News; May 11, 2007 CET

Market leader in Scandinavia

With market shares of nearly 90 percent in Sweden and Norway,* Swedish Match is the Scandinavian leader in the snus market. Despite increased competition from international tobacco companies, Swedish Match has a strong market-leading position. The key to success is an intense focus on product development and continuous dialogue with customers.
"We are working intensively to both care for and improve existing brands and to develop new products. All development takes place in close cooperation with our consumers," says Anna Neiås, Marketing Director at Swedish Match North Europe Division.

In Sweden and Norway, there are more than a million consumers who regularly use snus, and the market continues to grow. During 2006, consumption increased by slightly more than 3 percent in Sweden and more than 10 percent in Norway.

The snus that Swedish Match produces and sells in Scandinavia is Swedish snus made according to the GOTHIATEK® quality standard, which guarantees high quality at all stages, from the tobacco plant to the store. (Read more on page 20.) Some 60 percent of all snus sold is portion-packed snus.

Product launches and new segments

The Scandinavian snus market is changing rapidly, in part through increasingly frequent product launches. Over the past 18 months, Swedish Match launched 13 new products on the Swedish and Norwegian markets.

"We are innovative when it comes to new products and are driving market development. We are also active in all segments: superpremium, premium and value-priced, as well as tobacco- and nicotine-free," notes Anna Neiås.

One example of a product launched in 2006 is Kardus, a loose snus in the super-premium segment. Within the value-priced segment, Swedish Match has strengthened its position through the launch of product varieties under the Kronan brand. A completely new segment that has emerged in recent years is tobacco- and nicotine-free snus. The product Onico was launched in 2006 and quickly achieved considerable success.

Communicating via the snus can

Swedish Match also works actively with retailers in Sweden and Norway to increase exposure of snus in the stores. Although snus has total sales of SEK 5 billion at the consumer level, sales take place in a relatively small area of the store.

"We have to make use of the space available. That is why it is also important to communicate with consumers via the packaging, the snus can. We are working constantly to improve the image of both existing and new products. Two strong brands that recently received new designs are General, which was launched in February and Ettan, which was launched in May. In that process, as in all other product development, our consumers have been involved," concludes Anna Neiås.

*Source: ACNielsen