Dissident. There is beauty in words. There is beauty in numbers too, especially if you like mathematics (think of the Fibonacci sequence) . But what a word. It's an excellent word. Perhaps I like it because I am a bit of a dissident, certainly as a schoolboy anyway!
Some people really love certain numbers - eight being the favourite of all 1.4 billion Chinese people where it is considered to be the luckiest number of all. Four is considered to be unlucky and is a symbol of death. In buildings all over China, there is no 'fourth floor', they skip it and simply call it the fifth floor - you will not find a button for for the fourth floor in any elevator in any building in the Chinese-speaking world.
In practice, this means reserving table 888 at a night club or restaurant costs you a small fortune. You may be generous and send 888 Yuan ($135) to a close friend (or 88.8 Yuan/$13.5 to an acquaintance) on their birthday or for a wedding. I used to send 8.88 Yuan ($1.35) to people as a joke and usually they'd jokingly send it back. The second luckiest number is 6, so book table 666 in China if you are on a budget. Far better than booking table 13 anyway!
We're introducing you to Dissident Snus today - hailing from the beautiful Baltic nation of Estonia, where their products are manufactured in the country's capital, Tallin. The brand is sold through/associated with a website called tobaqqo.com and can be purchased there directly or through a number of other retailers/distributors.
We turn to our trusted bible and guardian of the English language, the Oxford English Dictionary for some assistance. Apologies in advance, I am sure some of you having learned or currently learning English as a second or third language may have nightmares about this book.
a. Disagreeing or differing (in opinion, character, etc.); at variance, different. Const. from.
a. One who disagrees; a dissentient.
The Logo and Branding
DISSIDENT's branding mood sends a clear message to its target audience.
Being a dissident is a good thing in my view, within limits of course, that's the tone this brand expresses.
It may be fair to say that people switching to nicotine pouches from smoking or vaping are all dissidents because arguably any change in opinion, habit or circumstance requires some form of dissent. Likewise, this goes for people interested in using CBD or other Cannabis derivatives. Nice alignment. The text gives off a futuristic vibe, suggesting a forward thinking and modern outlook. It's saying, "try something new", "be different".
DISSIDENT's Product Mix and Range
Under the DISSIDENT brand, two lines of pouches are available to buy. Firstly, we were sent three flavours containing CBD only, at 25mg per pouch.
Then of course we received DISSIDENT's nicotine pouch range, available in 7 different flavours at a strength of 21mg/g, approximately 10.5mg per pouch. Not crazy strong, but certainly not weak either. We received seven flavours, but I am sure there may be some changes/additions to the SKU selection in the near future.
Additionally, the whole lot was sent in a rather attractive strong cardboard tube with DISSIDENT's logo in shiny lettering. Obviously this costs DISSIDENT more in packaging costs but we think other customer's would appreciate receiving their products this way, it makes a nice change from a standard envelope/jiffy bag. It certainly adds to the 'premium' mood the brand gives off.
The DISSIDENT CBD Range (25mg)
So I tried these taking a a nice relaxing hot bath and can say it was most definitely added value to the experience! Coming in at 25mg per pouch, these are on the strong side relative to other CBD pouch offerings we see on the market. They produce a very mild, calming effect, this is without question.
Each can contains 15 slim white pouches and coming in three basic and unremarkable flavourings - all were pleasant enough:
Mint on this occasion was probably my favourite. All three flavours were mild and not overpowering at all - as a trio they could be bought together and enjoyed by the vast majority of consumers.
The can is emblazoned with the chemical structure of Cannabidiol (CBD) and while not exactly perfect, they got close enough to the real thing and it looks cool.
The printing on the cans reverse is all in Estonian which obviously I cannot understand. An English language version wouldn't hurt. In addition, DISSIDENT need to find a new printer. While it is still legible, there is room for improvement here. It is something they can very easily fix on future production runs - a premium product needs better printing. The same goes for their nicotine pouch can reverses.
The DISSIDENT Nicotine Pouch Range (21mg/g)
First impressions of this are really good. Attractive branding that is kind on the eye with the word "Premium" included clearly at the top. DISSIDENT is clearly positioning itself as a premium product to stand out from the crowd.
The range comes in seven flavours (at the time of writing):
Clearly a fruity angle here - no coffee, cinnamon or anything like that. It was really nice to see Apple on there - this made a nice change as we don't see it too often.
The pouches themselves are all-white in colour, slim and every flavour had a genuinely nice smell to it when opening the can. The pouch construction is not the absolute best, but it is decent. I did not see any broken pouches in the samples as I have seen with plenty of other brands.
As I've said before in other reviews, I prefer a 'plumper' or 'fuller' more pillow-like pouch. Again, just my preference - it might not matter to others.
With seven flavours to choose from, it might be worth ordering a tube of all of them and seeing which one works for you for future orders.
None of the flavours were at all overpowering or overly strong. For me personally, something a little stronger tasting might have been better, but then again, everyone is different. Their Mint offering is good and definitely up there, along with the Apple which stood out as well - enjoyed these two the most - that doesn't mean I dislike any of the others though. The flavour range is varied enough to suit different times, different tastes and different people.
In terms of nicotine content, 10.5mg/pouch is strong enough for sure - I certainly felt these produced a rather quick release of nicotine and a nice buzz - I was able to enjoy these for a good 30 minutes. It is a sensible strength but it might be worth DISSIDENT considering a weaker version, perhaps 3mg or 7mg for new users, those with lower nicotine tolerance or those looking to cut down on their nicotine intake in general. Likewise, it may also wish to offer a stronger pouch for those with higher tolerances.
In summary, I enjoyed DISSIDENT's offering. The CBD pouches are strong at 25mg, with decent flavourings and the nicotine pouches likewise. The branding is excellent and appealing, and the tube presentation is a big plus. I think with some very minor and easy changes these guys could up their game even more.
For end consumers, DISSDENT is definitely worth trying. Check out www.tobaqqo.com which is in Estonian and English.
Naturally, DISSIDENT are looking for retail and wholesale partners as well so those of you in those parts of the value chain might want to get in touch with them.
Thanks for reading everyone and have a great week.