Press release; Sep 18, 2003 11:00 AM CET

World-first snus factory opens in Kungälv

The new Swedish Match snus factory in Kungälv opens today. The factory is the only one of its kind and is currently the world's most advanced snus-manufacturing facility. The opening will be the symbolic culmination of twenty years' applied research and development work that has transformed snus from a poor man's luxury into a socially accepted tobacco alternative for a well-educated middle class.

The factory, located in the Solbräcke industrial park area of Kungälv, will have a production capacity of approximately 120 million cans of snus per annum and will employ in the region of 120 people when fully operational. Swedish Match has invested a total of around SEK 600 million, making this one of the biggest industrial ventures in western Sweden in recent years.

Snus consumption has almost trebled in Sweden since the 1970s and is now reaching the peak levels seen in the early 1900s. 187 million cans - or 6,750 tonnes - of snus were sold last year to Sweden's one million or so snus users.

The new factory confirms the image of western Sweden as the nation's snus centre. Approximately 390 people already work at the snus factory in Gothenburg.

"The Kungälv factory is equipped with the very latest production technology, making it highly cost-efficient," says Lennart Sundén, President and CEO of Swedish Match.

"The factory is a direct response to the increasing demand for snus that we are seeing, mainly in Sweden and Norway. Our Gothenburg factory is approaching maximum production capacity and is operating 22 hours a day. If we are to avoid shortages in the future, an expansion of our production capacity is essential."

As a product category, Swedish snus differs significantly from the majority of other smokeless tobacco products around the world. The mid-1980s saw the start of the work that resulted in GOTHIATEK®, the Swedish Match quality standard for snus. The starting point for the standard is a range of requirements on the maximum permissible levels of certain undesirable substances in the snus. GOTHIATEK® demands that these threshold values are never exceeded.

The GOTHIATEK® framework combines a precise system for the cultivation and selection of raw materials with advanced quality control and patented production technology in a sealed hygienic environment.

"Our new factory is based entirely around the GOTHIATEK® concept and is set up to handle a new generation of snus products with new characteristics," says Stefan Gelkner, Head of Swedish Match North Europe Division and the driving force behind the quality system. "This makes the factory the only one of its kind in this field, anywhere in the world."

Related information
History of snuff

For further information, please contact::

Bo Aulin, Head of Corporate Affairs, Swedish Match.
Tel +46 8 658 03 64, mobile +46 70 558 03 64, e-mail

Ulf Svensson, Head of Communications, Swedish Match North Europe Division.
Tel +46 8 658 03 21, mobile +46 709 40 28 27, e-mail

Mikael Arnebert, Press Relations Manager, Swedish Match North Europe Division.
Tel +46 8 658 02 10, mobile +46 70 529 02 10, e-mail








    Photography: Stig-Göran Nilsson