Wednesday, 15 January 2014 00:00

The Lab 13 Extra Strong Slim Portion Formula+ Snus released

Written by Larry Waters
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The Lab 13 Extra Strong Slim Portion Formula+ SnusThe Lab 13 Extra Strong Slim Portion Formula+ Snus will be available later today or early next week.  

I've known about Lab 13 for a few weeks now but couldn't discuss it.  Nothing much escapes the SnusCENTRAL Intelligence Agency's (SnusCIA) notice, especially at the Stockholm field office.

Lab 13 is noteworthy for it's flavor profile:  Energy Drink.  This is a first for Swedish Match but since Lab 13 was designed for the Norwegian market, it is not shocking.  The modern Nick and Johnny brand is also very popular in Norway and boasts some pretty unusual flavors.

Since the Lab Series brand; now called The Lab; called by me Lab, was introduced in 2009, it has quickly risen to the 3rd most popular brand of snus in Norway.  In the last year alone, the sales volume of The Lab brand snuses has grown an astonishing 50%!

The quality of Lab snus is of course prominent but it is Swedish Match's laser-like focus on the peculiarities and tastes of each market they enter which in large part have played the starring role.  The best snus in the world won't sell if the taste and characteristics don't reflect those of their consumers.

I experienced that first hand as a consumer participant in the Dallas focus groups Swedish Match conducted when entering the US market seriously.  General Dry Mint Mini portion snus and General Wintergreen White portion snus were the first fruit from those market studies. 

The Dry Mint mini experience alone was responsible for showing Americans what real snus tasted like compared to Camel SNUS Frosted.  Bowing to consumer demand, General Large Mint White Portion snus was created 10 months later.  Both are still enormously popular and led to the flood of mint flavored snuses which followed.

The Lab 13 Extra Strong Slim Portion Formula+ Snus takes this to a new level.  As a study in market development alone, the degree of popularity Lab 13 achieves offers us a living laboratory (sorry, couldn't resist) we can follow along with for ourselves.  Let's get started....

The Lab 13 Extra Strong Slim Portion Formula+ Snus

Research has shown 3 things are very popular to Norwegian (and coincidentally, many younger American) snus users:

- Extra Strong high nicotine snus

- Non-traditionally flavored snus

- Long/Slim non-drip portion pouches

When the Lab Series was introduced in 2009, it also introduced the snus world to the slim, non-drip portion pouch.  Lab Series pouches were the first of their kind.  Since then, Swedish Match has tailored and expanded their use to many of their other brands. 

Other snus manufacturers have also jumped onto the slim portion pouch bandwagon with varying degrees of success. 

Most importantly, I prefer the slim/long portion pouch format.  General Long Portion snus has replaced General Original Portion in my personal rotation as has General Long Extra Strong over General Ekstra Sterk portion.

What makes Lab 13 unique from the other extra strong snuses in The Lab series is the flavor choice.  The descriptor is two simple words:  Energy Drink.  The marketing name of Energy Drink for Swedish Match is Formula+.

Thus we have the incredibly long name of The Lab 13 Extra Strong Slim Portion Formula+ Snus.  I do wish they had eliminated "The" from the brand.  In English at least, it reads much better and is easier to locate in a snus directory.

The Lab 13: Energy Drink refers to taste, not ingredients

Swedish Match was not the first to introduce the energy drink concept to snus.  These third tier snuses, most already consigned to the garbage heap of snus history, were more interested on energy drink ingredients.  They added caffeine, taurine, and a host of other inexpensive energy drink ingredients. 

Their only attention to flavor was apparently ensuring it was strong enough to cover up the aftertaste of the caffeine and cheap tobacco they could get away with using.  No wonder most failed and any remaining were insignificant.

MYTH BUSTER:  Lab 13 Extra Strong Slim Portion Formula+ does NOT contain caffeine, taurine or any other questionable additives.  Formula+ refers to the taste profile Lab 13 was to present; Energy Drink.  The Extra Strong 2% nicotine content is what supplies the punch.

Why energy drink flavor?  That's the question I wondered.  In a word, research. 

In Norway, snus users in the legal age to 25 year old demographic make up around 17% of total Norwegian snus consumers.  That's a pretty significant percentage.

Sales of sports drinks in Norway rose 9.5 million units, with the sub-set of energy drink sales revenue rising 15%.  I think you can guess the age demographic most significant to energy drink sales....

....which brings us Lab 13; a high nicotine extra strong long portion snus with a flavor profile based on energy drinks.

After tasting The Lab 13 I can say that fans of energy drinks will not be disappointed.  The flavor started out orange/lemon with the tobacco coming in a minute or two later.  The sweetness is there like you would expect but not the sickly sweet some flavored snuses designed for the USA market have. 

Lab 13 has just arrived at the SnusCentral.com Snus Shop so if you like flavored high nicotine snus, The Lab 13 Extra Strong Slim Portion Formula+ Snus is certainly worth trying.

Now that you have all the facts, we can sit back with a can of Lab 13 and watch the launch and acceptance in the Norwegian snus market unfold.  It will be an interesting lab experiment (sorry again).  Let me know what you think of Lab 13 in the comments below, on the Snus Forum, or in our Member Snus Review section.

As always, Enjoy your Snus!Official-color-copy2

LARRY WATERS

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

SnusCentral.org Founding Member

Read 21361 times Last modified on Monday, 17 February 2014 16:04

9 comments

  • Comment Link Larry Waters Thursday, 03 July 2014 02:15 posted by Larry Waters

    Josh, remember Swedish snus is like meat: when you approach the expiration date, you can freeze it for up to 12 months. :-)

    As to the shipping costs, that is because your fresh snus is coming directly from Sweden. The US government banned postal shipments of tobacco products in 2009.

    Since then, your order must by US law be shipped UPS Air with Adult Signature Required. In the case of SnusCentral.com, they also pre-pay your customs clearing house charges.

    It is a lot more than Swedish Post was but in the old days, it took up to 2 weeks to get your package...sometimes longer. Not great when buying snus during very hot months.

    There were also no tracking numbers with postal shipments. We all use to nervously stalk our mail carriers every day until the snus arrived (hopefully)safely and soundly. :-)

    The more you buy at one time, the lower your cost per can with shipping factored in as you said.

    Just freeze your excess at expiration time and you'll be fine.

    Report
  • Comment Link Josh H Monday, 30 June 2014 23:22 posted by Josh H

    I'm generally a fan of mint or wintergreen flavors in my snus however, I really like the slim long format as well as the high nicotine content.

    The flavor was a bit much for me at first but I find its really growing on me. The only issue I have is the fact that I cannot purchase anywhere in the U.S. Which means I have to pay more on shipping then the cost of the actual snus I purchase,unless I purchase in bulk which means that I run the risk of getting past the expiration date when I get to the last few cans. Although, I'm not a firm believer that all is lost when it's past the best used by date.

    In conclusion, I really enjoy it and hope it remains to be as pleasant by the time I reach my 12th can since I had to buy that much to make the shipping cost even remotely worth it for me.

    Report
  • Comment Link Heather Schable Wednesday, 26 February 2014 23:00 posted by Heather Schable

    I would try it, but considering I'm not a fan of energy drinks, I don't think I would care for the flavor of this snus. I don't really care for the slim portions either. I can most definitely see the appeal this snus would have to young people though. I bet my cousin would really enjoy lab. I'm going to show him this review.

    Report
  • Comment Link Jehans Monday, 10 February 2014 16:42 posted by Jehans

    Bought this today, Didn't know anything about it and thought it was just a stronger Lab slim snus. I was wrong.
    Smells like bubblegum and tastes like it. Not the best thing I've put in my mouth

    Report
  • Comment Link Catherine Hellwig Monday, 10 February 2014 13:15 posted by Catherine Hellwig

    Mick and I just received our new package of Snus from Sweden. Thought I would try the new Lab 13 Extra Strong first. After opening it and a good long sniff, I find a pleasant energy drink smell that reminds me of a cross between Red Bull and Monster energy drink. I am told there is none of the ginseng, or caffeine which is in these energy drinks usually has in them. With 20 mg of nicotine I thought I wanted a smoke but after a few minutes I happily find I now no longer want one.
    The newer longer portion size makes for easier use. It slips in with little to no trouble and seems to fit in my lip better than most regular portions. I am looking forward to trying the other Snus in our pack.

    Report
  • Comment Link Moe Unz Monday, 03 February 2014 13:55 posted by Moe Unz

    Stien, On 2 Feb 14, the SnusCentral.com Snus Shop placed this on special as 15 cans for the price of a 10 can roll! That is 43.82 USD for 15 cans of Lab 13!

    Don't know how long the special will last.

    Report
  • Comment Link Stian Svensen Saturday, 01 February 2014 15:38 posted by Stian Svensen

    I bought 10cans of this snus today, and it tasted like heaven! totally gonna buy more of this!

    Report
  • Comment Link Larry Waters Friday, 24 January 2014 11:44 posted by Larry Waters

    Hi Chad!

    It is confusing which is why I higlighted it with Myth Buster.

    After reading the final marketing presentation on Lab 13, I still wasn't sure "energy drink" was limited to just the flavor. I had to ask the question directly and received a definitive answer.

    I'm glad you found the article helpful. I look forward to reading your review of Lab 13.

    Best,
    Larry

    Report
  • Comment Link Chad Friday, 24 January 2014 07:30 posted by Chad

    Larry,

    Thanks for the info. As I noted in my preview, and as you alluded to above, there was an energy snus when I first started snusing in 2009 that I used frequently, Elixyr Power Energy. I think your description fit it pretty well. The one I heard most often back then was "the aroma of cat piss".

    I'm a little bummed to find out this snus is not the Energy Snus I've been pitching to manufacturers for years now, though I am interested to see how this snus simulates an energy drink - with the added nicotine and flavor profile of an energy drink. It will be quite interesting.

    Thanks for the update, I was curious when someone asked me about what this snus was all about.

    Chad

    Report

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