FDA Tobacco Products Division says NO to Jakobsson's Snus
FDA has informed Gotlandssnus that over-the-counter sales of their Jakobssons Melon Strong Portion Snus within the US must cease; this according to an industry source speaking on condition of anonymity as they are not authorized to speak of the company.
This decision precedes the October 29, 2014 update from the FDA Tobacco Products Division on Substantial Equivalence (SE) reports and the grandfathered review process.
FDA will discuss the recently published final guidance on grandfathered tobacco products. The guidance provides information on what is needed to demonstrate that a tobacco product was commercially marketed in the United States as of February 15, 2007.
All the Jakobsson's Snus products sold over-the-counter within the USA do so under a claim of Substantial Equivalence. FDA has determined that the Jakobsson's Melon Strong Portion snus product is not substantially equivalent to Gotlandssnus products marketed in the US as of the 15 February 2007 cut-off and over-the-counter sales must cease.
How this decision will or will not affect the remaining Jakobssons Strong snus SKU's sold over-the-counter in the US is unknown at this time. It is hoped the 29 October FDA discussion will shed more light on this important topic.
We could not reach Gotlandssnus officials for comment as this is a weekend. Jakobssons Melon Strong Portion Snus will continue to be available world-wide (where legal) from internet snus shops located in Sweden.
Six Jakobsson's and Gotlandssnus Snus Discontinued
According to a SnusCIA source in Sweden, the following six snuses are to be de-listed effective 31 December 2014. Hopefully none are your personal favorites.
- Gotlandssnus Julesnus Loose Snus. This will be the final Christmas the loose snus version of Gotlandssnus Julesnus will be available. The portion snus version of Julesnus will remain as a seasonal offering.
- Gotlandssnus Anis Loose Snus. The SnusCentral.com Snus Shop stopped carrying Gotlandssnus Anis Loose years ago due to poor sales. I didn't even know it as still made, to tell the truth.
- Jakobssons Classic Portion Snus. This de-listing came as a bit of surprise as well as sadness. While most Jakobsson's snuses are known by their sweet Americanized flavor, Jakobssons Classic Portion, like Jakobssons Flader Portion snus, remained the truest to old Gotlandssnus Swedish flavor profile.
- Jakobssons Strong Classic Portion Snus. No surprise here considering #3 and not a great loss to snusers. Many fans of the Swedish flavor profile of Classic Portion were horrified by this much too sweet version of Classic. The flavors clashed more than meshed and it too was not a strong selling snus according to Moe Unz of the SnusCentral.com Snus Shop.
- Jakobssons Licorice Portion Snus. This wasn't a bad snus but it was lost in a sea of much better licorice snus offerings. Slow sales are to blame for its demise.
- Jakobssons Ice Fruit Portion Snus. While poor sales of late justified taking Ice Fruit off the shelf, the then-Gotlandssnus Ice Fruit Portion Snus was the first significant non-traditionally flavored snus produced in Sweden. Launched in 2008, this was an enormously popular snus and remained on my list of must-try snuses for those Americans new to snus for years. In recent years, the plethora of flavored snus offerings ultimately eclipsed Jakobsson's Ice Fruit's uniqueness into demise. From a historic perspective, Ice Fruit will always remain a very important snus. Goodbye, old friend.
As the dust clears, we find only one of the Jakobsson's regular strength snuses remains, Jakobsson’s Fläder portion, and no loose snuses remaining at all.
Aside from Jakobsson's Dynamite Extra Strong Portion snus, there are also no classic Swedish-style flavor profiles left in any of the Gotlandssnus brands.
How this gamble will end up playing out, especially in the Scandinavian market, is yet to be seen. If Jakobsson's Strong Melon is only the first of the sweet, strong, Jakobssons flavored snuses to be axed under Substantial Equivalence by FDA, then the already small US over-the-counter availability of Swedish snus brands will be even smaller.
Yours in snus,
Swedish Snus Ambassador to the United States
Reporting From Sweden and the USA for SnusCENTRAL.org