What is snus?

Swedish snus

You don’t have to light up to enjoy tobacco! 

Swedish snus is loose or packed, processed tobacco you put under your lip and in which you get a kick from nicotine. There is a large variety of tastes, formats, and strengths to choose from. It’s not like chewing tobacco, because you don’t have to spit. 

When Swedes go on trips around the world they are often asked about what it is they put under the lip. In this article, Svea Tobacco will answer this question and explain why snus is so popular in Sweden as well as how it has started to boom in other countries.

You can read about the following topics in the text below:

  1. What does snus contain?
  2. When do you snus?
  3. How to snus
  4. The best time to enjoy snus
  5. Why snus has become popular
  6. Different types of snus
  7. Different strengths and kick of snus
  8. Different brands and manufacturers 
  9. Most popular snus at Svea Tobacco

Snus is a type of moist tobacco product that is commonly used under the upper lip. Snus originated from the Caribbean, and its use has been an integral part of Swedish culture for centuries. Snus generally contains nicotine, water, salt, and tobacco. The snus that we use today is referred to as wet snus, which is a more traditional form of the product. Wet snus usually contains a higher concentration of nicotine than other types of snus.

While some people may view snus as a harmful substance, many Swedes see it as a key part of their cultural identity and a safer alternative to cigarettes. However, it is important to note that snus is not a completely safe product, and there are some risks associated with its use. Snus is an important part of Swedish culture, and its use should be respected.

What does snus contain?

Snus is a type of Swedish smokeless tobacco. It is made of ground tobacco, salt, and other natural substances. Snus is manufactured using a process called pasteurization. First, the tobacco is blended with water and flavorings, and then it is heated to a high temperature to kill any harmful bacteria. The mixture is then cooled and packaged into pouches.

If you wan’t to read more how snus is made you can read our article on Snus production.

Snus is often flavored with various types of herbs and fruits including mint, wintergreen, cherry, and other natural ingredients. Snus does not require spitting as chewing tobacco does, and it can be enjoyed anywhere. Snus is a very popular form of tobacco in Sweden, and it has been used for centuries. Snus is not only popular in Sweden, but it is also gaining popularity in other countries. Snus is a relatively safe and effective way to enjoy tobacco, and it is an alternative to smoking. Snus is a tobacco product that should be enjoyed in moderation.

When do you use snus?

Depending on the habits of the user, how often and how they use snus can vary. For some, it is a part of their daily life, while for others, it is only used for parties or occasional events. Snus is very easy to use, and one does not have to leave the room to take one.

When snus comes into contact with the saliva, the release of nicotine is then increased. This is because the user’s desire to continue increases as the snus lingers in the user’s mouth. It is believed that the addictive properties of snus are responsible for this.

How to use snus

In Sweden, snus is divided into two types: loose snus and portion snus. The former consists of loose snus that the user can shape into a prill.

The other type is the ready-to-use portion snus, which is packed inside small paper pouches. Snus have been around for decades, and the first one was introduced during the 70s. Today, the market for this product is dominated by the portion snus. Aside from sizes, the snus company also offers various models and variants.

The best time to enjoy snus

The fresher the snus is, the better. Snus should be at room temperature because cold locks in aromas and flavors and limits how you will experience that first burst of flavor.

You can read more how to enjoy snus here.

Why snus has become popular

For many many years, people didn’t know the health hazard that came with smoking cigarettes. The growth of smoking exploded from the 1920s up to about the 1980s when a lot of scientific papers from researchers around the world start alarming about different diseases linked to smoking. Along grew the popularity of different methods of consuming tobacco such as smokeless alternatives, for example, snus. In Sweden, we saw a tremendous rise in the consumption of snus. But other factors plays a part in why snus was booming such as:

1. Easier to use Smokers had to go out and smoke and there came to be a lot of restrictions where you could light up. With snus, you could consume it inside, at work, in airplanes, and at restaurants without bothering someone else or smelling smoke.

2. Healthier alternative – Although snus can’t be described as healthy many people saw snus as a healthier alternative to smoking.

3. Cheaper – With consumption declining and the global discussions on health issues surging, aggressive tax increases on cigarettes made the price for a pack of cigarettes rise a lot and it became more economic to use snus.

4. Variations – With almost endless variations of flavors, strengths, and formats there is something for everybody. 

Different types of snus

Loose snus: This is what it all began with, it is the traditional way of snus. The advantage is that you decide the size, shape, and firmness of the portion. Most of the time, it also has a more even, deeper flavor release than packed portions. It’s not difficult to bake shape och pack a portion from loose snus, but it may require some practice. A carelessly packed portion of loose snus will fall apart under the lip and will be hard to dispose of. In Sweden, loose snus is very popular for its quick release of flavor and nicotine, the near tobacco feeling, and pure flavor flow. Flavors suchlike as wood, juniper berries, smoke, bergamot, and pepper are common seasoners in a loose product. 

Have you ever tested loose snus? If the answer is no, Svea Tobacco recommends two products to start with:

Ettan Loose – This classic snus originate from Swedish Match and has hade the same recipe since 1822. It is a must to try.

Knox Loose – This is a low-price product that has a high-end recipe and a traditional tobacco taste.

Original portion: Since 1973 when the portion (bag) type of snus was launched it has grown to become the most popular type of snus. The benefits of this invention were many, it became easier to both insert and remove, and the snus stayed in one place under the lip. It was discreet and practical. The snus is closed in a little bag that is made of a thin material that allows nicotine and flavor to flow efficiently.

Here are two brands we think you should try out:

Granit Original Portion – High-quality product from Fiedler & Lundgren with a classic flavor with hints of bergamot and spicy pepper. Rich, robust, and instantaneously flavor released in comfortable pouch bags.

Siberia 80 Brown Portion – A strong snus with 43mg/g of nicotine. This is not snus for a newbie. A spicy and nutty tobacco flavor with intense mint taste

White Portion: This is a type of portion that has a drier profile than the Original portion. With less moist, it becomes less runny and more long-lasting. It was Swedish Match that launched this in 1998 and the invention quickly became popular. 

Popular brands with White Portion formats we recommend to try:

Lundgrens Skåne White – With a perforated portion Fiedler & Lundgren hits the spot with this product. The release of a robust earthy flavor with hints of berries makes this snus a quality favorite.

General White Portion Another classic from Swedish Match with flavors of bergamot and wild pepper against a background of tobacco. 

Slim portion: This type of snus has a design that has been specially developed to fit discreetly under the lip, run less and taste longer. The long narrow form has been optimized to not be noticed by others but still taste and last similar to White portions. 

Two popular slim brands to try out:

Xrange Catch Slim White Raspberry Licorice a unique snus with a exiting combination of sweet raspberry and liqorice flavor with hints of light tobacco.

Jakobsson’s Strong Cola Slim White Portion – Classic cola taste with hints of sweet fresh citrus notes and powerful nicotine strength of 14mg/g.

Mini: Contains less snus per portion, about 0,4 grams per snus. Mini is also designed to fit discreetly under the lip like a slim portion but got more of the feeling of an Original/White portion in a smaller form.

Catch Spearmint White Mini Clear spearmint taste with normal strength of nicotine. Catch is one of Sweden’s most popular mini brands.

General Mini Portion – Solid tobacco and pepper flavor in this well-balanced blend. A classic from Swedish Match in mini-format.

Nicotine Pouches / All White snus: This kind of snus is a modern, innovative, and new way to enjoy nicotine. The white and dry mini bags are completely tobacco-free, adapted for an optimal fit and to run less. With a lot of flavors to choose from and new brands popping up all the time, there is something for everybody.

VOLT Mystic Blue Very discreet pouches with a delicious taste of blueberries and sweet hints of vanilla and peppermint. A medium-strong nicotine kick.

LYFT Barista Strong – Smooth and creamy taste of coffee and hints of roasted nuts.

Different strengths and the kick of snus

In snus the active ingredient is nicotine. The mucous membranes absorb nicotine when snus is placed in the mouth. Nicotine goes straight to the brain’s reward center where it produces various positive signal substances. These generate enjoyable feelings that are both soothing and energizing known as the kick. 

Several things affect the uptake of nicotine. Only about 10-20 percent of the nicotine in the portion reaches the brain’s reward centre. 

Svea Tobacco has a strength level system from Normal to Super strong so you as a customer can easily choose the level of strength you are custom to.

StrenghtNicotine level (mg/g)Example product
Normal4-10Kronan Original Portion
Strong10,5-15One Grön White Portion
Extra strong15,6-21The Lab 06 Extra Strong
Super strong22-45Siberia 80 White Dry

Manufacturers and brands

  • Swedish Match – One of the world’s largest snus manufacturers. They do not only have roots in the former state-owned tobacco monopoly, but they also have an impressive line of classic Swedish snus brands in their portfolio. Swedish Match is known for its high-quality products. Ettan, Göteborgs Rapé, General and Xrange are just some of their brands. If you want to read some of Swedish Match history we have an article about them here.
  • GN Tobacco – With factories in Enköping and Gothenburg they are producing some of the world’s strongest snus. With a wide range of flavors and known brands like Siberia, Odens, Lenny’s Cut, and Islay Whiskey they have been a quality snus manufacturer since 2007.
  • Skruf – The company was founded in 2003 by two snus enthusiasts and today they produce three different brands; Skruf, Knox and Smålands Brukssnus. Their snus is organically manufactured from grown tobacco.
  • Fiedler & Lundgren / British American Tobacco – With their roots in Gothenburg since the 1800’s, they have grown and moved to Denmark. British American Tobacco acquired the company in 2008 and is currently producing the following brands: Lundgrens, Granit and Lyft.
  • AG Snus – The Danish company with ancestry from 1864 ships their snus from the island of Fyn where the factory is located. They have a flagship brand called Kapten, which is a cheaper alternative of snus that still promises high quality. m 1864 ships their snus from the island of Fyn where the factory is located.

The most popular snus at Svea Tobacco