written by Larry Waters
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UPDATED: 1 Feb 2013: Prior to 2007 and Camel SNUS Frost, there were virtually no mint Swedish snuses available (menthol aside).  Swedish Match was the first to challenge the US success of Camel Frost with their own General Dry Mint Mini Portion Snus.

As I stated at the time, General Mini Mint stomped Camel Frost into the mud, demonstrating Swedish snus superiority over Reynolds and to date all American pseudo-snus imitators.   Over the last five years, an explosion of mint snuses hit the market from all almost all the Swedish snus manufacturers.

I began wondering just how many variations of spearmint, peppermint, and wintergreen snus could be created without all these snuses just blending together as a mint blur in the mind of the consumer.

Aside from the Jakobsson's mint snuses which I find sweet to the point of distraction, the differences were becoming much more nuanced between competing mint snuses.

Mint Snus - Swedish Match Starts 2013 with Three More ...

Swedish Match did find a new way which first manifested itself with General Classic Mint White Portion Snus.  Instead of mint being the over-riding flavor, mint was an equal partner with tobacco and the other flavors within General Classic Mint.  This has not gone unnoticed in the snus manufacturing community.  Taking into account the different tobacco and especially the different amounts of nicotine, Odens Extreme Cold White Dry Portion Snus brought to mind General Classic Mint White Portion Snus the first time I tried the Odens.

Catch_Collection_Madison_Avenue_Rich_Mint_White_Mini_Portion_SnusDuring the first six weeks of 2013, Swedish Match will be introducing an astonishing three new mint snuses.  One is already on the market:  Catch Collection MADISON AVENUE Rich Mint White Mini Portion Snus.

Both in aroma and taste, the word 'rich' is not misused.  Rich would describe the vanilla notes.  Imagine vanilla and milk versus vanilla and cream.  Sorry, that's the best analogy I can think of at this point.  I'll wait for famous snus reviewer That Snus Guy to express it much better and tell me why I'm enjoying MADISON AVENUE.

I only use mini portion snus when I'm sleeping; a guilty pleasure.  For the 3-4 months Catch Collection MADISON AVENUE will be available, it will be sleeping with me....or I'll be sleeping with it.  In either case, my wife and I have an open marriage when it comes to which snus I sleep with so no worries there (unless it falls out of my mouth and stains the sheets).

Coming the first week of February, Swedish Match will be releasing two more mint snuses.  One is very controversial; at least to me.  Let's start with that one.

Lab Series 12 Snus:  Can't Anyone in the Snus Lab Count?

12 Lab Series Fresh Mint Strong White Portion SnusThe Lab Series is really starting to annoy me.  Not the snus; I'm fine with all of them.  It's the numbering system.  When you brand the words Lab Series, you would expect order and logic.

When first introduced, Swedish Match started with Lab Series 01 and 02.  01 was a regular strength snus while 02 was a strong snus.  Very logical.  When the next Lab Series snuses were released, we all assumed them to be 03 and 04.  That didn't happen. Instead we have 05 as a strong white portion with no wet portion counterpart,  06 as an extra strong wet portion, and 07 as an extra strong white portion snus.

Why 05 was not called 03 is still a mystery.  Until now, I'd hoped that 03 and 04 were reserved for the mint or other flavored companions to 01 and 02.  All bets are off now with the pending release of Lab Series Number 12 Fresh Mint Strong White Long Portion Snus.  Time to add 08, 09, 10, and 11 to the numbers the Lab Series guys are cavalierly dismissing from the world of mathematics.

I could go on about this and trust me, you would enjoy reading it.  Instead I'm going to fall back to my alternate rationale for Swedish Match branding Lab Series.  I've been to the Swedish Match R&D lab in Göteborg.  I've met with and talked to the snus scientists who work there.

The only explanation which would explain this random numbering scheme is that Lab Series refers to Mad Scientists.  The unused numbers represent catastrophic failures so great the numbers were never used again for fear of jinxing a new product.....or not.

Maybe February is Magenta month in Sweden.  Since the can number is a different color, it had to be separated from other Lab Series products.

Could the Aztec calendar be involved?  We may never know for sure.  Many of you couldn't care less as to the reasoning as long as 12 tastes good.  Not me, though.  I'll lie awake with my mini portion inserted pondering the reasoning or lack thereof  behind Lab Series Number 12.

I have some 12 Lab Series isolated in my snus chiller.  I've yet to work up the courage to open the can.  I'm sure this snus is very tasty; especially for fans of the Fresh Mint flavor profile.  I just afraid I'll be struck by lightning or the SnusCentral Bunker will vanish in a sink hole as soon as I break the seal.  I'll wait for someone else to open their can of 12 first.

UPDATE: In response to the huge public outcry in Sweden and Norway following the publication of this article,  Swedish Match Official Niklas Trieb made the following statement explaining the Lab Series numbering system:  "Number 12 is the first flavored product in The Lab Series. So we decided that flavored product in the family should start with the number one. According to that logic the next flavored product in The Lab Series will get the name 13, 14 or maybe 18?"

The pitchfork-armed mob which had tracked Trieb down was stunned; "maybe 18"???  This distracted them long enough for Mr. Trieb to escape the tree he had climbed for safety and slip away unnoticed.

Nick & Johnny Crushed Ice White Xtra Strong Mint Portion Snus

NJ-Crushed-Ice-Xtra-Strong-WhiteAlso arriving Week 6 is Nick & Johnny Crushed Ice White Xtra Strong Mint Portion Snus, the white portion version of Crushed Ice Xtra Strong.  Of all three 2013 mint snuses announced by Swedish Match, Nick & Johnny Crushed Ice White Xtra Strong Mint Portion Snus holds the distinction of having the least number of characters in its name.  When Moe was setting up the product page for Catch Collection MADISON AVENUE Rich Mint White Mini Portion Snus on SnusCentral.com, he found the name too long to fit in the product name box.

White portion snuses have been around for years now but in the last year, more and more manufacturers have either released white portion versions of existing wet portion products or introducing new snuses only as white portions.  This indicates that snus focus groups; especially in the United States, show a preference for the slower running, longer lasting white portions over their more dynamic wet portion counterparts.

I spoke with Moe Unz, Snus Legend and Manager of the SnusCentral.com Snus Shop in Lidköping Sweden.  Mr. Unz says that sales of new white portion product are generally brisk but was also brand dependent.  For example, SnusCentral.com sells noticeably more Ettan Portion than Ettan White Portion.

Conversely, when it comes to Fiedler and Lundgren's Granit extra strong snuses, sales of Granit Explosive Xtra Strong Portion Snus and Granit Intensive Xtra Strong White Portion Snus are roughly equal.

There is no right or wrong and no absolutes.  Personally, my current rotation of snus runs about 60% original portion; 40% white portion.  This number, like the snuses I'm using each month, changes.  In the end, whichever version you enjoy more is the one you should use.

Its great that Swedish Match has now given Nick and Johnny Crushed Ice fans both versions of the same snus.  You can now compare original versus white portion and see which suites you better.

Wet or White, Enjoy your Snus!Swedish Snus Ambassador to the United States

LARRY WATERS

Swedish Snus Ambassador to the United States
Reporting for SnusCENTRAL.org

Read 4933 times Last modified on Friday, 13 December 2013 23:43

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