Congratulations - the round snus can is turning 40!
One of the most characteristic consumer packages in Sweden is turning 40 years old. The round snus can, so common today, first saw the light of day in 1967. But at the time, it was a pretty large upheaval for diehard snus users.
"For decades, they had been used to snus coming in an oval can. When the round can was introduced, the then Svenska Tobaks AB drafted an advertisement with the heading ‘Stay calm, guys! We’ve made new snus cans’, which is descriptive of how it was perceived as a major change among snus users," says Inga Junhem, Curator of the Tobacco and Match Museum, who has written several books on the history of tobacco.
But the very first snuff cans, for nasal snuff, were made as early as the 1560s in France. They were manufactured of various types of wood, richly adorned with carved flower decorations.
"The more exclusive snuff cans began to be manufactured in Sweden at the beginning of the 18th century. They were truly charming, in gold and silver with gem adornments. The can was a way of showing status," says Inga Junhem.
The transition to moist, oral snuff, or snus as we know it today in Sweden, took place at the beginning of the 19th century, and its use went from being a practice of the upper class to being widely popular. The cans became less exclusive and the snus was often packed in various kinds of paper packages or cones. It was also common that snus users had their own homemade snus cans.
When the tobacco monopoly was introduced in 1915, the flora of packages from various tobacco producers was rationalized. Oval cans for 50 grams and 100 grams of snus were brought into use, as well as a square package of 250 grams, called a cartridge.
During the 1960s, a new type of packaging was to be developed and a round paper can was considered to be the best variant. The cans that were introduced in 1967 were given a tin top.
"It is also interesting that the various snus brands began to be differentiated from one another graphically. Previously, it was generally only the names that distinguished the different types of snus," says Inga Junhem.
The brand General was given the colors black and gold to emulate a general’s uniform. The classic Ettan was given a yellow can to symbolize the traditional Swedish color. Grovsnus was a brand that was originally strongly associated with people who worked with their hands. The brown, earthy colors and black text were an obvious choice for Grov.
For images, see http://imagebank.swedishmatch.com/.