04 January 2012

What's wrong with the "tobacco" flavor? 4 January 2012.

It may seem like a silly question, but when you think about it - there really aren't many "straight tobacco" flavored snuses. I was recently doing the math and came to a startling conclusion. In the snus world there are only seven snuses with the flavor profile of "tobacco". Pioneer Snuff with their self titled Pioneer Snuff, Swedish Match with Ettan, Prima Finta and Grov, F&L with Lucky Strike, GN Tobacco with Oden's Extreme and V2 with Phantom Classic Brown Portion. Add it up, it's true. Only seven snuses with the natural tobacco flavor. It begs the question, what is the tobacco industry so afraid of?

Now, on the flip side of the coin, doing the math will lead to an even more interesting conclusion. I'll be honest, I went through the mint phase. We all do. My first review in May of 2009 for General Mini Mint praised it for it's buzz, flavor, and taste. I won't knock it, or any other mint snuses - they serve their purpose. They help bridge people from American "SNUS" to real Swedish Snus. I've said time and time again - tastes change - and the majority of people who start snus will start with a mint, but gradually graduate to a more neutral flavor - whether it's bergamot or tobacco flavor. I won't knock bergamot because I like it too, and it's the tradition in Sweden, but the pure tobacco taste doesn't have the representation it deserves. Did you know there are currently 18 mint flavored snuses on the market? It's true. Swedish Match has Catch Pure Mint, General Mini Mint, General Mint, General Nordic Mint, Below Zero, Nick & Johnny Crushed Ice, Gotland's has Jakobsson's Mint Strong, F&L has Mocca Mint, V2 has Offroad Mini Mint, Offroad Frosted, Thunder ChocMint (okay, I like this one), Thunder Frosted ES, Thunder Frosted Long+, Thunder Cool Mint, Thunder Frosted RAW, Skruf has Skruf Slim Fresh White, TillCE has Al Capone Mint.

So, what do the Seven Amigos tell us? For some reason, the tobacco folks are afraid of the tobacco flavor, but let's face facts folks. If we're going to continue to reach people for snus, especially those coming over from dip, and those evolving from mint to further flavors - we're going to need more tobacco flavors. This isn't something that can be avoided, rather - it must be faced. In a market of a hundred or so different snuses, only 7% of that 100 or so being simple tobacco flavored isn't enough. It must grow. More types and products from more companies. I implore all companies to embrace the tobacco flavor and make more products with this flavor profile. I'll get down off the soap box, but in the end - it's a win win and a must have.

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