Snus continues to perform strongly
The trend continues - more and more Swedes are choosing snus. Sales have increased consistently for over 30 years now with the exception of a couple of years in the 1980s and 90s. 175 million cans of snus were sold in Sweden last year - an increase in volume of 5% over 2000 - with a sale value of approx. SEK 3.7 billion. No other country in the world can report a higher per capita consumption of snus, and there are a number of very good reasons why.
175 million cans of snus were sold in Sweden last year - an increase in volume of 5% over 2000 - with a sale value of approx. SEK 3.7 billion.
No other country in the world can report a higher per capita consumption of snus, and there are a number of very good reasons why.
Sweden's almost one million snus users could take pleasure in December last year in the gradual removal of the "Causes cancer" health warning from snus cans. The alleged cancer risk was the fundamental reason why the EU banned snus in other member states in the early 1990s. But after the publication of a number of studies, scientists are now unanimous - Swedish snus does not increase the risk of cancer. Swedish Match is, as a result, preparing legal proceedings to have the discriminatory ban tested in the European Court.
The health warning debate has helped to promote the health benefits of Swedish snus in relation to cigarette smoking in the media, not only with regard to cancer, but when it comes to cardiovascular diseases and other tobacco-related illnesses, too.
Quality from seed to finished product
Swedish Match has single-mindedly worked on the development of the snus production process for the past 20 years now with the aim of, amongst other things, eliminating unwanted and harmful substances from the finished product wherever possible. The work was manifested last year in the introduction of the GOTHIATEK® quality standard that covers every stage from seed to the finished product in the stores. Swedish Match is estimated to have invested around SEK 500 million in this globally unique quality system over the 20-year period.
It should be emphasised that it is Swedish Match's snus, manufactured in accordance with the GOTHIATEK® system - and no other type of snus - that has been the subject of the scientific evaluation of health effects.
From smoking to snus
Sweden has a unique position when it comes to tobacco usage and was the first country in the western world to achieve the World Health Organisation's goal of fewer than 20% smokers in its population. One of the major reasons for this is the popularity of snus - more men actually use snus than smoke in Sweden.
The health debate has got through to the Swede in the street. It is first and foremost smokers - both male and female - who have taken on board the information about the relative health advantages of snus and changed their tobacco habit accordingly. Other incentives include the fact that it is becoming more and more difficult to smoke in the workplace and public places - you don't disturb those around you if you use snus - no one suffers from "passive snus usage".
Effective in smoking cessation
Several surveys have confirmed the role of snus in smoking cessation. Last year, the Swedish Cancer Society and the pharmaceutical company, Pharmacia, conducted a TEMO survey of people who had successfully quit smoking and found that 33% had used snus in conjunction with smoking cessation in comparison with 17% who had used nicotine preparations. Swedish Match has reported similar results from its own surveys.
Smokers the main target group
Swedish Match has seen smokers as the main target group for snus for some years now and has met their needs through product development and a well-balanced product mix. Smokers' wishes have, amongst other things, resulted in new varieties of mini portion-packed snus that are flavoured and less moist than their predecessors. This is one of the reasons why approximately half of today's snus users are former smokers.
Swedish snus has gone upscale
TEMO carry out comprehensive consumer surveys on behalf of Swedish Match every year. The consumer profile has changed very substantially over the years and snus can be said to have gone upscale. Gone is the traditional image of a scruffy old man with his snus - today's snus users are noticeably often white collar workers who are better educated and have higher incomes than the average Swede.
Snus is also becoming increasingly popular amongst women. More than 150,000 of the almost 1,000,000 people who use snus in Sweden are women. And the percentage of former smokers amongst women who use snus daily is even higher at 61%.
New factory ready to come on line in 2003
Thanks to the yearly increase in snus volumes, Swedish Match's snus factory in Gothenburg is approaching its maximum production capacity. And so a decision was taken in 2000 to build a new factory for the production of portion-packed snus in Kungälv - an investment in land, buildings, machinery etc. that totals almost SEK 500 million over three years. Construction work is proceeding according to plan and the factory will come on line in 2003.
For additional information, please contact:
Stefan Gelkner, President, Swedish Match North Europe Division. Phone + 46 31 80 86 30, mobile +46 70 535 12 50.
Ulf Svensson, Vice President, Information & Public Affairs, Swedish Match North Europe Division. Phone + 46 8 658 03 21, mobile +46 709 40 28 27.
Mikael Arnebert, Press Officer, Information & Public Affairs, Swedish Match North Europe Division. Phone + 46 8 658 02 10, mobile +46 70 529 02 10.
Snus facts and figures, 2001
Swedish Match sold 175 million cans of snus in the Swedish market last year - an increase of 5% over the previous year. Almost one million Swedes, with an average age of 39, use snus regularly (daily or now and then). And an increasing number of smokers are deciding to switch to snus - in 2001, 47% of those who used snus daily were former smokers.
Sources: Swedish Match, TEMO 2001*
|Percentage (%) with upper secondary or college/university education||79||74||75|
|Average income (SEK)||224,000||203,000||190,000|
|Percentage (%) privately employed||51||34||34|
Source: TEMO 2001* No. women who use snus (daily or now and then)
Source: TEMO's postal consumer surveys, 1996-2001.
*) Source: TEMO 2001. Refers to TEMO's postal omnibus for 2001 in which 12,132 people aged from 16-75 were asked about their tobacco habits. Statistically, the survey comprises approx. 6.4 million Swedes.