Monday, 13 October 2008 21:08

Lorillard says Triumph Snus Still a Go, but Consumers would Never Know it!

Written by Mr. UNZ
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mr_unz_primaryThere has been speculation of late the Lorillard is having second thoughts on their Triumph Snus product.  Why they would even consider having second thoughts is a mystery to me.  With the best value/only documented genuine documented American snus to truly be reduced harm (as it's made in Sweden for Lorillard), they should be blowing their competitors in the US out of the water.  If they would only wake up and realize the position they are in!

Product quality certainly isn't an issue: Swedish Match makes it for them in Sweden to at a minimum, the strict Swedish Government Standards, and at best, to GothiaTek® standards.

Taste? This so-called American versus Swedish taste preference issue? It never existed until RJRT aggressively went after the American market with Camel SNUS.

RJRT is still test-marketing too, but are in Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Los Angeles, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Miami, Minneapolis, New York City, Oakland, Orlando, Portland, Raleigh, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington DC and even in select Sheetz stores. That's 19 Cities plus the Sheetz stores, wherever they are.

Triumph Snus is STILL only in Ohio and Georgia. And for Lorillard, it even gets worse.  Do they even have a Marketing Department, let alone a business plan for Triumph Original and Mint Snus?  You'd never know it judging by their actions, and it's real close to being too late.

RJRT put up a very web 2.0 site dedicated to marketing Camel SNUS; blurring it in with Swedish Snus where ever possible.

Lorillard's website, which looks like a weak 10 year old Corporate website, doesn't even mention Triumph everywhere I looked.

{SIDE-NOTE: RJRT visited my blog, The Unloading Zone regularly before I moved my Snus articles to SnusCENTRAL.org( they followed me here too) ; I visit the Camel SNUS site but only occasionally.

When I visited today to verify the number of markets they were in, I had to laugh. In my article Camel SNUS and Marlboro Snus: U.S. Cigarette Smokers lock of knowledge about REAL Snus being Exploited by Big Tobacco for BIG Profits: Part 3 of 3 , I noted how consistently the lawyers in the marketing department made the website designers use SNUS in all capital letters whenever there was the slightest hint they were equating Camel SNUS with Swedish snus. How careful they were when mixing SNUS and snus in the same paragraph or question. And how obvious a propaganda-marketing ploy it was.

Apparently, Reynolds read my article and agreed. Many of the words SNUS have been replaced by the word Snus! Not in the few FAQ's I looked at, but on practically every page, SNUS had been replaced with Snus at least once; often multiple times on the same page!

I'm flattered and am going to add to my resume' that I am an unpaid consultant to RJRT C-Level Management! It's too bad we're on opposite sides when it comes to SNUS. They would probably hire me as obviously they respect my opinion and advice. How ironic.

In my Eclipse cigarette days, I begged Susan Ivey, now the Chairman, CEO, and President of Reynolds America in my Eclipse articles to hire me because the product was being so badly marketed and had so much potential. If you browse through my Archives,  you'll see a number of articles extolling the virtues of Eclipse Cigarettes before I discovered Swedish Snus.

How different things might be today...... As I said, ironic. But I should bill them my hourly consulting rate. Somehow I don't think they will pay. Maybe I could use Ms. Ivey as a professional reference at least? She could even join my LinkedIn.com circle. END OF SIDE-NOTE}

I spoke to people at Lorillard (you can't email them: you have to either write or call.) A few said they knew nothing about Triumph Snus. They had no information on the product. One referred me to Swedish Match since they manufacture it. There was no printed documentation.

One person didn't even know who was running the test project and another didn't even know there was a snus test project. Speaking as a consumer, this would not inspire a lot of confidence in me that the product would ever be widely marketed.

Then I received an email from a friend and reader in Ohio named Wade. In part it said "....I'm actually using Camel (SNUS) currently since I can't seem to find fresh Triumph. I'm not even sure if the Triumph branded snus is dead or if they've run into some problems with supply. I know a woman who owns a gas station that's really close to my home and she said this: 'The guy from Lorillard came in and marked all of the cans of Triumph outdated and told me I could send them back if I want.' He also told her HE doesn't know whats going on with Triumph snus, he didn't seem to know if it's a project-end or delay. The one thin for sure is that Lorillard isn't stocking these stores with an snus right now. She also recently started carrying Camel's SNUS, it seems to be popping up everywhere. I think I'm just gonna buy my snus online for as long as I can......."

I said at the beginning of the article that the so-called American versus Swedish taste preference issue never existed until RJRT aggressively went after the American market with Camel SNUS.

That's because the REST of "Big Tobacco" in America let Camel SNUS become the benchmark taste! Lorillard, Philip Morris (I can't even use the words "Marlboro" and "snus" next to each other), and now all the new-comers like Skoal snus and especially Nordic American Smokeless, with Klondike and Nordic Ice,  think they have to emulate the tobacco-tasteless, weak, too sweet, CAMEL SNUS to be successful!

So Lorillard and the rest INCLUDING the Swedish Snus manufacturers are all wondering what is this elusive "American Taste Preference"? It's CAMEL, my poor friends, because you let Camel SNUS define "American Taste"!!!!!

Swedish Snus was and is the GOLD standard for snus taste and especially quality, but YOU let RJ Reynolds redefine it for Americans as COPPER by being the ONLYAmerican Tobacco Company to realize the potential, especially future potential, of snus in America!

While they did a full court press with Camel SNUS, you sat back and "pondered".

Meanwhile, America has become Swedish Match's LARGEST snus market; even larger than the SWEDISH market.

YOU created the "American Taste" issue by not being as far-sighted and aggressive as Reynolds; by not putting out a Swedish Quality product from the beginning, and letting the inferior Camel SNUS, which at least put the right amount of nicotine (unlike Marlboro and maybe others...) and does some sort of pasteurization, DEFINE "American Snus".

YOU let Reynolds convince unknowing Americans to become accustom to the taste of Camel SNUS as the norm!

In essence, you let them sell the American Market that White Owl cigars and better tasting than Cuban cigars! Worse, Camel now charges MORE for Camel SNUS than Swedish OR Triumph Snus while giving the consumer a THIRD LESS PRODUCT!

Lorillard, almost EVERYONE I've spoken with who was using Camel SNUS likes Triumph BETTER.....after they've read or been told the real story!

But others, now used to the virtually tasteless Camel SNUS, find Swedish Snus "too strong". If they can get over that for half a can, they never go back to Camel.

If they give up after one portion, they never LEAVE Camel.

But fortunately, the majority have the same epiphany that I had and described in my first little snus article: Camel and Marlboro: When it Comes to Snus, you LOSE!.

I called Lorillard back and this time got someone who knew about Triumph.  Allegedly, the reason Lorillard didn't know what was in Triumph (I also called once about the nicotine level) was because Swedish Match was REFUSING to give them any product or ingredient information! Lorillard has been asking for it since the product first arrived and Swedish Match just WON'T give it to them!

I know SM is the biggest dog on the block when it comes to snus, but even I find that a stretch....unless Lorillard asked once, Swedish Match lost the email, and Lorillard never asked again. Because another thing this person said was that there was a lot of "foot dragging" on the Triumph Snus test project. There doesn't seem to be a lot of enthusiasm or sense of urgency at Lorillard concerning Triumph. Unlike Reynolds, Lorillard apparently doesn't read my articles. They don't get it.

This person COULD tell me all about a new cigarette Lorillard is introducing but the only thing they could tell me on the snus project was that it WASN'T dead, a few people were starting to complain how slow it was going, no new test markets are being actively planned, and the reason they pulled all the Triumph Snus out of the gas station my friend mentioned was because they are experimenting with different distribution channels.

WAKE UP, LORILLARD!I've tried both flavors of Triumph Snus. It's a little too sweet for my taste, but that's YOUR fault for following the Camel SNUS taste model instead of the 200+ year old Swedish taste model.

Triumph is the ONLYsnus marketed in the United States by a major US tobacco company that gives you 1 gram portions instead of 0.6 gram.

Triumph is the ONLYsnus marketed in the United States by a major US tobacco company that gives you 24 portions per tin. Camel SNUS gives you 15 and Marlboro s--s only gives you 12!

Triumph is the ONLYsnus marketed in the United States by a major US tobacco company that we KNOW FOR SUREis made to Swedish Quality Standards because it IS made in Sweden by the largest Swedish Snus manufacturer in the world!

Triumph is the ONLYsnus marketed in the United States by a major US tobacco company that actually CARES about expiration dates: when I bought my ill-fated can of Camel Frost for my taste comparison, the woman behind the counter which contained TWO Camel SNUS refrigerators; both fully stocked, first gave me a can that had expired almost a month ago.

She LITERALLY had to dig for several minutes through BOTH refrigerators for a can that had not expired.....and it only had two weeks to go!

I ADMIRE you for paying attention to expiration dates, but if you MARKETED, I mean REALLY marketed Triumph, expanded your test markets, put up a 2008 web technology website to promote it and became as aggressive as RJRT was and is......

I'll tell you a secret: if big American tobacco has allowed an "American Taste" difference to emerge, you've got the BEST TASTING American snus on the market!

If a consumer STARTS with Triumph, they may go Swedish one day but would keep using Triumph too. But they would NEVER use Camel SNUS! They would spit it out in disgust and never look back.

SO WAKE UP LORILLARD: cigarettes are on the way to being BANNED in the United States! H.R. 1108 giving the FDA regulatory control of tobacco.

Do you think their agenda is to make it SAFER and REDUCED HARM like the Swedish did with snus or ELIMINATE CIGARETTES ENTIRELY? Why do you think Reynolds is putting so much time and money into Camel SNUS? To develop brand loyalty before the ban!

Don't worry so much about your "exciting" new cigarette brand. Think about the 46MM+ nicotine addicted, socially outcast Americans who are going to need a new alternative to cigarettes.

That's the future of the Tobacco Industry in the United States and Susan Ivey was visionary enough to see that when she ran RJRT. And now she runs the company that owns RJRT.

I left my phone number the last time I called Lorillard and begged them to have someone in authority on the snus project call me back. They never did. Maybe they lost my number.

Well, a contact form is posted here and I'm willing to entertain an employment offer. Lorillard is rapidly running out of time on snus and in 5 to 7 years? Lets just say I'd start selling my stock now.

Sincerely,

Mr. UNZ
The Snus Guru

Oct 13, 2008

 

Read 4196 times Last modified on Saturday, 09 November 2013 03:08

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