Disclaimer: Granted, I do write about American "SNUS" and "snus" from time to time, but the focus of my blog/website is introducing people to REAL Swedish Snus. When it comes to snus, REAL Snus comes from Sweden. There's a difference, and the difference is big. Please read this article to learn the difference for yourself.
Recently, I began hearing words about ads for a new Marlboro "snus" and a new Skoal "SNUS" product to be released in 2011. Well, being the inquisitive person I am, I felt the need to dig as deeply into this as possible. In a back and forth exchange with Kenneth Garcia who handles Media Affairs for Altria, he made it quickly obvious to me that he wasn't going to give up hard facts about the new product. I was barraged with links to websites that had no info whatsoever about what I was looking for, and even at one point in time told, "...a quick google search will provide you with previous media coverage of the Marlboro Snus product." It was obvious to me that Altria wasn't going to tell me anything about Marlboro "snus" or Skoal "SNUS". But then again, why would they? My buddy Feck from the new Snuff Takers publication recently noted at SnusOn, "Big Tobacco, USA looks at us (American users of Swedish Snus) as the enemy. They don't care what we know about their products because we're not their intended market."
So how did I find out the information I needed? As Chad, the tobacco using consumer, not Chad Jones the writer for Snubie.com. And I was pleasantly surprised to see how much information the consumer hotline gave me. Granted, they didn't reveal processing/snusmaking practices, but I did get to find out some facts about the new products rolling out in 2011.
Okay, so what about Marlboro "snus"? I've written review after review about this stuff, a head to head article about Camel vs Marlboro, and one in the past about American "snus" vs Swedish Snus, so I really don't have to go into much detail about that kinda stuff. The new Marlboro "snus" is simply a new can. The product quality itself isn't changing in any way, shape or form. It's the same portions, just in two new flavors - Original and Mint. These are different flavors from the currently available Marlboro "snus" flavors that will be exclusive to these new cans. These two flavors will not be available in the smaller Marlboro "snus" pouches currently available. It's simply more in a can. The can will be 1 gram, and will have 15 portions per tin (this is what the consumer relations lady said from her packet of info she had). I'm guessing that figure was wrong, but who knows. I think I heard Marlboro "snus" was currently around 0.4g of tobacco per portion. This is not a test market situation, a national rollout is said to occur in January 2011. The reason for this change is that consumers wanted more portions per tin. Simple as that. No change in the quality, just two new flavors and more portions in a container. Who knows what the price point will be.
Okay, what about Skoal "SNUS"? Skoal "SNUS" is going to be released nationally at the same time as Marlboro "snus". It will come in round cans this time - 15 pouches per tin, 1.1 grams per pouch. The flavors will be Smooth Mint and Mint. No information is currently available about nicotine content or moisture content. Also, no information was offered about production methods. (wonder why?)
A recent article at http://snus-news.blogspot.com in November of 2010 (which seems to be an anti-snus site as far as I can tell) had some images that were given out to retailers. It looks like it's going to come in 5 can rolls, but of course you'll be able to buy it in individual cans.
According to a survey, 83% of adult smokeless consumers said they would buy Skoal "SNUS". Something else interesting to note is that refrigeration is not required for these tobacco products. The release date is being listed as January 10th, 2011. A source told me that the reason for the Skoal "SNUS" introduction is due to Skoal being a more recognizable and respected name in the smokeless tobacco biz than Marlboro, which would make sense. Don't put all your eggs in one basket, and since Altria has Marlboro and Skoal (via their US Smokeless acquisition - $10 billion dollars in 2008) they might as well see which floats and which sinks and focus on one. So this may be the end of Marlboro "snus" and the push for Skoal "SNUS", but again, who knows.
That's all I know for now, as these products come available I'll share my thoughts.
UPDATE: 14 January 2011 - Full review of the new Marlboro "Snus" (2011 Round Can Edition). http://chadizzy1.blogspot.com/2011/01/new-marlboro-snus-2011-round-can-review.html