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Monday, August 18, 2008

Triumph Snus: Upsetting the American Snus Apple-Cart?

On October 25, 2006, Lorillard Tobacco, the third largest cigarette manufacturer in the United States, released the following press release:

Greensboro, N.C. – October 25, 2006 -- Lorillard Tobacco Company today announced that it has entered into an agreement with Swedish Match North America to jointly develop and market a select line of smokeless tobacco products in the United States. The parties anticipate that an initial product offering may be launched on some basis of geographic distribution in the not too distant future. Swedish Match North America Inc. is the third leading manufacturer of moist snuff in the United States, with such well-known brands as TimberWolf and Longhorn moist snuff, and is a leading manufacturer of Other Tobacco Products, such as Red Man chewing tobacco, Half and Half pipe tobacco, and White Owl and Garcia Y Vega cigars. Swedish Match North America Inc. is a US subsidiary corporation of Swedish Match AB, a Swedish corporation. Swedish Match shares are listed on Stockholmsborsen (SWMA). Lorillard Tobacco Company is the third largest manufacturer of cigarettes in the United States, including the Newport brand, the best selling menthol cigarette in the country, and the Maverick, Old Gold, Kent and True brands. Lorillard is a wholly owned subsidiary of Loews Corporation (NYSE: LTR;CG).

No word from Lorillard except to privately confirm that focus groups and tasting had begun in 2007.

And then silence............. Until March 5, 2008, when Swedish Match announced......

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Big Chris said...

I just can't comprehend how happy it would make me to see tins of Swedish Match at my local gas station. Oh, man, that would be awesome.

Mr. UnloadingZone said...

Just remember, it's Swedish Match designed for "American Taste buds".

I'm withholding judgement until I taste it, but yea, that would be awesome.

J said...

Hey, Like your blog. I started my snus project a few weeks ago as a quit smoking tool. Going well. Curious if you know a way to purchase Triumph online. I would like to try it after reading some reviews. Thanks for the insight on the blog... Cheers J

Mr. UnloadingZone said...

No, they're still test marketing it at gas stations and convenience stores in GA and OH.

Today, I sent a reader in Ohio 4 cans of Swedish snus and he's sending me 4 cans of Triumph (2 mint, 2 regular) We should both have them by the weekend.

It's interesting because he's new to snus and has only tried Camel and Triumph.

I've (except for that first can of Camel) have never had Triumph and exclusively use Swedish brands.

Supposedly, Swedish and American tastes are different. It will be interesting how I like the Triumph which is Swedish Match made, but flavored for the American taste.

And I sent him General Onyx, Jakobssons Ice Fruit, Philip Morris 1847 and Gotlandsnus Yellow. It will equally interesting to see how those compare to the Triumph, taste-wise.

It's a scientific study on taste-buds!

Anonymous said...

I think it's b.s. that our taste buds are different. There are a lot of people that would appreciate the tradition involved with real Swedish snus. I think SM should just put a lot of money into marketing their traditional successful brands (think General, Ettan, etc.) in the U.S. Another mistake I think they're making is that they are pushing portions so much. Instead, I think they should try to emphasize both portions and loose.

Mr. UnloadingZone said...

Hi Anonymous!

Yea, I'm with you on the taste-bud issue to an extent, but even the snus manufacturers aren't convinced....I think that's why everyone is still test-marketing....they're not sure they're right.

I spit out the first portions of Triumph original and mint: they were too sweet to what I had become accustom to with Swedish Snus. But I pressed on and after a few more portions, I could start tasting the tobacco in the original over the peach flavor. The mint I use when I go to bed (I really am nicotine addicted)'s cheaper than the Jakobssons Ice Fruit I like and the bedtime snus is kind of a waste since you fall asleep before it's spent.

And I even bought a can of Camel SNUS Frost yesterday since Frost keeps popping up even among Swedish snus users. I'm writing a post on it tonight so I won't waste the space here except to say if I had nothing to compare it to......

The problem is education. My first can of snus was the original original Camel... when it only had 0.04 grams. It was OK since I had nothing to compare it to.

It's only when I went to the web looking for mail-order Camel SNUS that I stumbled across Swedish Snus....and the history, the brands the QUALITY, the health advantages...and a tobacco store 5 minutes from my house was an SM dealer.

I'll never forget when I put that first General Portion in my blew me away and the Camel went into the trash.

But if SM didn't sell over the counter in Texas, and I had nothing to compare the Camel to....and it would get me off cigarettes but give me nicotine....

Swedish Match SE didn't create Swedish Match US without a reason.

And even I, humble Mr Unloadingzone, have a master plan of my own in progress....

As to portion over loose, I think it's to appeal to the Northerners who think "redneck" and of "spitting" with any loose tobacco product. The manufacturers are trying to portray snus as snuff, not dip, during the introduction.

But to my surprise, SM markets a number of brands of chew in the US...and their sales numbers are shrinking. On the other hand, their snus $$ are way up so I think you'll start seeing loose from them not too far in the distant future.

And I haven't seen it or tried it, but Klondike Snus comes in portions and loose and they swear they make it to Swedish Standards with an emphasis on low TSNA's. I hope it tastes good.

Mrs. Unloadingzone

Mrs. Unloadingzone
"The Girl of my Dreams"