30 November 2010

The Snus Can : What does it tell us? 30 November 2010.

Over the past few years I've been doing snus news, reviews, and information I've always commented on the snus can. Generally, I just make a note about the general aesthetics of the can - how does it look? Often times, it seems little details can get overlooked, and I wanted to write a little about some of the less noticed parts of the snus can. Today I was popping in a portion of REAL Camel Snus (by JTI) and glanced over at the "Swedish Quality" on the can, and it really struck me because Swedish Snus is truly something to be proud of, especially the quality by which it is produced. The "Swedish Quality" is actually a standard used by JTI, much like GothiaTek, the standard set forth by Swedish Match for their products. I noted the "MADE IN SWEDEN" on a Lucky Strike White Portion can, and the tagline "01 is tested in our lab under strict conditions to ensure that this snus meets our highest standards." on a can of 01//Lab Series. I got to observe this standard first hand in Sweden on a recent tour of the Swedish Match plant, and I truly feel comfortable about Swedish Snus and the safety standards set forth in it's production.

What's interesting is that you won't see any of the same pride by which Swedish Snus is made on a can of American "SNUS" or Camel "SNUS". In fact, you don't see much of anything. American "SNUS" is a travesty, and as mentioned in an earlier article, truly different from REAL Swedish Snus. There isn't anything on the can about pride or safety when it comes to Camel "SNUS". Which is interesting, coming from a company that recently ran this ad, saying they "perfected" snus. Well, for a company saying something like that, they better have the balls to back it up. I guess their lack of "AMERICAN QUALITY SNUS" labels, or "MADE BY RJRTEK" or whatever their "quality standard" is really goes to show you - there isn't much quality that goes into making an American "SNUS". Perhaps that's why they're so dreadfully terrible.

Turning over the can, I finally did see a little info, which basically is about a product guarantee, a website, and a phone number. Seems like something someone would put on their product in anticipation of dissatisfied customers. So I contacted RJ Reynolds and said, "Okay, let's see how you make your snus." After all, Swedish Match personally invited myself and a handful of other world famous snus bloggers to check out how they make snus, I figured RJR has at least heard of me. Well, they didn't seem as receptive. Basically, I was told they were a "large company and it would require some review" and a manufacturing plant tour would "take some time since it involves other people". That was 4 months ago, and to this date I've never heard back from them. Since then, I've been invited by various other companies in Sweden to check out their production methods, so I find it interesting that RJR is being so damn secretive. Doesn't it make you wonder what they're up to? Next time you're enjoying a can of Swedish Snus, take a look around the can, and when you see something that says "MADE IN SWEDEN" or "Swedish Quality" - always remember, that's a point of pride and a benchmark in tobacco safety and harm reduction. Something American companies will never live up to.

2 comments:

  1. You forgot to look at the other side, by the way, on which RJR printed "0% U.S. Tobacco 100% Foreign Tobacco". Sure, that's not to say anything about the quality of the tobacco used (although I find it wanting), but it sure doesn't say "American Quality" under the contents, either, just "Sale only allowed in the United States". Might I add that last bit is unnecessary, as I doubt anyone else would want to buy it?

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  2. M - You raise a very good point. And I agree. I would love to see an American product made with traditional steam pasteurization that would get snus right, with 100% American Tobacco. A snus under a label like that would be great. With the strides that a lot of companies have been making and I hate to say it but RJR dropping ad dollars to make snus a more well known word, as well as Swedish Match North America, I wouldn't be surprised to see an American product come forth within the next 15 years that says "American Quality - 100% American Tobacco".

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