History of chewing tobacco

Chewing tobacco is a custom that was introduced to European settlers by Native Americans in 1500. On an island outside the coast of Venezuela, Christopher Columbus and his men met Native Americans chewing green leaves, mixed with the crushed shell of mussels.

In 1904, the Red Man brand was introduced to the North American market, and its name is believed to have been selected due to the Native American´s lead role in this custom.

Red Man was only distributed in a few midwestern states until 1954 when distribution was expanded to 13 southeastern states. In 1963, the brand became "national" with distribution in 42 out of 50 states. During the 90´s, the brands Red Man Select and J.D.´s Blend were added to the brand portfolio. A large number of consumers work outdoors and enjoy hunting, fishing and watch auto racing.

Today, Swedish Match is the leading player in the North American chewing tobacco market. The Red Man family of brands is the market leading brand.

In recent years, a modern form of chewing tobacco, chew bags, has developed in certain European markets. The product segment is small but growing and Swedish Match participates in this segment.